SUNWAY Putra Mall, the first autism friendly mall in Malaysia, has kick-started “Autsome April” - a series of events dedicated to creating awareness about autism in conjunction with World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which falls on April 2.
WAAD is celebrated worldwide to increase awareness about individuals, especially children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Sunway Malls and Theme Parks CEO HC Chan said the mall has planned a series of events in April such as workshops, movie screenings and talks on autism.
Among the activities planned are - The Autsome Playgroup #IncludeMe by PIBI Permata Kurnia and KAMI Playgroup on April 7, A workshop on autism by medical professionals, an Easter Egg Hunt on April 20, the Autsome Unicorn Run on April 28, free autism screenings between April 26 and 28 and many more.
At the same event, Sunway Putra Mall was recognised by the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) for significant contribution in making a difference to the autism community.
A total of 12 recipients were recognised for their contribution to the autism community in different categories and Sunway Putra Mall was recognised under the “Autism friendly initiative” category.
The mall provides an inclusive and comfortable shopping experience and privileges during “Autism Friendly Shopping Day” every Tuesday, from 10am to 5pm. The mall also has a “Calm room” and “Sensory walls” for autistic children.
Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh graced the launch of “Autsome April” which was also attended by 200 autistic children from NASOM and their family members.
Yeoh said autism is a lifelong neurological disorder, which develops during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic background.
She added that the ministry had implemented several initiatives to increase awareness and encourage a culture of inclusion and acceptance for the autism community.