April 2 is World Autism Day. CNN will feature the developmental disability with 24 hour coverage. Heartspring, a worldwide center for children with special needs, located in Wichita, KS will be highlighted during a documentary titled, Autism: A struggle in China, for their work with the country’s founding autism school, Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism in Beijing. Special Heartspring update.
Heartspring first connected with Stars and Rain in 2004 when president and CEO Gary Singleton traveled to Beijing for the China – U.S. Conference on Educating Students with Special Needs. Singleton and Stars and Rain Founder Tian Huiping, better known to Heartspring as “Hope”, became fast friends and allies, vowing to raise better awareness for autism and sharing resources for pioneering programs. In 2005, Heartspring and Stars and Rain entered into a sister school agreement.
Since 2004, Stars and Rain has sent nine teachers and staff members to Heartspring to learn from their 74 years of working with children with special needs. In March 2008, four members from Heartspring traveled to China for 10 days to provide on-side training and resources. It was during this trip that CNN International visited the autism school for coverage of World Autism Day.
In addition to Heartspring’s alliance with Stars and Rain in China, Heartspring has another sister school, The Open Door School, part of Action for Autism in New Delhi, India and has been approached by over 20 countries including Australia, Nigeria, Russia and Bangladesh for assistance and education. Heartspring World Reach, a global initiative of Heartspring seeks ways to provide knowledge and resources around the world.
To view a portion of CNN’s documentary of China, please visit: http://video.aol.com/video-detail/autism-a-struggle-in-china/3582176009. To view the CNN article, visit http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/03/31/china.autism/index.html?iref=newssearch