France lags about four decades behind countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom when it comes to diagnosing and treating autism, says Danièle Langloys, president of the advocacy group Autisme France. Like Sajidi, many young people with autism are not identified early, when they stand to benefit the most from behavioral therapies — although rates of early diagnosis have improved over the past decade. Some people with the condition are never identified. One 2015 study pegs the prevalence of autism in France at 0.36 percent, well below the 1 percent reported in the U.K. and roughly 2.5 percent reported in the U.S. Among children who are diagnosed with autism, only about one in five attends a mainstream school.
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