MELAKA, March 21 2018 : The need for education for autistic children should be nurtured especially among parents in the B40 (lower income) group, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
She said the level of awareness among parents in the B40 group in the country towards autism was still low and therefore all involved, including the local community must play their respective roles so that the needs of the autistic children would not be neglected.
“My ministry has always been proactive in providing exposure and awareness as well as knowledge regarding early education for autistic children and effective early intervention to improve their quality of life,” she told Bernama here yesterday.
She said this at the ground breaking ceremony of the Permata Kurnia Centre for the Southern Zone at Bukit Katil here that was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and was also attended by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
In his speech, Najib said the community must reject superstitious beliefs in dealing with autism, instead they should adopt scientific methods so that those with autism could become successful individuals.
Najib also recounted his experience at an autism centre in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, where the manager said that not many from the B40 group sent their children to the centre because they strongly believed in superstitions including black magic and shamans.
Rohani added that the setting up of the centre was aimed at facilitating parents with autistic children through immediate intervention, thus providing a better future for them.
Meanwhile, autistic Safinaz Mohamad Yusuf, 39, expressed her hope that the government could increase the centre’s age limit to teenagers and not limited only to children as the cost of obtaining learning aid for autistic individuals was high. – Bernama