World Autism Awareness Day: Care for 'Children from the Stars'
A volunteer from a rehabilitation center in Hai'an, Jiangsu province plays with a child with autism on March 5. [Photo/IC]
As April 2 marks the annual World Autism Awareness Day, people throughout the world are raising awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is the 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day this year.
With the improvement of living standards, the incidence rate of autism in China is gradually increasing, with children and teenagers being high-risk groups.
Autism is a complex and lifelong developmental disability that can affect people's perceptions, emotional control, language skills, behavior, sensitivity to the environment, as well as their ability to understand and interact with other people. People with autism will face great challenges to maintaining their self-care, self-support, work, and interpersonal relationships the rest of their lives.
Many people describe children with autism as "children from the stars." One of the reasons for that is that the public is usually unable to comprehend the "world" from their perspectives. Such a beautiful metaphor reveals a deep sense of loneliness, which non-autistic people often don't understand.
According to an investigation launched by a related association in 2014, 52.4 percent of the families with autistic children interviewed in China said that one of the parents quit their job to take care of the child, leaving the family in an unpromising financial situation. The family income of 47 percent of the families interviewed was below 3,000 yuan ($457.20) per month, while for 65 percent of the families, the rehabilitation fees were around 3,000 to 8,000 yuan per month. At the beginning after diagnosis, 43.8 percent of the families refuse to accept the fact, while 44 percent hope to keep it a secret.
Children with autism attend a charity activity organized by the Nanjing Undersea World on March 30. [Photo/IC]