Putting autism in the spotlight to create awareness

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM)/Pengaman Autism Centre could be one of the entities that people can refer to for issues related to autism, says Tan Sri Hussin Ismail.

The Yayasan Pengaman Malaysia deputy chairman said the centre that opened in 2020 is also able to provide the police force with the latest information and statistics to strengthen its standard operating procedures (SOP) so that the rights of those with autism were preserved.

"Society does not fully understand about autism, it is important to create more awareness on the matter,” said Hussin, who is also the centre's management committee chairman.

He added that autism cannot be identified physically but it can be seen through social communication and interaction deficits as well as repetitive actions.

"The centre aims to continuously assist not only children of police personnel but the general public too," he said in his speech before launching the Pengaman-PDRM Autism Day themed "Let's Be Safe" at the centre located at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) on Saturday (May 27).

Hussin said he hoped the programme would reach the objective of educating children to be more vigilant towards personal safety and their surroundings.

He added that he hopes the activities conducted during the programme will foster better relations among agencies involved to be more attentive to the autism community.

"Events such as this Autism Day are important to create more awareness on autism," he added.

A total of 138 individuals, including parents and children were involved in the programme.

Meanwhile, Yayasan Pengaman general manager Azura Izham said Autism Day was actually celebrated every April 2.

"However we decided to do it today as April 2 was during the Ramadan month.

"The celebration is quite special as we are cooperating with three agencies - the Armed Forces' Military Hospital, PDRM and the Fire and Rescue Department," she said.

Azura said the autism centre was established not only to provide early education and intervention for children with autism.

"We also aimed at creating more awareness for those in PDRM and society on creating community inclusion towards accepting children with autism without discrimination," she said.

Azura said various inclusive programmes such as providing education and job opportunities will give those with autism to gain experience and learn to live in society.

"It will be much easier if they are given early intervention since young so that they could learn skills needed for community inclusion.

"Parents play a crucial part in resuming training for children with autism at home so that there is a continuation," she said.

Among those who attended the event were Bukit Aman CID Director Comm Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, Bukit Aman Management director Comm Datuk Azmi Abu Kassim, Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain and Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Hussein Omar Khan.

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Police , Autism , Pengaman , Hussin Ismail


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