Boy with autism delivers 3,000 orders in 6 years

Writer: Chen Siqi  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-02-22

Huang Zhineng (R) and his father Huang Shaoli take the Metro to deliver a package Friday. Chen Yu

On the way to a delivery destination, Huang Zhineng, carried a big backpack walking fast, while Huang Shaoli, kept up with his son and whispered him to be careful, a Shenzhen Evening News reporter wrote down the scene she saw while traveling with the father-and-son duo Saturday.

The father and son, distinct from other deliverymen, will always complete an order together.

Huang Zhineng has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 2 years old. This diagnosis made Huang’s mother cry for three days. “None of us had an idea how to deal with his disorder,” Huang Shaoli said. “However, the thing happened, and we had to face it.” Afterward, the couple took their son to receive training in a rehabilitation center for special children for years.

A younger Huang Zhineng (front) and his father Huang Shaoli pose for a photo. File photos

“When I first heard him say a sentence: ‘Dad, hug me,’ I just stood there, full of surprise.” Huang Shaoli’s eyes were wet with tears when he recalled the scene when his son learned to speak his first sentence. “I hugged him back tightly when he opened his arms.”

In 2016, when Huang Shaoli registered as a part-time deliveryman in Shenzhen, he has taken his son with him for every delivery. Huang’s now 16-year-old son has completed nearly 3,000 deliveries with him and his wife in six years.

Huang Zhineng (L), his father Huang Shaoli (C) and his mother are seen on their way to deliver goods on Ganli Road, Longgang District, in this file photo. 

According to Huang Shaoli, sending deliveries provides his son a chance to go out and communicate with the clients. “And we can earn a living from the job,” he said. In addition, he hoped that the deliveries could help deal with his son’s condition as well as relieve his anxiety for his son’s future.

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Huang Shaoli and Huang Zhineng, dressed well in their uniforms and were ready to set out for deliveries from their home at Luhu Community in Longhua District.

“My favorite buses are those with bus numbers starting with K or M, because those buses are fast, and they can drive on expressways. I also like taking Metro lines 10 and 14,” Huang Zhineng said. He enjoys listening to blowing wind sounds and viewing the scenes from the buses.

Huang Zhineng is on their way to deliver goods. 

When they received an order at about 5 p.m., Huang Zhineng realized that the route was complicated. “We will walk for about 2 kilometers after we get off the Metro,” he said. Huang Zhineng hardly walks the wrong way, and his father said that his son keeps a public transport map in his mind, remembering almost every bus and Metro route.

Huang Zhineng (L) and his father Huang Shaoli take the Metro to deliver a package. 

After nearly an hour, the father and son delivered the cake to the client. The father said, “Zhineng can communicate with shop assistants and clients smoothly, few of them would detect he is different.”

“My only wish to my kid is that he can live independently. I cannot accompany him all the time,” Huang Shaoli said with hope.