htgProject details Belgium 2016 → 2017 Autism Research Partenaire(s): Description The ACTE group, created by Mikhail Kissine in 2015, is aimed primarily at better understanding the nature and origin of communication difficulties, and of the frequent delays in language development that characterise autism. ACTE integrates experimental psychology methods and linguistic tools within an ecological research programme, attentive to the experience of children and adults with autism. The group is made up of two doctoral students, three postdoctoral researchers and one neuropsychologist specialised in autism. Context Autism is a neurobiological development disorder that affects, in one form or another, more than one out of every hundred children. Autism is characterised by a 'socio-pragmatic' deficit, i.e. by great difficulties in managing verbal and non-verbal interactions with others. Moreover, many of these children exhibit severely delayed linguistic development, with more than a quarter of them never being able to communicate verbally. These linguistic and, more generally, communicative aspects of autism are still poorly understood. Via an approach that combines linguistics and experimental psychology, the project aims to address this scientific and societal challenge for the purpose of creating suitable early intervention tools. Duration and location The ACTE group started its activities in 2015, in Brussels (Belgium). Beneficiaries The research results will in the mid term benefit all children affected by autistic disorders and, more generally, all stakeholders confronted with this situation. Achievements and results The Foundation's support will initially (2016-2017) provide for the salary of Dr. Deliens, a postdoctoral student who works on the project. Partner The Fondation ULB is the partner of the JFP Foundation for this project.