Ministry to set up more centres to diagnose autism
MALACCA: More centres to detect autistic children will be set up by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
This will allow for early intervention that caters to a better rehabilitation and to prepare autistic children when they become adults.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, said this was a concern as many autistic children were registered late.
According to Social Welfare Department records, children between 7 and 12 are the largest group of those registered with autism.
As of March 30, 15,484 people with autism were registered with the department, with 11,495 (74.2 per cent) of them children below the age of 18.
“We need to create more awareness, with parents and teachers playing a role to detect children with autism and to register with us,” she said at the eighth “Walk for Autism” event at Porta De Santiago in Banda Hilir here yesterday.
A total of 4,000 people participated in the walk covering 2.7km and passing through several historic sites such as Stadthuys and Jonker Walk.
Present were Social Welfare Department director-general Datuk Zulkifly Ramli and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Rohani said Selangor had registered the highest number of people with autism, with 3,345 people recorded, followed by Johor (1,694), Sabah (1,466) and Perak (1,438).
She said registering autistic children would allow experts to prepare programmes to assist in their development and to enable them to lead a normal life in adulthood.
In some cases, she said, parents were not aware their children were autistic until it was detected by teachers in schools.