A call for more social support for autistic people

Chen Huizhi
China has a large number of autistic adults but a lack of social support for them, said a deputy to the National People's Congress from Shanghai.
Chen Huizhi
A call for more social support for autistic people
Zhou Shengjie / SHINE

An autistic barista at the "Dream Workshop" cafe in Pudong, a business that employs mentally challenged people.

China has a large number of autistic adults but a lack of social support for them, said a deputy to the National People's Congress from Shanghai.

Although some autistic adults have completed nine years of compulsory education, they have almost no access to quality vocational education, said the deputy, Liu Yan, who is vice head of Minhang District.

There are about 230,000 people above the age of 14 with autism in Shanghai, and more than 10 million in China, so autistic adults without proper care could become a social problem, Liu said.

"Helping these people live on their own and gain acceptance from society should be a priority," she said.

She suggests the government train more specialized teachers for autistic people, provide additional employment support for those with autism and work to create greater awareness among the general public of this group of people.

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