School Inclusion in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in France: Report from the ELENA French Cohort Study

  • Cécile Rattaz
  • Kerim Munir
  • Cécile Michelon
  • Marie-Christine Picot
  • Amaria BaghdadliEmail author
  • ELENA study group
Original Paper


Children and adolescents with ASD are increasingly included in regular school settings, however little is known about how placement decisions are made. In the present study, we examined the types and duration of school attendance among children and adolescents in the ELENA Cohort, a multi-center study of children and adolescents with ASD, ages 2–16 years, in France. Results showed that 88% of subjects were attending school and that children and adolescents with more severe adaptive and cognitive deficits were less likely to attend school. The results provide a topography on school inclusion and ASD in France. Challenging behaviors and sensory processing difficulties were associated with partial-inclusion; and co-occurring anxiety symptoms were associated with inclusion on a full-time basis.


School inclusion School duration ASD Cohort France 



We would like to thank all the participants of the study and their families for their long-lasting interest and the time they have spent and the efforts they have made for the study. We are thankful to the many staff members and clinicians who have contributed to recording the data, especially Florine Dellapiazza, Flore Couty, Myriam Soussana, Christelle Vernhet and Ela Miniarikova. A special thank to Julie Loubersac and Dalil Hamroun for their technological assistance. The members of the ELENA STUDY GROUP are Pr Amaria Baghdadli, Dr Catherine Chabaux, Dr Clarisse Chatel, Pr David Cohen, Dr Emmanuel Damville, Dr Marie-Maude Geoffray, Pr Ludovic Gicquel, Pr Renaud Jardri, Dr Thierry Maffre, Dr Alexandre Novo, Dr Roxane Odoyer, Dr Marie-Joëlle Oreve, Dr Didier Périsse, Pr François Poinso, Dr Julien Pottelette, Dr Laurence Robel, Pr Catherine Rolland, Dr Marie Schoenberger, Dr Sylvie Serret, Dr Sandrine Sonié, Pr Mario Speranza, and Dr Stéphanie Vespirini.

Author Contributions

AB was involved in the study design and methods, data collection, interpretation of results, writing, and revision of the initial draft. CM, CR and MCP were involved in data analysis, interpretation of results, writing, and revision of the draft. KM was involved in the interpretation, writing, and revision of the draft. All the authors have critically revised this article and approved the final version to be published.


This research received support from the French Health Ministry (DGOS) and Caisse Nationale de Solidarité pour l’Autonomie (CNSA). Additional support was provided by the CHU of Montpellier (AOI).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study was approved by the Medical ethical committee and the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL: DR-2015-393).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Ressources Autisme, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier (CHU)MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Developmental Medicine Center, Boston Children’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Departement de l’Information Medicale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier (CHU)Univ. MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Faculté de MédecineUniv. MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Centre de Recherche en Epidémiologie et Santé des Populations (CESP)INSERM U1178ParisFrance

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