Allowances and aid
As from your child’s birth, your doctor will request exoneration of the health insurance co-pay contribution due to your child’s psychomotor retardation. The doctor will mention in the treatment protocol all the monitoring and treatment data that will allow the national healthcare medical advisor to determine the proportion pertaining to Down syndrome (100% reimbursable) and the proportion pertaining to intercurrent diseases (for which treatments are not 100% reimbursable).
The doctor must also draw up, on the relevant form, a certificate enabling parents to approach the MDPH (Home for disabled persons). This establishment issues disabled cards and European parking cards, allocates the handicapped child education allowance (AEEH) and orients children to specialised centres if applicable. Since the implementation of a French law dating 11 February 2005, all requests for rights, services and integration (school, employment) have been centralised at the MDPH.
Since 1st January 2006, the handicapped child education allowance (the AEEH) has replaced the handicapped child allowance (the AES). (View the website Service-Public.fr). This financial aid is designed for parents of handicapped children under the age of 20 assessed at 50% incapacity (people with Down syndrome are generally assessed at 80% incapacity). Its purpose is to bear the cost of a portion of fees and facilities required by the handicap which are not covered by social security. It is up to the parents to apply to the MDPH and compile the application. To find your nearest MDPH, consult their website: http://www.mdph.fr.
It is not advisable for any young adult, Down syndrome or not, to stay at their parent’s home. Leaving the family home must be prepared from early childhood in view of a suitable education. The young person must gradually become familiar with the idea of separating from his or her parents. Joining a school helps the young person to enjoy the company of his or her peers, through sports or leisure activities.
It is very unusual for a Down syndrome adult to live alone in independent accommodation, and it is not necessarily desirable because experience has shown that persons with Down syndrome, even those who are highly autonomous, cannot always cope with an unforeseen problem. A possible solution for the most autonomous persons is to share an apartment designed for 4 or 5 people with a daily visit by an educational advisor (therapeutic apartments).
For people working at a “care through employment establishment” (ESAT – Etablissement et service d’aide par le travail; view the website Service-Public.fr), accommodation is possible at the ESAT centre itself. For people who are not eligible for these centres, accommodation is possible in residential centres. These are collective residential centres with bedrooms for one or two people, where daily activities are proposed on a non-employment basis.
For people suffering from several major medical problems, accommodation in a medical centre (or a dual rate home) is possible. Payment is ensured by both national healthcare and by the local authorities. These homes offer accommodation as well as medical surveillance and care.
Exceptionally, people with no autonomy (for example those with severe side effects from West syndrome and those who are unable to walk) may be offered a place in a specialised home (MAS – view the website Service-Public.fr).