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August 20, 2010

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Help urged over autism

SHANGHAI is being urged to do more to help autistic children and their families.

The city has been slow to set up rehabilitation centers and social security systems, experts said at the city's first autism seminar yesterday.

Ji Min, vice director of the Shanghai Disabled Persons' Federation, said there were 39 institutes offering training services for autistic kids, but fewer than 100 professionals available.

The city has more than 8,000 children diagnosed with autism, but the real figure is estimated at around 10,000 based on the fact that the prevalence of autism is one per 1,000 people, said Peng Xizhe, a professor at Fudan University.

He called for preferential policies on taxes and more educational help for autistic children.

Chen Peide, father of 27-year-old son with autism, said he worries most about who can take care of his son if he and his wife died.

"I haven't figured out any social security policies or systems for my son."

About 80 percent of people who have the condition need to rely on others to take care of them throughout their lives.


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