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Teenagers and Young Adults: Developmental Disorders in Early Childhood and Disability Provision

Background and aims

The last twenty years have brought evident changes to the system of medical, psychological, education and social support for persons with autism spectrum disorders in Switzerland. In 2012 Claud Hêche, a member of the Council of States, therefore applied to the Swiss government for an analysis of the present supply and demand. His Postulat forms the basis for the present project.


The research questions formulated in the call for projects are clustered around three areas: “Symptoms and diagnoses”, “An overview of detection, treatment, care and support services and structures” and “Coordination and cooperation”.

In keeping with the concrete nature of the issues, the first focus is to analyse supply and demand and the second is to design provision that is well coordinated both between different institutions and between providers and funding agencies. In addition, the project includes a review of best practice and proposals for optimisation.


The research project breaks down into the following methodological stages:

  1. evaluation of available data from the Disability Insurance scheme (IV), the statutory health insurers (KVG) and the Medical Societies
  2. evaluation of available data from cantonal and local bodies
  3. expert interviews with specialists in the fields of medical diagnostics, therapy, education, career development and housing
  4. issue-specific evaluation of data from the parent survey “Living with Autism in Switzerland” (project leader: Professor Eckert)
  5. issue-specific evaluation of data from the research project “Autism Observatory” (project leader: Professor Thommen)


The results of the research project will be published in a final report and made available from summer 2015 on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office. The report includes summarised answers to the questions investigated and specific recommendations for developing structures of provision.



Project Management

Project team


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

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