Thursday, April 2, 2009

For World Autism Day: Autism in China

Today is the 2nd annual World Autism Day. I found an article that focuses on autism in China. As we know, autism is a worldwide phenomenon. Families with autism face similar difficulties no matter where they live. These difficulties include, a lack of adequate resources (especially in rural areas), a lack of opportunities for adults, acceptance, and a lack of support for parents.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

"For decades, autism went largely undiagnosed in China even as in the West awareness was growing of the condition. China only recognised autism as a disability in 2006.

"Autism is very unknown in China. If you ask people on the street, 90 percent of them have never heard of it," said Tian Huiping, the founder of China's pioneering school for autism, Stars and Rain, in the suburbs of Beijing.

My thoughts
: If you read to the end of the article you will find that the founder of the said pioneering school for autism is the mother of a son with autism. I find that interesting, because I'm finding it common that a mother of a child with autism will create a much needed resource in her community. See here for an example.

Also, I also was interested in China's cultural aspect of the younger generation caring for aging parents. In families with a child with autism this is not probable (especially with China's infamous one-child rule). Instead these parents face the world-wide problem of not being able to find good homes/opportunities for their adult children with autism and may have to care for their offspring as they become elderly.

P.S. Here is my World Autism Day post from last year.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like China is very much like the US was in the 1960's when my sister was growing up. She was misdiagnosed and did not receive proper diangosis until she was 37. Currently, at 51, she is part of an innovative program for adults called Beyond Academics, a program she loves. In case you are interested, I wrote a memoir about what it was like growing up with Becky before anyone understood about autism. The book is AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: AUTISM, MY SISTER AND ME (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007) You can read more about it at or on Amazon.
I think the families of autistic folks have been most influential in getting help and enlightening the public. I hope this is what my book can do, too.
I like your blog and wish you the very best.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, I did not know that!

Anonymous said...

I'd never thought about how the one child rule would cause some problems with aging parents and also with no other child for parents to compare theirs with.

Interesting article!