Light the way forward for "children of the stars"

Editor's note

April 2 is the "World Autism Awareness Day". Every April, various charity activities are held in various places to care about "children from the stars".

Child autism is still a medical problem in the world. There are more than 10 million people with autism in my country.

What kind of survival dilemma does this group face, and can they receive sufficient social support?

Recently, our reporter walked into a service organization in Beijing that accepts people with mental disabilities to learn how they learn self-care and employment skills in the organization, hoping to use this as a reference to explore the possibility of this group being accepted by the mainstream society.

People with mental disabilities mainly include four categories: autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and mental retardation. They have inherent communication difficulties, learning disabilities and social interaction barriers.

With increasing attention to the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, my country has made progress in supporting the right to education, employment and elderly care for people with mental disabilities, but the current employment rate of people with mental disabilities in my country is still less than 5%, and most families of patients still bear a heavy burden. The burden of life.

The "14th Five-Year Plan" outline proposes to improve the employment support system for the disabled and strengthen the protection of the labor rights of the disabled.

How to build an effective support system for this goal?

Pay attention to this edition.

  Sibo is 33 years old and feels very happy to hear others call him "handsome".

He likes to travel and has a strict savings plan. When choosing a restaurant, he is most concerned about the hygiene of the bathroom.

This introduction sounds unremarkable, but the special thing is that Sibo is an autistic patient with a second-level intellectual disability.

  When he was 3 years old, Sibo still couldn't speak, his parents took him to Beijing Sixth Hospital and diagnosed with autism.

In the days that followed, his parents worked hard to take him for treatment and training, but due to the limited economic conditions and the requirement of requiring at least one person to accompany him for a long time, the training was intermittent.

  The kindergarten barely finished. After attending a regular elementary school for a month, Sibo was dismissed because he couldn't understand the teacher's instructions.

At the Peizhi School, which specializes in special education, Sibo went to school for two or three years. Because he had difficulty controlling his emotions, he might break glass and attack people when he became impatient, and was persuaded by Peizhi School to leave.

  The mentally handicapped are part of the large group of disabled people in our country, and they often have to face this kind of uncertainty in the future.

How can they realize their self-worth and gain social recognition and acceptance?

1. It has nothing to do with ability, but right

  Sibo stayed at home for a few years and was taken care of by his father full-time.

Later, it was introduced that the Lizhi Rehabilitation Center in Fengtai District, Beijing (hereinafter referred to as the "Lizhi Center") can provide services for children with mental disabilities. So in 2001, Sibo came here.

At that time, the Lizhi Center had just been established for one year.

  At that time, there were not many organizations that could provide services to people with mental disabilities. The philosophy of Lizhi Center's services was "zero rejection". From very young children to the elderly, they all provided services, and when there were many service targets, there were 70 or 80 people.

  In 2012, Feng Lu, director of the Lizhi Center, began to rethink the development direction of the center.

The direct reason is what Bao Yijun, a senior special education expert from Taiwan, said when training the employees of the Lizhi Center, "Of all the disabilities, the mentally disabled have the worst lives. These young people live every day. Asking'when can I take a bath or when can I go out'. Their lives are arranged, and they wait for meals and baths every day, and wait for the end of their lives."

  This is a huge group.

According to estimates from the sixth national census and the second national sample survey of persons with disabilities, at the end of 2010, the total number of persons with disabilities in my country was 85.02 million, and the number of people with mental disabilities was approximately 12-20 million.

How to make their study, work and life more dignified and more comfortable?

  "In fact, in recent years, our country has explored various points, such as early intervention, integrated education, vocational schools, nursing services, etc., but for people with mental disabilities, what is urgently needed is a linear, full life cycle. Support. They need support and help from school to graduation, from graduation to work or entering community life, and then entering nursing homes when they grow old.” Feng Lu said, especially the anxiety of many families with mental disabilities is 18 years old from school. How to spend the long life stage after graduation to 60 years old before entering nursing home.

  Bao Yijun suggested Lizhi Center to provide independent living services.

Following this suggestion, the Lizhi Center has become the first institution in mainland China to explore the provision of services for people with mental disabilities to live independently, focusing on providing transfer services for people with mental disabilities who have entered the career stage or community life from school: People, when they have suitable opportunities, support them to integrate into the working environment; those who have no desire to find employment or have certain difficulties, provide services for them to live independently.

  Feng Lu specifically changed "self-reliance" to "self-reliance", "When you say "self-reliance", everyone may think that it has something to do with ability. "Self-reliance" emphasizes that he has the right to go through the process that should be experienced in life, and has a quality degree Live a lifetime. He may encounter some difficulties in this process, which requires our support."

2. "Heart Youth" is moving towards life independence

  Sibo likes to go to the Lizhi Center.

There are 11 assistants, mostly in special education, social work, psychology and other related majors.

At the Lizhi Center, people with mental disabilities are called "heart youth"; those who help "heart youth" are not called teachers, but assistants; "heart youth" are not distinguished by the degree of disability, but only look at the frequency and frequency of their respective needs for support. strength.

  The "heart youth" here first gained considerable development in self-care ability.

  Sometimes professional methods of special education are needed.

Sibo did not have the ability to express himself for a long time, unable to express his own thoughts. Yang Chao, the assistant of special education major, wrote a lot of daily expressions on white paper, so that Sibo could read it every morning and memorize it after reading it.

Later, he was encouraged to practice in specific situations, "For example, if he wants to eat candy, let him speak out first, and then give him the candy."

  More is to let them experience in life.

  "For example, when Sibo first learns to cook, he needs assistants or parents to guide him, cut a few knives, how to turn over, and try more, he can operate independently." Feng Lu believes that as they continue to accumulate Experience will continue to improve.

  Sibo learns quickly. He can clean and cook. He learned to take the bus very early on the long road from Haidian to Fengtai. He remembers the place name of each stop.

  Every Monday is the time for planning, and the content is what the "heart youths" want to do during the week.

Go to the park to play, to sing... The content of the plan is very detailed. Choose who to team up with, make the schedule, and discuss how to allocate funds. Everyone must participate and speak.

On Friday, everyone will verify the quality of the plan.

"Heart Youth" has more sense of gain and happiness here.

3. Get employment opportunities, their world is widening

  Feng Lu is not satisfied with this.

The "Heart Youth" of the Lizhi Center had been living in the center from Monday to Friday before returning home on Saturday and Sunday.

Feng Lu feels that living in the center for a long time can hardly describe the quality of life.

In 2015, the Lizhi Center rented 3 houses in the community, and opened the community evening life-an autonomous living center for 12 willing "young people".

  When discussing the support system for people with mental disabilities, one often sees comments like “the cost is too high”.

However, based on the experience of the Lizhi Center, this cost can be gradually reduced.

"Support is to stop supporting in the end. If they are given care blindly, their ability to act will deteriorate. But if they are given support, so that they can gradually be able to take care of their lives, the support they need will gradually decrease. "Feng Lu said.

  The initial professional support required is huge, and the "dormitory" of four girls needs two assistants to accompany around the clock.

The assistant led the "heart youths" to visit the neighbors one by one, hoping that everyone could understand their characteristics.

After they "have a familiar face" in the canteen downstairs, the neighbors will take the initiative to pay attention to their movements.

Zhang Li is one of the girls who live in the self-reliance center. She takes a bus to the Lizhi Center at 8 o'clock every morning.

Because she is fatter and has difficulty getting in the car, people who ride in the car at the same time every day will help her get in the car.

  The world of the "heart youth" is widening little by little.

"The more they are in contact with society, the higher their degree of socialization, and the more they can integrate into the mainstream society." Assistant Han Na introduced that the Lizhi Center has so far supported 98 mentally handicapped people in independent employment, of which 65 have stable employment.

Bakeries, car wash shops, hotels...More and more companies are opening up opportunities to them, and some people have embarked on charity positions in foreign companies.

"Having a job with a friendly atmosphere and being accepted by the people around them makes them very happy." Han Na said.

  Zhou Haibin is the founder of Rongyi Consulting, who specializes in providing human resources for people with disabilities.

Summarizing five years of experience, he found that companies that can continue to hire people with disabilities have found the value of differences among people with disabilities.

"Hearing impaired people are more likely to concentrate, and mentally impaired people will never cut corners. For example, in hotel cleaning work, ordinary employees may just look at the light outside, but mentally impaired employees will definitely do as many times as required. Their jobs are Quality can bring benefits to enterprises."

  "Although they have communication barriers, social interaction barriers, and learning barriers, as long as the company refines their needs and develops positions suitable for different barriers, they have professional strength to provide them with pre-employment training and provide a certain period of supervision and support in their positions. And do a follow-up visit in the follow-up, most of the'heart youth' can do the job." Han Na said.

4. No more preconceived judgments

  But they will encounter many obstacles as they move towards a larger social space.

  Feng Lu encountered ups and downs when taking Sibo to attend a seminar on mentally handicapped services in other places.

Because the passengers in the front row of the high-speed rail had been talking loudly, Sibo, who was listening to songs on headphones, was disturbed and was too anxious, and scratched the front passengers recklessly.

Later, the Lizhi Center issued an apology and accompanied the doctor for an examination. After the doctor said that it was okay, the contact information was left.

However, soon after, the Lizhi Center received a lawsuit against the other party for a claim of nearly 80,000 yuan.

In the end, the court only supported the plaintiff's very small part of the inspection fee and ruled that the plaintiff should bear more than 1,000 yuan in litigation costs.

  "The characteristics of autism are communication difficulties and anxiety. We rarely see them in social life, and because we don't understand them, we rarely tolerate people with different characteristics." Feng Lu sighed, the society is very concerned about this group. Overall, there is still a lack of understanding. For example, in public spaces such as high-speed rail, some police officers do not know how to properly handle similar incidents.

  For a long time, the handicapped group has been divided into "others" outside the mainstream of society.

It was not until the end of the 1950s that the movement for the rights of persons with disabilities emerged worldwide, and the idea that "the disabled should become the subject of their rights" began to sprout.

It takes time to change.

"In the 1980s, it was generally believed that people with disabilities needed special care. In 1992, an organization in the United States that specializes in the field of mental disabilities found in practice to provide some support for people with mental disabilities, including supportive life, supportive education, and supportive education. Supportive employment will bring very good results. Around 2001, the international concept for the disabled has shifted from'special care' to'support services'." said Xu Jiacheng, vice chairman of the China Disabled Rehabilitation Association.

  Chinese practices to protect the rights of people with mental disabilities are also increasing.

In recent years, based on the Law on the Protection of the Disabled, the "Regulations on the Education of the Disabled" and the "Regulations on the Employment of the Disabled" have been revised and promulgated. More than 50 laws directly related to the protection of the rights of the disabled have been promoted to promote the education and employment of the disabled. , Rehabilitation and other work norms development.

  Nowadays, the concept of independent living is recognized by more and more families and service organizations of people with mental disabilities.

During the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the Lizhi Center launched online courses. Starting from February 2020, it has provided services to 12,976 people with mental disabilities and their families. It also provided training for staff of peer institutions. Compared with the scale of offline services, this The radiation surface is much wider.

"Nowadays, many organizations want to provide independent living services, but there is still a long way to go in specific methods, such as how to conduct needs assessment, service plan formulation, service effect evaluation, etc.," Feng Lu said.

(Our reporter Chen Huijuan)

【Stones of Other Mountains】

  Germany is a European model for supportive employment for people with mental disabilities.

Germany first provides hierarchical support for people with mental disabilities at the educational level. After graduating from a special school, people with mental disabilities will enter employment preparatory classes to prepare for entry into the workplace.

The mentally handicapped person will go to no less than 5 companies for experience in the preparatory class to determine whether he likes this job and whether this job is suitable for him.

The duration of each experience varies, and the entire process lasts about 3 years. The government provides subsidies to enterprises and provides welfare guarantees for the mentally disabled to ensure that they can achieve stable employment.

After confirming the position, the employment counselor will help the mentally handicapped get familiar with the work and adapt to the environment. The employment counselor will visit or follow up by phone for 3 hours a week.

  Japan has promoted supportive employment for people with mental disabilities since 1998. There are three types of employment counselors: one is from public employment guidance centers, accounting for about 25% of all employment counselors; the other is from social organizations, accounting for about 64%; There is another category of employment counselors within the enterprise, accounting for about 10%.

The last category is Japan’s innovations.

Employment counsellors who have received official certification training to ensure that people with mental disabilities can integrate into work can become integration ambassadors within the company, develop jobs suitable for people with mental disabilities, and support people with mental disabilities to achieve employment. The government will pay for them. wage.

(Compiled by our reporter Chen Huijuan)