Experts call for early intervention in treatment of autistic children

Updated: Apr 3, 2024 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- Chinese experts have called for early intervention in the treatment of autistic children, as there are currently no effective medicines for autism and the treatment consists mainly of rehabilitation training.

Tuesday marks the 17th World Autism Awareness Day.

The best timing for intervention is before a child turns six, and the earlier the intervention sets in the more effective it will be, said Jia Meixiang, a senior doctor at Peking University Sixth Hospital.

For children with mild autism, the purpose of intervention and training is to help integrate them into normal daily life and study, while for those with moderate autism, the purpose is to teach them basic living skills, Jia told Xinhua.

Primary-level medical care institutions should play a major role in offering autistic children closer and more convenient accesses to intervention, according to an official with the department of women's and children's affairs of China's National Health Commission.

For instance, primary-level medical care institutions should provide preliminary autism screening services for children, and county-level institutions should take over the re-screenings, the official said.

Experts have also called on the parents of autistic children to take on more responsibilities, and proactively take their children to autism screening, diagnosis and intervention services to help them recover better.

Li Xuemei, director of Beijing's rehabilitation service center for disabled persons, said that the rehabilitation training of autistic children should be early, customized, scientific and based at the primary level, as well as highlight the participation of families.

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