Tuesday April 27, 2010
Backing for autistic children
By TUNKU SHAHARIAH TUNKU YUSOFF
PARENTS, family members and caregivers of children suffering from autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are urged to form a family-link support group and come together as one voice to fight for their benefits.
Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Com-mittee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state realised that these children had not received much support from the federal and state governments in the past.
However, he pledged that the current state government would do its best to try and accommodate them, especially to get more less severe autistic children into mainstream education.
“I realise that not much had been done for these children but parents, I urge you not to feel despair as help is on the way. This is my promise,” he said when launching the World Autism Month celebration at Sim Children and Child Heart Clinic in Jalan Mesjid Negri on Sunday.
More than 100 parents, care- givers, teachers and autistic children attended the event which included an icebreaking session, talk on ‘What is ASD?’ by Penang Hospital psychiatrist Dr Lai Fong Hwa and ‘Early Intervention for Children with ASD’ by Silviane Bonedai.
The event was jointly organised by the clinic and National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM).
Penang NASOM chairman Rosli Hanafi said the Penang centre provided early intervention programme for young children with ASD and workshops for adult ones.
NASOM adviser Dr Sim Joo Seng said it was not sufficient for parents and family members to depend on the early intervention programmes at NASOM or other centres.
“They can join up with care givers and educators to form a support group to provide psychological support for family members of children with ASD.”
Earlier, Phee cut some fresh fruits to launch the celebration after which the guests and children were feted to a high tea treat.