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At 8:30 am every morning, Zheng Zheng, a 5-year-old boy, goes to classes at a rehabilitation center in Pingle village on Haibin Avenue in Zhanjiang, accompanied by his mother.
The courses he takes are quite different from those in normal schools.
Zheng Zheng is an autistic child. When he was two years old, his mother founded that he is a little different because he does not have eye contact with people, always plays alone and cannot express himself with words. He was eventually diagnosed with autism.
Autistic children help each other keep balance at a rehabilitation center in Zhanjiang. [Photo/gdzjdaily.com.cn]
There are many special children like Zheng Zheng in the rehabilitation center. Most of them are healthy and adorable. However, they are different from ordinary children as their eyes are expressionless; their looks are unresponsive, and they cannot speak clearly.
Teachers at the center said some of these children who are immersed in their own little world may be genius in some ways. Many of them are gifted in music; some are good at playing chess and some are excellent in calculating.
Behavioral intervention can ease autism and help patients regain normal social interaction and self-care ability. The best ages to respond to intervention are two to six.
"Some parents do not have much knowledge about autism and missed out on the best time period for possible recovery. Receiving intervention and treatment early makes quite a difference," said a teacher named Xu in the rehabilitation center.
"When my son was diagnosed with autism, I cried for days, but I didn't show it to him. Every time I took him out, I tried to protect him and did not want anyone to notice he is an autistic child," a mother said.
"There was a time when my son acted abnormal. Some parents thought he was a lunatic. That really hurt me. My biggest wish is my son can be understood and won't be ostracized by the society," she added.
Autistic children are a special group that cannot be ignored. There are more than 1.6 million children with autism in China, who have yet to receive scientific diagnosis and early intervention, as well as care and love from the society.