LANGKAWI, 4 Dec 2019:
A special centre for autism will be set up in Langkawi in February next year to give the opportunity for special children on the island to get the best care they need.
Langkawi Autism Association chairman Mastura Abdul Mutalib said the centre would adopt the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) and the IDEAS Autism Centre (IAC) module to provide quality and professional services to special needs children.
He said the Langkawi Autism Centre will operate in two bungalows in Jalan Batu Asah, here.
“A total of 13 boys and a girl with autism have signed up for training at the centre, which is expected to start operations next February.
“Among the programmes to be taught at the centre are early childhood development programmes, vocational programmes, religious and moral education, physical education and co-curricular activities.
“We expect the centre to accommodate 50 students, while the enrolment process is still open until the end of this month. The number of teachers and staff will be determined based on the number of students enrolled, basically one teacher will handle three students.”
Mastura said the centre would operate five days a week (Monday to Friday) and also hold additional therapy sessions on Saturday based on requests.
“The Langkawi Autism Centre will operate three sessions a day from 8am to noon, 1pm to 5pm and a full session from 8am to 5pm.
“We are currently in the process of setting up a classroom and therapy room at the centre which will require an estimated RM300,000 in funding. We also hope that there are people who are willing to donate to the centre.”
Asked about the reaction of parents of autism children on the opening of the centre, Mastura said they were very pleased as there was a lack of autism-specific learning centres on the island – so parents had to send their children to Alor Setar, as well as several other locations.
“They are very happy with the news as they do not have to travel far to ensure the best education for their children.
“The centre also imposes a reasonable registration fee of RM100 and a monthly fee of RM400, which is less than what parents are spending at the moment.”