“The Wall or psychoanalysis put to the test for autism”, is a French documentary filmed by Sophie Robert.
It describes the misuse of the psychoanalitic approach of autism in France and the discriminations of autistic children in France.
This document provides a summary of the movement and the legal battle for November 2011.
November 2011: An astounding court summons and the support builds up
November 4th 2011: An astounding court summons
The lawyer of Sophie Robert recieves an astounding court summons for December 8th 2011 at the Regional Civil Court (TGI) of Lille (France), dated October 28th 2011. In the document, the three plaintiffs argues that their have intellectual property rights on the documentary, that she released the movie without their prior consent, that she was not authorized to do any editing without their prior consent, that their explanations have been manipulated through editing.
They request the documentary to be banned in any form whatsoever. They also sue Sophie Robert, Océan Invisible Productions and Autistes Sans Frontières for several hundred thousands euros in tort claims. The legal document in French is viewable here.
The Regional TV station “France 3 Pas de Calais” informs the public that the documentary might get banned in its November 16th 2011 edition (english subtitled here).
November 2011: International Support is starting to build up
In early November, Parents receive the first support statements from key international figures in Autism:
- Dr. Temple Grandin
- Pr. Travis Thompson
- Donna Williams
- Pr. Tony Attwood
- Judy Barron, Mother of Sean Barron
On Nov. 17th 2011, Pr. Jacques Van Rillaer, the co-author of the “Black book of psychoanalysis”, from Belgium, supports Sophie Robert and gives the first interview on “Le Mur” to a foreign media. You can listen to the interview on RTBF Première here.
November 2011: French Support is in full speed
The independant website “Autisme Infantile” is among the first to really support Sophie Robert and Béatrice Bolling becomes de facto the spoke person of the movement.
On November 5th, the psychanalyseautisme facebook group is created.
On November 9th, a testimony sheet is released on Facebook and sent to professionals so that they can provide testimony for court.
On November 16th, parents are invited to sign a petition against the ban on Facebook.
By the end of November, Parents and Sophie Robert receive a large number of testimony and support statements from leading researchers, health professionals and organizations involved in autism. For instance, Autism France, the largest autism organization in France, release an 8 page statement of support on Nov. 25th 2011. You can view a list of support statements in French here.
November 23rd 2011: First National TV Channel Show
Sophie Robert is invited for the first time on a National TV Channel France 5 in an afternoon health show “Magazine de la Santé”.
November 25th 2011: First Press Conference in Paris
Sophie Robert gives her first press conference in Paris against the ban of her documentary. Some pictures are viewable here.
The press conference combined to the online activism of parents result in a large number of articles in web newspapers, regional newspapers and national weekly magazines by the end of November.
by David Heurtevent, MA Georgetown, Asperger