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  • Chris McMillan

Hidden challenges

China Daily

15th April 2021

Hidden challenges

A film shows that society can do more to help children with autism and offer greater support to their parents,

Fang Aiqing reports.

A film featuring the triumphs and tribulations of a single mother bringing up her son with autism was screened at the China Disabled Persons' Federation in Beijing on April 1, the day before World Autism Awareness Day.

Dream Forest presents not only the differences in behavior of Kangjian, 10, and the consequent misunderstandings of him by others, but also the financial, psychological and social pressure his mother Xiaobei faces.

Autism spectrum disorder covers a variety of conditions. Some are affected more than others. For example, some people with autism do not use spoken language, while others have excellent spoken language skills but may find it difficult to understand what other people mean.

People with autism usually lack social abilities and find it hard to communicate or interact with others. They also have difficulty empathizing with others and can behave rigidly like speaking to themselves in improper situations, repeatedly doing one movement or not looking at other people. The brain of a person with autism works in a different way.

Those that have the condition may have difficulty in doing the most basic things, such as taking care of themselves, and need to be looked after almost at all times and places.

In the movie, Kangjian can barely talk. His repetitive knocking on the walls disturbs their neighbors.

On one occasion, Kangjian is woken and frightened by a late-night thunderstorm when his mother has to lock him in and take a part-time job to earn much needed cash. The police and an ambulance are called to check on him and calm him down.

Later when Xiaobei goes to work in a kindergarten where Kangjian has a room to spend the day, the boy is found by other children. Misunderstandings occur and they reach their peak when the boy improperly reacts to an instinct.

China has more than 10 million people with autism.

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