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Overcoming autism through art

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2014-04-02 08:38

Overcoming autism through art

Autistic children accompanied by their parents visit a sealife park in Qingdao, Shandong province. Li Ziheng / Xinhua

Artwork created by autistic children is being sold to benefit their families, but the very act of creating the work is worth more than money can buy. Liu Zhihua reports.

Beijing resident Zou Wen is very proud of her 16-year-old son.

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On special occasions, Zou will choose from all sorts of attractive postcards, bookmarks, and calendars illustrated by her boy.

She is proud because her son, Xiao Jingkang, draws beautifully, although he is autistic - a condition that has left the child unable to understand simple social norms. He has trouble in social situations and he needs constant special care and attention.

"He enjoys drawing, and everyone loves his drawings," Zou says, adding that Xiao started taking art classes in 2010 and hasn't stopped.

"I'm so happy that he is happy."

Xiao was diagnosed with the disorder when he was 3 years old, and ever since then, Zou's life has revolved around her son's needs.

A decade ago, facilities for autistic children, such as tailored education to teach everyday skills and to reduce disruptive behaviors, were scarce, but things are improving.

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