Autism in Chinese is known as "zibizheng," literally "self-isolation syndrome," or loneliness disease.
It's a feeling shared by the parents of autistic children.
"I feel depressed and helpless I don't know how to deal with this," said Meng Xi in an interview with CNN.
He said sometimes it seems his daughter barely knows he's there but the loving father said he is always there. He does not dare leave her side.
Meng Xi brought his daughter to a special center for autistic children on the outskirts of Beijing. There, some 30 children, from toddlers to five and six years old, get specialized one-on-one care. Teachers use music and animal therapy to help unlock what could be inside the children's world.
But these facilities are rare in China and parents and teachers complain of a lack of such facilities.
The government helps subsidize the center, but parents still need to pay a lot of money for their children's special education. Meng Xi pays the equivalent of $500 a month -- almost his entire monthly salary.
Autism is China's number one mental disorder, according to a research paper presented at the International Autism Research Conference in Shanghai last year.
Yet a recent survey by the Shenzhen Autism Society in southern China reveals an alarming lack of professional or government support.
The brutal treatment of four-year-old Qiu Yaoyao, shockingly captured in that grainy closed-circuit television clip, is a grim reminder of that.