Ms Tiarti, who has now been on hunger strike for 15 days addresses her heartfelt plea in an open letter to the President of the French Republic. Ms Tiarti, mother of seven year old Melissa is objecting to the French republic’s preference for treating Autism using Psychoanalytical and medicinal treatment, rather than behavioural and educational therapy widely available elsewhere.
Ms Tiarti has been waiting two and a half years for a facility placement for her daughter. Speaking on July 12, Marie Derain, High Juror and deputy defender of educational rights in France lamented the fact that there were at least 5,000 individual children in France fighting for places on educational behaviour facilities within the country.
In her open letter to the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, Ms Tiarti states: “If we could only welcome Autistic children into mainstream schools instead of sending them to institutionalised day hospitals, it would be a big step towards inclusion.
The lack of places for children who deserve inclusion in France is scandalous. In 1996 France signed, along with 92 members of Unesco, The Salamanca Statement, which states: we believe and proclaim that education is a fundamental right, and every child has unique characteristics, interests and abilities which educational systems should be designed to develop.”
Ms Tiarti strike reinforces her belief that autistic children should be included in France’s mainstream school with extra support in the form of teaching assistants and specialised classes.
The petition, opened on July 22 has currently 464 signatures and is gaining strong support from members of the French Autism Community. A constant stream of support and reassuring messages have been left on the petition. Bérengère Guenanen, posts: “You have a lot of courage Jacqueline but do not let your life end. I am tired of this French scandal, will the autistic ever have a voice? How will this all come to an end? I hope you will be listened to with all my heart.”
She is also gaining daily support on her Facebook page, as concerns heighten for Ms Tiarti’s health, one facebook follower, Kate Kit from Saint Esprit, Martinique urged her to go back to normalcy for the sake of her daughter.