18 autistic children graduate from Pengaman autism centre

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 18 autistic children have completed their studies at the Pengaman/Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Autism Centre, since its inception almost four years ago, says Tan Sri Razarudin Husain.

The Inspector-General of Police said the centre is a form of support to ensure the welfare of police personnel, especially those with special needs children.

"Since it started in August 2020, a total of 18 autistic children have completed their studies at the centre.

"Currently, a total of 25 autistic children are still receiving early intervention education.

"I am proud of the parents and guardians who have the patience and perseverance in facing challenges raising special children.

"I salute the intervention officers at the centre as well, who have dedicated themselves to helping autistic children," he said in his speech during the launch of the Pengaman/PDRM Autism Awareness Day celebration at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) on Saturday (May 11).

Razarudin said such an event was important to raise more awareness on autism.

"We hope it can lead to society becoming more compassionate towards autistic children through the awareness programme," he said.

Meanwhile, Yayasan Pengaman Malaysia deputy chairman Tan Sri Hussin Ismail said the centre began with four intervention officers and six autistic pupils.

"However, the numbers have grown to seven intervention officers and two administrative officers.

"It has certainly come a long way since the beginning in August 2020.

"We are grateful for the tremendous response and support of police personnel as well as the public.

"We also realised that there are still many waiting for their turn to go through the centre assessment procedure.

"Those who want to apply for their children to go through the assessment, they can log in to the "Pusat Autisme Pengaman" website," he said.

On top of assisting police personnel and the public with autistic children, the centre is also a reference point for those who want advice on how to deal with matters involving autistic individuals, Hussin added.

"The centre provides early intervention education for special needs children, which will enable them to be independent.

"We are also ready to assist in giving ideas and energy towards issues involving autistic individuals," he said.

Currently, society's understanding of autism is lacking, Hussin said.

"We hope this event with the theme "Diversity is Our Strength" will open the eyes of society to better understand and appreciate those with autism," he said.

The Pengaman/PDRM Autism Centre is a private institution owned and run fully by Yayasan Pengaman Malaysia and it is registered with the Welfare Department.

The centre is managed by Yayasan Pengaman general manager Azura Izham.

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