By Jennifer 8. Lee | July 26, 2009
In The New York Times, Nina Bernstein writes about the troubled development of satellite kids, (often) of Chinese restaurant workers, who are sent back to China to be raised (often) by grandparents. This was the case with the Hiawassee family in book (earlier article about the family here).
A 1999 article by Somini Sengupta covers when this phenomenon of satellite children began to be observed. The babies are planned. The parents are married. They simply don’t have time to raise them. It cost $1,000 at that point to ship the babies back, and $500 to bring them back when ready for school.
Now, according to Nina’s article, the kids are coming back younger and younger — perhaps two and a half — because of free pre-school options in the city. But instead of being easier to adjust, young ages have made it harder, since that is a critical time for kids’ development. And the article describes developmental problems such as tantrums, silence, banging heads on walls, and wandering listlessly — symptoms that are sometimes misdiagnosed as autism.
Above is a short video I put together (filmed with my Canon Elph) of a nursery school in Houyu, where I interview a satellite kid.
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