Campaign raises awareness for autism

An Autism Awareness Day campaign was held at Kaiyuan Mediterranean shopping mall in Songjiang District on a Sunday ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.
Campaign raises awareness for autism
Yue Cheng / Ti Gong

Children perform during an Autism Awareness Day campaign held at Kaiyuan Mediterranean shopping mall in Songjiang District on a Sunday ahead of World Autism Awareness Day.

An Autism Awareness Day campaign was held at Kaiyuan Mediterranean shopping mall in Songjiang District on a Sunday ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. More than 1,000 people took part and tens of thousands of blue ribbons, symbols of help and gratitude, were distributed by about 500 volunteers to passers-by who later hung them along streets in the district.

The campaign, guided by the Shanghai Charity Foundation’s Songjiang branch, Songjiang Civil Affairs Bureau and Songjiang Disabled Persons Rehabilitation and Guidance Center, was co-launched by Shanghai Yibai Public Welfare Enquiry and Service Center, Xingyue Child Development Service Center and Shanghai Cat Trip Outdoor Club. Over 20 institutes, enterprises and schools participated in or supported the event.

The campaign included activities such as concerts, auctions, charity sales, “newsboy” paper selling and hiking. All donations collected during the event will be used for the benefit of autistic children.

“China has about 10 million autistic patients, among which more than 2 million are child patients under 14 years old. As the social environment gets more complicated, the incidence of the disease also rises,” said Yang Liming, founder of the Xingyue Child Development Service Center.

Songjiang has about 300 diagnosed child autistic patients but the actual number is estimated to be higher as some children haven’t yet been diagnosed while others may have been misdiagnosed as having intellectual impairments.

Students from Shanghai International Studies University Songjiang Foreign Language School participated in the event by selling books, paintings and toys to raise funds.

Those young volunteers and their families also joined a hiking activity in commercial areas of Songjiang, inviting passers-by to tie blue ribbons along the streets.

Paintings by autistic children were auctioned during the campaign and about 50,000 yuan (US$7,424) was raised among five companies to help them.

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