My son is dyslexic and has ADHD. Schooling here has been, and continues to be, a nightmare. The school system does not want to recognize learning disabilities and has no interest or time to deal with them. It is still basically an elitist system here. I have even had him recognized as handicapped (after years of paperwork) in hopes that he would get some help, but no luck. We now drive him to another city to a private school with smaller classes where he is at least more comfortable and does get a bit of help.
No personal experience, but having two children in the school system for thirteen years (and not finished yet!) have heard of great difficulties. I would agree with BethA - Dyslexia is only just about recognised, autism I think is a way down the line. As far as I am aware, special needs schools are very few and far between.
One possibility is a small local school that might be willing to devote more time to your son, but the other problem is that of language - does he speak/understand French?
Sorry to be such a downer; I know how attractive France sounds and it's a great place for a holiday but the reality of living here is really quite harsh. The school system is archaic and elitist. It's a constant struggle not only for my son but also for us as we "battle" the system. I have friends here with children with learning disabilities and they are also very unhappy.
Having taught autistic children in private schools around Toulouse, may I suggest you seriously consider your move to France. There are schools and institutions that accept children with autism however as well as your child having to deal with a new language you may find the treatment quite barbaric and attitudes positively medieval especially if you have come from outside of the continent.Many french professionals still see autism as an illness or brought on by over protective mothers. It was only last month educational authorites agreed that wrapping autistic children tightly in cold wet sheets, was no longer considered an effective form of treatment. Some institutions are more receptive and enlightened than others however the final decision to accept a child with autism into the state eductional system rests with its classroom teacher, therefore this decision may change from year to year. I have only known of one autistic child to have stayed in France.The other parents have all left feeling that their children's needs could be met much better elsewhere. Speaking frankly, if it were my child, I would not move to France. Tanya Carlile
Based on earlier (not so positive) comments we had pretty much ruled out a move to France. Your first hand experience clearly underlines what others have said.
Too bad...we were quite upbeat about France but clearly the system there is not supportive of children with special needs. We will definitely not be moving there. Not that keen on the UK but they do appear to have a more enlightened approach to special needs.