The story appears on

Page A5

August 15, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Mom strives to care for autistic child, ill husband

Xu Huikang has been struggling for the better part of a year to make ends meet and care for her family.

The 49-year-old has a 13-year-old son with autism and her husband has stomach cancer.

She was recently given 10,000 yuan (US$1,634) by a group of parents who also have autistic children.

With money always tight, Xu decided to splurge just a little after receiving the donation. She made a toufu dish mixed with shallots and sesame oil for her husband.

Xu gave up her job 10 years ago to care for her son. The family was getting by until the end of last year when Xu’s husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

“I am always on my own despite what difficulties lie ahead,” she said. “Not until these good people came to me did I realize how much I needed help,” Xu told Shanghai Daily.

The mother is seeking help from society as the family’s medical expenses cost 2,200 yuan a month — almost half of their income.

Xu said she didn’t sleep the night she received a power bill for 60.3 yuan, double the usual amount.

“The summer is unusually hot this year. I didn’t want to turn on the air conditioner at first but my son wouldn’t calm down until I turned it on,” Xu said.

About five years ago, Xu decided to send her son to a regular school as the one for autistic children is too far from their home on Qianxi Road in Baoshan District. However, the school said Xu must be with her son at all times to prevent any accidents.

In June, Xu’s son finished primary school. Xu, a college graduate, joked that she had graduated from primary school for the second time.

“I’ve never complained because it was me who brought my son to this world and it is not his fault,” Xu said.

“Once I dreamed my son woke up and told me he was normal and was playing a joke on us for being autistic,” Xu said. “But when I woke up, I knew it was only a dream. He was still a kid and had no idea about illness and pain.”

Zhang Caihong and other parents came to help Xu’s family when they learned of their situation via a training class for autistic children in June.

She said she hoped more people could help Xu and her family.



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend