中文 |

7,000 autistic children in Kunming call for more attention

By : InKunming | Published: 2014-04-03

An autistic child is having a class in a training room.[Photo/Zhang Yujie]

An autistic child has a rest after doing exercises.[Provided to InKunming]

An autistic child amuses himself by playing a toy in the training center.[Provided to InKunming]

[InKunming--Kunming] April 2 is the 7th International Autism Day. On this day, we can not help turning our cameras on some autistic children in Kunming, who call for more attention and understanding from others.

Autistic children are also called "the kids of the star", as well as lonely angels. Up to now, there are around 7,000 autistic children living in Kunming.

Autism is usually attained inherently. Children who have autism are used to being self-reclusive, non-verbal and unconcerned. Most of them have problems of language retardation, social withdrawal, disconnection, and tend to do repetitive behaviors.

School enrollment difficulty

Due to congenital defects, most of ordinary schools denies to receive autistic children so that these children have no places to go but to learn in rehabilitation centers or enroll in special schools, or just stay at homes.

Mengduobei Rehabilitation Centre is a specialized autism rehabilitation center in Kunming. There are over 70 autistic children who receive training in the center.    

Xiao Kang, an 8-year-old autistic child, has received training in Mengduobei Rehabilitation Centre for 3 years. Even though he has reached school age, Xiao Kang has not been to study in ordinary schools for once.

"I am afraid of being rejected by schools, so that I have never contacted any school for him." said mom of Xiao Kang, helplessly and painfully.

In fact, kids like Xiao Kang are not unusual. There are 7 kids who faced difficulties in school enrollments and chose to learn in Mengduobei Rehabilitation Centre. Among them, the oldest one, Xiao Chen, is 14 years now. He has been trained in the center for 7 years.

Mengduobei Rehabilitation Centre has trained hundreds of autistic children since its establishment. By now, less than 10% children have entered ordinary schools, and no more than 10% students have entered special schools, yet the left more than 80% children have no places to go after leaving the rehabilitation center.

Lack of professional faculties

According to estimates, Kunming has around 6,000 to 7,000 autistic children.

However, except for several hospitals that provide rehabilitation departments, Kunming has 3 specialized rehabilitation centers now. Data showed that only 200 autistic children have opportunities to receive training in the province.

Besides, Kunming only has 2 or 3 special schools for autistic children. Their acceptance amount is limited so that the majority of autistic children have no places to receive education as most of ordinary children do.

The situation may get improved after construction of all the special schools in Kunming.

Nevertheless, the biggest problem that most special schools face is lack of professional teachers. By now, only one academy is provided with specialty of special education teacher in the province.

Besides, most of the rehabilitation centers and special schools are short of funds to enlarge their scales or to improve facilities.

Parents should pay more attention to children when they are at a young age

By now, no resort has been found to cure autism. However, some appropriate intervention treatments do have good effects in improving symptoms of the illness.

Parents had better pay attention to behaviors of children when they are under 1 year old, since the best period for autistic children to receive intervention treatments is between 2 years old to 3 years old.

Autistic children need more social respect and inclusion. Only dispelling misunderstanding and prejudice towards them, can the public better care and protect the autistic children from getting hurt.

Click here to view Chinese report.

    (Editors: Tracy, Cathy Chen)

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