Chou Wei (周瑋), a 23-year-old from a a village in China’s Shanxi Province, has been discriminated against his entire life after he was diagnosed as being mentally challenged. Now, after he proved himself to be a mathematical prodigy on a reality TV show, his greatest hope is that people will treat him like a normal person.
Chou was declared China’s Rain Man after he wowed audiences by solving a math problem on the Brain (最強大腦), a reality TV show on Jiangsu Satellite TV. When he was six months old, his head was squashed under a pillow, after which he was diagnosed with persistent hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, as well as being mentally disabled, with a verbal IQ of 49 and a performance IQ of 46. Chou was denied entrance by schools because of his appearance and presumed lack of intelligence.
At the age of 10, Chou finally began to receive an education after his mother begged for the school to accept him. But he faced discrimination there. One teacher even refused to check his homework. Chou was forced to drop out after graduating from elementary school. Since then, he’s only been able to help at the grocery store owned by his family.
Chou’s family has spent everything they had to cure his “disease.” All his mother hopes for is that he will be able to live by himself when he is old. Chou’s sister says his greatest hope is that he will be treated like a normal person.