Antenne 110, an enlightened education


Bruno de Halleux

Antenne 110


For complex institutional reasons pertaining to Belgium, Antenne 110 lost its denomination as a Center for the treatment and care for autistic children in 2004. A new denomination was ascribed to us. We have been defined as a “reeducation center”. This term is very remote from our approach to working with autistic and psychotic children.

Since its establishment, Antenne 110 is guided by Lacan’s teachings. We therefore had to redefine the modality of our work to have the case by case treatment given to each child we take in, meet the concept of reeducation demanded by our subsidiary organism, the Social Security.

The children that are sent to us have frequently passed through various specialized approaches. They arrive when every other fostering possibility is exhausted. They are branded as unmanageable at school, at home or at the medico-educational institutions. In a way, we receive “the remnant, the remains”, the ineducable children of the school or medico-social institutions. They were not able to integrate them in their programs or in their treatments. The purpose is to invent a device that is singular every time and can take into account these children who cannot be assimilated or absorbed by the therapeutic or educational programs. It is because they proved recalcitrant to the discourse which held them, that these children are sent to us.

To educate, an impossible task

The fact that we are marked by the perspective afforded by Lacanian psychoanalysis, never exempted us from the educational aspect pertaining to working with any child. If the children we welcome bear witness by their symptoms to a failure of the education received, this does not diminish its importance to our approach.

Nevertheless, thanks to the teachings of Lacan, we also know of the ravages of all educational methods on children. “We mistrust the profound evil of any didactic position” (1). The drive is known to reside in the heart of the demand.

This is the lesson that psychoanalysis teaches us.

Education, as Freud indicates (2), is one of the three impossible professions. Educating is an impossible task for the simple reason that structurally, desire is not educated. Because desire is unteachable, no one will ever impose a particular destiny on a child ahead of time, be it manual, intellectual or physical.

The task becomes doubly impossible at Antenne 110 when educating -reeducating, as the Social Security would have it- children whose structure has made them recalcitrant to the alienation of the signifier. The autistic child is one of these children. A subject who refuses to be represented by a signifier for another signifier. Neither metaphor nor metonymy are useful to account for the capture of the autistic subject in language.

This is our point of departure.

For forty years, we have testified to a clinical practice enlightened by the teachings of Lacan and Jacques-Alain Miller, in which the pratique à plusieurs continually relaunches new clinical approaches.

Desde hace cuarenta años, testimoniamos de una clínica iluminada por la enseñanza de Lacan y de Jacques-Alain Miller donde la practica entre varios no deja de relanzarnos en nuevos enfoques clínicos.

1.- J. Lacan, Le Séminaire, livre X, L’angoisse, Seuil, Paris, p. 332.

2.- S. Freud, Analyse finie et infinie, PUF, 1985.


Translation: Soledad Székely