Meet Bin F.
Bin F., a leader and champion for the Chinese-American autism community
We all share the same goal: let our loved ones with autism live their full potentials.
Meet Bin from New York: As a parent of a son with autism, Bin is a dedicated autism advocate. He and his wife have used their lived experiences to help make a difference within their community and empower their son, Vincent. Bin leverages his knowledge and network to educate others about autism and inform policymakers. He has particularly made an impact in representing, leading and supporting Asian communities.
In this Q&A, Bin shares what Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month means to him, why he advocates and how he hopes to make a difference through his work.
Learn more about Bin and his family in this Q&A:
Why is being an autism advocate and sharing your story important to you?
Autism is our family business, because my son Vincent is on the spectrum. Vincent is always our top priority. All of us come together to support him. I started to share our stories about 20 years ago after we knew Vincent has autism. First, it was just a note talking about what I learned about autism from books and from my son. Later on, this becomes a journey, not only about ourselves, but also many families read our stories and see their own struggle and hope from us. We believe this is our destiny. One family’s journey becomes many families’ journey.
Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month is about recognizing the contributions and influence of AAPI Americans to the history, culture, and achievements in the United States. Why is this month important to you?
For a long time, the AAPI communities are regarded as “Model Immigrants” and also called “Silent People.” We always try to keep peace and avoid confrontation; we don’t want to fight with anyone. As Chinese, for thousands of years, we believe “Peace” is the ultimate goal for our society and also personal perfection. But during the pandemic, suddenly we become victims. We become the “Asian Hate” targets. Many Chinese, including Asians from other countries, got attacked on the streets. This is why we all need to stand up and speak out! We are proud to be Americans! We are part of the country! We are contributing to the democracy, prosperity and history of the United States!
What do you wish more people understood about Chinese-American autism experience?
The Chinese American is the largest population among AAPI Americans in the United States. We have the same challenges like all other families. We always hear families struggling, because they don’t speak English, or they don’t understand the systems here, or they just don’t have time to join the meetings in their working hours. We become an underserved community regarding services and resources for autism. We are just like many other underserved communities. We can work together, fill the gaps and share our resources. For example, we joined the Caregiver Skills Training (CST) program with Autism Speaks. There are CST projects in China. There is CST in New York City, and we are trying to promote CST in other cities in U.S.
You recently attended the 2023 Autism Speaks Advocacy Forum & Hill Day in Washington, DC. What did it mean to you to advocate in our nation’s capital?
This year’s Advocacy Forum and Hill Day was what we were waiting for a long time, because we wanted to join as whole family together for the first time. We are very proud that my son Vincent could join us. My goal is that Vincent can become a self-advocate. He did not even talk much, but walking in the Capital, meeting with our congresswoman, and people praising him and encouraging him – those would be his proud memories. We will come again for next year’s. We may also bring other Chinese American families together, since we have many friends asking us about it, and they want to be a part of advocacy.
What advice do you have for other autism advocates who might be looking for some words of encouragement or advice?
I remember the words from the movie “The field of dreams”: if you build it, he will come. When I started a parents’ group, started book clubs, started with social media stories, started with website, started with NPO, I always remember this quote. He will come, she will come, more and more will join us, because we all share the same goal: let our loved ones with autism live their full potentials.