BioScience Trends. 2022;16(2):167-171. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01075)
Current status of and challenges posed by autism spectrum disorders in China: Prevalence, legal issues, and public awareness
Luo ZH, Qi Q, Wang KX, Zhou J, Chen S, Wang L
Over the past 30 years or so, the body of research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in China has grown steadily. With the tireless efforts of government agencies and private organizations, the legitimate rights and interests of children with ASD have been initially guaranteed through a series of education and rehabilitation reforms, yet there are still many challenges to overcome. Many quality studies on the prevalence of ASD have been conducted in recent years, but China has lacked official census data until now. Moreover, there is a general lack of awareness of ASD even among the groups that directly interact with individuals with ASD, namely parents/caregivers, teachers, and doctors. Despite that fact, ASD should be brought to the attention of professionals and policymakers so that they can take appropriate measures, which include i) early comprehensive screening and diagnosis of ASD, ii) improvement of the corresponding policies and regulatory system, and iii) promotion of public awareness of ASD.