KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 ― Parents need to be more aware of their children’s behavioural development so that early signs of autism can be detected, said Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh .
She said as a result of failure in recognising the early warning signs, only 20,000 individuals with autism symptoms have registered with the Social Welfare Department (JKM) though there were approximately 300,000 people living with autism spectrum disorder in Malaysia today.
“Some parents do not realise the symptoms of autism thinking that their children are just slow learners, while there are some who just do not want to register their children as people with different abilities.
“We also hope that the Health Ministry will be able to create awareness on autism in the rural areas and make autism spectrum disorder screening more accessible for the public,” she said when met after the 2018 Danajamin Mighty Run programme here today.
According to Yeoh the screening to detect symptoms of autism could be performed at government and private hospitals which have the the experts in diagnosing autism as early as 18 months to enable them to seek treatment.
Meanwhile the Danajamin Mighty Run which is into its third year, attracted about 2500 participants and successfully raised RM110,000 in aid of the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM).
Danajamin managing director and chief executive officer Mohamed Nazri Omar presented the contribution to Nasom chairman Feilina Feisol.
“This event will certainly help Nasom to increase public awareness of autism,” Yeoh added.
From the proceeds of the Danajamin Mighty Run organised in 2016 and 2017, it had enabled Nasom to upgrade its Vocational Centre in Bandar Puteri, Klang and build a Snoezelen room which provides a controlled multisensory environment as therapy for people with autism, at its early intervention centre in Gombak. ― Bernama