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  • Chris McMillan

Tolerance urged for children with special needs

China Daily

22nd August 2022

Tolerance urged for children with special needs

Every time Mickey takes a flight with his parents and other family members, he travels with them in the first or business class cabin.

However, his parents are not pampering Mickey, who has autism spectrum disorder. Being in economy class significantly increases the risk of him offending a passenger or crew member during a flight.

Zhang Jing, Mickey's grandmother, hopes that society can be more tolerant of those like Mickey who have special needs. "Based on our experience, there is more tolerance for such children on international flights," she said.

Mickey was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 3, since when he has undergone therapy with Zhu Daqian, a pediatric psychologist and director of the psychology department at Children's Hospital of Fudan University.

Due to early intervention, the 10-year-old now leads a relatively normal life. Although he has found Chinese lessons challenging, he excels in math and has a strong interest in science. He also has a flair for music and can compose pieces for piano.

Although he is still shy, he no longer avoids eye contact when communicating with his family members, teachers and close friends. According to Zhang, it is difficult to tell that Mickey has the disorder, until he starts acting up in public.

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