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9.04.2008

a resource for autistic asian americans

Just read this interesting San Jose Mercury News story on the Friends of Children with Special Needs Dream Center, which runs an all-day camp providing a fun, cultural and helpful experience for predominantly autistic kids and their parents of Chinese heritage: Autistic Asians get a window of opportunity.

Based in Fremont, California, the Dream Center is believed to be the nation's only Chinese-centric, autistic-focused center. It doesn't medically treat autism, but offers innovative, holistic programming, from music lessons to weekend family potlucks, and the camp.

The Dream Center was founded by a few Chinese families in 1996, in an effort to help fellow Asians who were raised to feel ashamed of disabilities. Since then, the center's membership has soared from ten families to six hundred.

The goal is to address and eliminate the lingering stigma of autism among Chinese Americans as well as other ethnic communities, which can definitely be an uphill struggle. To learn more about the Dream Center's work, visit the organization's website here.