Autism in China


With a population of over 1.3 billion (World Bank 2011) China may be home to as many as 15 million Autistic people (1:88)

  • More than the population of NYC
  • More than half the population of Australia
  • Almost half the population of Canada

Yet at the time of writing, December 26th, 2012, my blog has received not a single visitor from the People’s Republic of China.

  • Few of my social media Autism friends have recorded blog visitors from China either!

So I have chosen the ‘Season of Goodwill’ to reach out to the Autism Community of China, to let you know that you are not alone and that people from around the World are thinking of you.


Children of the Stars

According to IMDB this documentary was made in 2009, although the Official trailer was uploaded to You tube in 2008 :-/

According to Rob Aspey who directed this documentary, the film rights were sold to Fanlight, for the US educational market and so the film price, of several hundred US dollars, reflects the high cost of special copyright clearances for Universities and Libraries.



Ocean Heaven

This is a feature length Autism themed movie from China.

The film was written and directed by Xue Xiaolu, a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy.

Ocean Heaven was completed with a budget of just US$ 1m and stars Jet Li in his first full drama role as a terminally ill father of an Autistic son.

Here’s the trailer:


The entire movie can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Ocean Heaven

I will be posting a separate movie review of Ocean Heaven, as a blog page, in the next few weeks.

I will also be posting further information on Children of the Stars and its related projects, also as a blog page.

To all my readers, I wish you all a New Year that includes joy, wherever you are, whatever you look like and regardless of your Faith.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kate E Reynolds
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 03:53:34

    I will be attending (& probably speaking) at a conference in Beijing at the end of March. I’d be happy ti do some guest blogs for you.

    All the best



  2. Kate E Reynolds
    Jan 01, 2013 @ 06:47:38

    Okey doke. I’ve just booked the flight, so will be in touch nearer the time :-))


  3. Trackback: A World of #Autism – My mission « Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum
  4. Michael Boll (@autismpodcast)
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 18:55:49

    I have a 13 year old son with autism and we have been living in China for 5.5 years now.

    Thanks so much for sharing these videos. People with special needs are still often hidden here. I think it may be a result of China’s extreme poverty for many years. Having a special needs child was/is a huge burden to Chinese families. It meant the family had someone to take care of for a long time and the parents had one less person they could rely on to help them in their later years.

    My wife and I helped start a school for kids with special needs.

    I suspect the reason you have not seen any hits from China on your blog is that is blocked here in China. I am using a VPN to reach you right now!


  5. Meghan Hussey
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 20:03:33

    Thank you so much for posting these and helping raise awareness of the issues people with autism face in China! These movies are helping to grow awareness here, especially with the help of the celebrity Jet Li and his One Foundation. There are also lot of autism organizations getting attention on the Chinese version of twitter ( . However, there challenges faced by people with autism and their families are huge and the social stigma is really terrible. I’m spending a year here on a Fulbright grant doing research on the developing autism programs, especially programs for autistic adolescents and adults of which there are very few. My sister is 21 and has autism so this is very personal for me. I would be happy to do some guest blogs or share information with you! My own blog is


  6. Meghan Hussey
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 20:21:29

    Great! Tumblr is not blocked now, although it was when I was here in 2011 (the government can change these quickly and without much explanation…) I’m using a VPN to get on your blog now and most foreigners here use them. It’s quite a shame because the Chinese netizen world is quite vibrant with Weibo (Chinese twitter) and QQ (Chinese MSN/GChat). Parents of children with Autism and Autism organizations/teachers here are starting to use it more and more to connect. Unfortunately there are very very few self-advocates here, mostly due to lack of education/services and false assumptions about autism. I sometimes give talks about my family’s story and when they hear my sister used to type on a computer to communicate before she started talking at age 10 they can’t believe it. We have a long way to go here but we’re starting to make some progress!


    • spectrumscribe
      Feb 05, 2013 @ 20:28:31

      Megan, please feel free to reproduce material from my blog in your Tumblr blog.

      I have been wondering about setting up a mirror website that can be accessed by those for whom WP, social media in general and even VPN are blocked.


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