This is absolutely essential and for a long time in some countries autism was hidden behind words like "caractériel" in France, or simply "handicaped" or "deservingt special education" and more recently "differently-abled." And take into account the Asperger end of the spectrum, and you can live a whole life without YOU knowing about it, but be sure many in the various administrations and organizations around you will have classified you in the "to-be-kept-at-a-distance box" and you can find, later on, notes from some bureaucrats: "Mr. So-andso has had a relapse. Must we proceed to ..." There is a tremendous lot to do to finally integrate autistic people on teh basis of their real competences, that may be different from "normal people" and to behave with them in a competent way, meaning to establish communication with autistic people for whom communication is conflictual, both desired and feared.

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Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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