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Foundation Jean-François Peterbroeck
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Autism in Context

2016 till 2020
Bruxelles, Belgium


Autism is a neurobiological developmental disorder that affects, in one form or another, more than one child in a hundred. It is characterised by a ‘social-pragmatic’ deficit, i.e. great difficulty in managing verbal and non-verbal interactions with others. In addition, a large proportion of these children have significant language delays and more than a quarter of them never access verbal communication. These linguistic and, more broadly, communicative aspects of autism are still poorly understood.
Through an approach that combines linguistics and experimental psychology, the project aims to take up this scientific and societal challenge in order to help create adapted early intervention tools.


Ultimately, the results of the research will benefit all children with autistic disorders and their families.


Het hoofddoel van de ACTE-groep, opgericht door Mikhail Kissine in 2015, is het beter begrijpen van de aard en de oorsprong van de communicatieproblemen en de frequente vertragingen in de taalontwikkeling die autisme kenmerken.
ACTE integreert de methoden van de experimentele psychologie en instrumenten uit de taalkunde in een onderzoeksprogramma dat zich richt op de ervaringen van kinderen en volwassenen met autisme.
De groep bestaat uit twee doctoraatskandidaten, drie postdoctorale onderzoekers en een neuropsycholoog gespecialiseerd in autisme.


The Foundation’s support made it possible to
– cover the salaries of Dr. Gaetane Deliens and Dr. Philippine Geelhand, post-doctoral researchers involved in the project;
– the development of the ACTE Center, with an architectural design specifically focused on autism and its sensory particularities, without any equivalent in Belgium. The ambition was to go beyond a simple research laboratory on autism. This center is equipped with rooms for experimentation and observation, but also with spaces where people with autism and their families can develop in confidence, get information and attend scientific conferences. It is thus an exceptional opportunity for researchers and families to interact and listen to each other. The ACTE Center was officially inaugurated on June 12th 2019.

Our actions

Whether on a national or international level, we want to offer young people the best possible opportunities for the future. We support projects through concrete action on the ground thanks to our partner organisations
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  • # Occupationalintegration

The social farm

Ecole secondaire d'enseignement spécialisé pour jeunes autistes.
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  • # SelfConfidence

Citizenship year to build and be built

Voluntary Citizen Service
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  • # SelfConfidence


Prevention and reduction of violence in the lives of war-affected children in Jordan and Lebanon
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