Government to review special grant assistance to autism centres

LABUAN: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will review the types of assistance and grants that can be channelled to autism centres run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or the private sector.

Deputy minister Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (pic) said so far no special grant had been granted but this could be discussed at the ministry level for consideration.

"I will look into this matter first...we encourage NGOs to set up more autism centres to help diagnose autism spectrum disorder as early as possible," she told reporters after visiting the Labuan Autism Centre here on Monday (Jan 17).

She said the ministry only provided grant assistance to 562 community-based rehabilitation centres (PDK) through the state Social Welfare Department (JKM).

"Special grants are channelled to all PDKs and staff are given a monthly allowance," she said.

She added the assistance extended to Welfare Voluntary Organisations (PSK) which provide care, protection and rehabilitation services to JKM's target groups, namely the elderly, the disabled and children would be continued.

"This assistance is to cover part of the cost incurred by PSK in providing services to JKM target group," she said adding that the aid was in the form of food and drinks, administrative grants, special allowances for disabled students, per capita and repair grants.

Administrative grants are also given to cover the administrative costs of national and state PSK for rental of premises, utilities and gifts for volunteers/PSK.

She said these grants were channelled in 2021 which involved an allocation of about RM19.2mil. - Bernama

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