Jiang Yingshuang is the founder of Dami & Xiaomi, which operates a comprehensive information platform to cater to children with autism. Jiang previously worked as a senior reporter for a major newspaper in China.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
KrASIA (Kr): What is it like to raise an autistic child in China today? Can you elaborate on the difficulties?
Jiang Yingshuang (JY): As a mother, I know from personal experience that raising a child is no mean feat. And in the years of building up Dami & Xiaomi, I’ve gone a step further: to explore the struggles of raising an autistic child within the family unit. I maintain close contact with these families raising autistic children here in China. Perhaps the best way to describe their journey would be ‘a lifelong challenge’ – not only in terms of the financial burden to the family but also because the level of education and quality of medical treatment for autistic children is often inadequate.
Presently, there is a shortage of autism care professionals in China. We do not have enough specialists, and so many suffering from autism go undiagnosed and those who are diagnosed receive very basic treatment. Medical resources are also aggregated in national or state hospitals, with almost zero benefits at the grassroots level. Therefore, the problems in autism exist throughout the entire process – from consultation to diagnosis to treatment to follow-up.
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