Society, parents must be aware of autistic children: Rohani

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (3L) and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron (C) release balloons at the launch of the Walk For Autism programme in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, May 1, 2017. — Bernama
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim joins the Walk For Autism programme in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, May 1, 2017. — Bernama

MALACCA: The society especially parents and family members need to be aware of and exposed to autism and its symptoms to ensure early detection and treatment on their affected children, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said most people today still lacked awareness on autism as children with such a disorder appeared no different than normal children until they got diagnosed by medical specialists.

"Based on the records of the Social Welfare Department (JKM), there are 15,484 people nationwide who have been identified to have autism.

"Of the number, 2,080 people are aged below six years old, 7,167 people (between seven and 12), 2,248 people (between 13 and 18) and others," Rohani told reporters after officiating the eighth Walk For Autism programme in Bandar Hilir here today.

Also present was Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

The minister advised members of the public whose children, relatives and friends were suspected to have autism, to come forward and register with JKM.

"Most school teachers have been trained to detect children with learning problems and we hope this kind of programme will help the public identify children with autism," she said, adding that the ministry had proposed to Permata to set up Pusat Permata Kurnia for autistic children in every zone. — Bernama