April 2 World Autism Awareness Day
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. To mark the day, in a moment we will meet a director who shot four features, documenting four different autistic youngsters, to help us understand their unique world; but first, we travel to the renowned Cafe' Astoria, which has been open since 1949 here in Taipei, Taiwan. In the coffee shop, the works of a celebrated 21-year-old artist is on display. He has even been compared to Picasso. He is Leland Lee, and he has autism.
柏毅能有今天這樣的成就，都要感謝母親簡靜惠耐心無私的照顧，從幼稚園到高中母親一直陪伴在側。 李柏毅的母親 簡靜惠：「你要乖乖安靜看著鏡頭。他很專注，他永遠都像掉進縫裡，不是老師沒有耐性，就是不然就是同學會欺負他。」 李柏毅的父親 李永碩：「我太太花很多精神在找一個最適合他學習的環境，換老師啊，換班級啊，換學校，我們總共換過11所學校。」
多才多藝的柏毅， 游泳參賽屢屢獲獎，甚至突破自閉症不擅言語的挑戰，今年還將在坎城影展上獻唱生命歷程。 「一閃一閃亮晶晶，滿天都是小星星。」
知名柏克萊大學畢業的簡靜惠，為了柏毅，毅然放棄保險公司主管工作，但她認為非常值得。李柏毅的母親簡靜惠：「我在他身上我可以學到生命的特質、真正的意義，真的就是很簡單，就是愛與耐心，沒有什麼技巧。」 李柏毅的父親 李永碩：「這是一條艱難的路，可是在這種艱難當中、患難中，能使人產生一種力量，可以克服萬難破繭而出，這是一路走來的歷練。」
< Inside the legendary Cafe' Astoria… >
Cafe' Astoria in Taipei was once the cradle of Taiwan's 60's-era literary circle. Stepping into this legendary cafe', one's attention is immediately snagged by the powerful and colorful paintings. They are old works completed by the owner's grandson, Leland Lee, done when he was just eight.
Leland was born with autism, and it was painting that opened the world up to him. Leland Lee's father, Lee Yongshuo: "God has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us. It is up to us to understand God's will. When we do, our life will have a direction and a goal."
< Gifted in the arts from birth >
When Leland was just 18 months old, his parents were already seeing signs of a latent artistic talent. By age seven, Leland was producing his own interpretations of works by Picasso. At eight, he was in Los Angeles, attending art classes with college students. By 10, some in the US media were declaring Leland an art prodigy.
< A patient loving mother >
Leland would not be where he is today without the nurturing love of his mother, Jian Jinghui(簡靜惠), who stayed at his side every day, from kindergarten through high school
Ok, you need to be quiet and look at the camera, okay?
He's quite focused.
Leland Lee's mother, Jian Jinghui: "It's like he is always falling through the cracks; either teachers ran out of patience with him, or he'd get bullied by classmates."
Leland Lee's father, Lee Yongshuo: "My wife spent a lot of time finding the best environment for Leland to grow up in, such as changing instructors, classes, and schools. In all, we went through 11 schools in the process."
< Leland to sing at Cannes Festival >
Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are...
Leland is also quite an accomplished swimmer, and despite his autism, Leland will be singing about his life at this year's Cannes Festival. Leland's mother, a graduate of renowned UC Berkley, left behind a good paying middle-management job at an insurance company to care for him; she says it was worth it.
Leland Lee's mother, Jian Jinghui: "Through Leland, I learned life's uniqueness and its true meaning. It is really simple: just love and patience. There are no other tricks to learn."
< Life is about rising above challenges >
Leland Lee's father, Lee Yongshuo: "It is not an easy road to travel, but by enduring the challenges and overcoming them, we are given strength to overcome all obstacles. That's the reward of our journey."
< Looking into the world of autism >
Renowned Taiwanese director, Lin Zhengsheng(林正盛) has turned Leland's story into a documentary to be shown to the public, so more people may understand the world of autism. Leland is also doing his part for the society, which is all any parent should ever ask for.
＊ this article contents is quoted from DaAi TV ＊