Autistic children from more than 1,000 families in Zhengzhou, Henan province, have more colorful lives after joining in activities designed for mutual support on psychological issues and daily life.
World Autism Awareness Day was observed on Saturday.
At the Zhengzhou Jiefu Mutual Aid Center for Parents with Exceptional Children, parents with autistic kids gathered to encourage each by sharing their experiences in raising their kids. The children learned social etiquette and other skills, including coffee-making, baking, putting on plays and sports.
"The colorful activities provided them opportunities to open their hearts and get life skills," said the center's founder, Xu Bing.
Participation was free, Xu said, noting that the aid has been given to families affected by autism in Henan for about 14 years. More autistic children are joining, she said.
Xu also mentioned the parents, who often develop psychological problems when their kids are diagnosed with autism. Some parents feel shame and hide their children at home, not letting them contact society, which is harmful to a child's growth, Xu said.
"By sharing their common sadness and experiences at the center, parents get some relief and stop thinking of themselves as people with bad luck," Xu said, adding that parents can learn how to better help their autism children undertake rehabilitation and live a better life.
"When they see their kids start to communicate and go on stage for performances, they feel proud and excited," Xu said.