Inclusive art education brings love, care for lone autistic children

Share This Post

Inclusive art education brings love, care for lone autistic children
Huang Wei teaches a student how to paint colors at the Sunflower training center for children with autism in Huainan, east China's Anhui Province, March 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Bohan)

Half an hour before class, art teacher Dong Fangyi started to prepare for the day, putting out brushes and canvas with the help of his 14-year-old student Dazhi (pseudonym).

The scene in the class was a little out of the ordinary as some students were silent and concentrating while others were restless and excited, banging on their desks.

All of the children in the class have been diagnosed with autism, romantically known as "children like the stars" in China.

The painting studio was founded by a public welfare service center in Xi'an, the capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, which mainly involves parents of children with mental disabilities from more than 600 households.

With an operation model of mutual assistance, the parents are not forcing their children to rehabilitate but allowing them to develop their abilities through proper social interaction.

"Through painting, they can improve their artistic creativity and concentration while gaining some confidence," said Chen Ao, founder of the center, also a mother of her autistic child.

Having been teaching the children for more than five years, Dong is now one of their best friends. He himself has an autistic patient in his family and organized the art class with other parents of their own accord.

"For those showing stronger learning abilities, they are given more free rein to create. We guide those having weaker self-control with one-on-one help," Dong said.

"We give more detailed painting subjects for quiet personality types and use some different coaching skills to lead the others. For instance, motivating their hand movement by tapping the table or even laying the pigment on their hands," he added.

After years of training and guidance, the children patients have gradually gained some basic self-care abilities and some even can do housework like cooking meals by themselves.

Autism in China has an incidence rate of 0.7 percent, and more than 2 million children under the age of 12 are autistic. The figure is rising by about 200,000 each year, according to a report released in 2019. This year's World Autism Awareness Day falls on Saturday, aiming to raise public awareness to show respect, love and care for the "lonely" minors.

"I hope that after undergoing a long period of interactive training, they can depend on themselves to earn some income, their own achievements and true respect, if there are some platforms and opportunities," Dong said.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download

Related Posts

COMME MOI kicks off Shanghai Fashion Week

Chinese supermodel Lyu Yan's fashion brand COMME MOI kicked off the Spring/Summer 2023 Shanghai Fashion Week in Xintiandi on Thursday.

Exhibition motivates actions to address pressing climate issues

China Climate Action Week Thematic Exhibition, running through Sunday at Inter Art Center and Gallery in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, gathers the works of 15 artists from around the world that respond to the climate crisis. Their creations invite the audience into a discussion reflecting on the ways of coexistence between the humankind and nature, the impacts of human activities on the climate change, and how to participate in and accelerate climate action.

Beijing based sculptor’s exhibition a highlight in Shanghai

Blue in White is the solo exhibition of Beijing-based sculptor Cao Yun at The Place, a commercial complex in Hongqiao area of Shanghai, going on from Sep 2 to Nov 16.

Concert held in Ulan Bator to promote China-Mongolia friendship

A concert was held in Ulan Bator Wednesday to promote cultural ties and friendship between China and Mongolia.

Guangzhou alley adorned with cat murals

Many cute cats, painted on exterior walls along Baimi Alley in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, have drawn photo enthusiasts. They are part of a project in Renmin subdistrict to brighten up old communities.

Chinese designers shine at London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week in the British capital has witnessed a never-before-seen representation and diversity of new designers and models on the catwalks showing their spring/summer 2023 collections, with voices calling for even more collaborations with Chinese businesses and creators.
- Advertisement -spot_img