The Nanfang / Blog


Community rallies around autistic students, but still a long way to go

Posted: 09/28/2012 7:00 am

The two sad incidents that were caused by autism happened in Shenzhen last week, have got people talking, but as always in China, there are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic.

As we told you, Li Meng, 15, was forbidden from entering his classroom at Baocheng Elementary School on August 27, even though he was eager to learn, according to his mother Hao Nan.

Now, high-profile charity the One Foundation, which was founded by Jet Li, is helping him get back into the school and get the attention he needs from specially trained teachers, the charity’s spokesperson Yao Yao told Shenzhen Daily.

The foundation launched the Marine Paradise Project in October 2011, which is dedicated to helping children with autism, cerebral palsy and other diseases, Yao told the paper.

However, an incident in Guangzhou that happened July 2 and was reported by Southern Metropolis Daily yesterday shows there is still some way to go before an enlightened attitude towards autism spreads through the land.

Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday that a teacher at a school for disadvantaged children in Guangzhou’s Fanyu District knocked a 4 year-old autistic student unconscious after holding her upside down and dropping her to the ground.

The 30 year-old female teacher, Xu Lihuan was punishing the girl, Xiao Yao, 4, for failing to keep up during a sports activity. Two other teachers saw Xu drop the child and immediately called an ambulance. Xu and the two teachers accompanied the child to the hospital.

A soon as they found out what happened, Xiao Yao’s parents called the police. Xu’s family offered to pay 20,000 RMB to cover the medical fees, but the fees have already run up to around 80,000 RMB. Xiao Yao is still unconscious.

Major cities in China are currently woefully ill-equipped to deal with the number of autistic children they have, Shenzhen Daily explained.

And if this teacher, who may face jail time, is anything to go by, it’s not just infrastructure that’s the problem.

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