Original Article： Sina | April 2, 2017
To most Chinese, April the 2nd is just another Qingmingholiday. It however is considered a very important day for families who are caring for autistic children. Man has come a long way in becoming more cognizant of autistic disorder since 1943 when the first case of autism was diagnosed. Through a decision reached in December 2007 in a United Nation conference, every April the 2nd starting from 2008 will be recognised as "World Autism Awareness Day" as a day to foster the public's support, understanding and care towards autistic patients.
There are an estimated number 76 million people who are suffering from autism, around 13 million of them are Chinese, who make up close to one fifth of that population. Among the 380 million children in China, it is estimated that around two million are autistic. Despite the sheer numbers, society's understanding and awareness of them and their needs remain largely obscured, they lack the support and understanding. Consequently, this does not just breed fear among those who have to grow up with the condition, but also cause worry and anxiety of their families, which is an issue society can no longer afford to neglect.
East of the Pacific Ocean in the United States, a growing number of people are beginning to look into researches on autism and how to attend to the needs they require. Early since 2005, Vice President of GE (General Electric Company) Bob Wright and Suzanne established Autism Speaks in order to provide autism researches and treatment a large sum of financial resources; at the same time, the organization carried out a series of activities to help raise public awareness. Every April 2nd, Autism Speaks launches the "Light It Up Blue" Campaign and encourage everyone to wear blue as a symbol of acceptance and respect towards autism patients.
In China, autism is becoming an issue that is receiving more and more attention from the public. This year on April 2nd, Lions Club association, Pei Le education and other institutions are joining hands to organise an artistic performance night "Loving Kindness in Springtime" at Shanghai Putong Dongtang Bridge community cultural centre. The event seeks to raise awareness of autism and to foster a community environment which is conducive towards the healthy development of special needs children. Worth noting is that American Hollywood star Matthew will also be participating in the event in support of autistic children.
Due to work, Matthew is currently filming in Los Angeles and was not present at the event in person, but has sent his loving greetings to autistic children present as well as all autistic children in China. Matthew will be donating an electric organ to the children of Pei Le educational Institution, enabling many more "children of the stars" to develop a greater spectrum of abilities for their future path.
To serve society and cater to the greater needs is a principle Matthew uphold despite his bust schedule, Matthew is always on the lookout for ways in which he can contribute towards the development and wellbeing of children. In 2010, he volunteered as a teacher in Duyun, Guizhou province for two long years. Matthew believes that every child is a unique seedling that has different blooming period. Some flowers appear in the utmost beauty on the onset, while may take sometime. Bearing fruits however, is not just a probability, it is a certainty. A beautiful flower requires nurturing from a good gardener, and Matthew is he, who is willing to spend time, money and energy to nurture the "flowers of the world".