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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Autism groups lack staff, funding

By Huang Yuli in Shenzhen (China Daily)

09:44, March 26, 2012

Wang Ming instructs an autistic 3-year-old in Lanzhou, Gansu province. Wang must repeat the same word as many as 1,000 times before the child can pronounce it. Cao Zhizheng / for China Daily

The country's fledgling autism organizations are short of professional staff and government support, a survey released on Sunday shows.

More than half of the autism organizations, or rehabilitation centers, covered in the survey in South China were founded by parents of autistic children, and they raised 75 percent of their initial funding on their own, according to the Shenzhen Autism Society and One Foundation charity, which co-organized the survey.

About 91 percent of the operating costs of these groups are paid by the families of autism sufferers, the report said.

The report is part of a larger national report to be released on April 2, which is 5th World Autism Awareness Day.

The national report, the first of its kind in China, is based on 2,092 questionnaires completed by 56 autism organizations, 988 parents of autistic patients, 510 employees of autism organizations and 538 community organizers. Two-thirds of the questionnaires were submitted from South China.

Liao Yanhui, the secretary-general of the Shenzhen Autism Society, said: "Autism treatment in China faces many difficulties, but there is no statistical support in this field. So we started systematic research in 2009 with financial support from One Foundation."

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