Inclusion Of Autistic Kids In OKU Cards To Be Considered

autistic kids
Picture by Razak Ghazali

The welfare department in Malaysia is seriously mulling over measures that will enable the inclusion of autistic kids in the Disabled People’s (OKU) Card. The department is considering the move in the wake of a rallying cry from parents of autistic children. Thus, if the measure is sanctioned, autistic children will be included under the autism sub-category thus ensuring that they get access to specific services designed for disabled people.

Commitment to welfare of kids

The Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Hannah Yeoh, was of the opinion that the ministry was committed to the welfare of young citizens. She said that the ministry was consistently working towards implanting measures that would protect the rights of autistic children. She added that the ministry was also engaged in raising awareness about the condition among people. These include initiating various programmes to inform people on the aspects of autism and also to urge parents of autistic kids to register their autistics wards.

Measures to raise awareness

The minister said that one of the efforts of the ministry involved the registration of disabled people on a yearly basis by zones or states. She was responding to a question that was raised by Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH Ledang) that focused on the efforts of the government coordinated towards raising awareness about autism. The minister further said that many parents did not register their kids because of the notion that an early diagnosis meant that there was no need for any registration. She also said that many people are not aware that the OKU card can be cancelled at the behest of a medical officer.

More centres to be established

Yeoh emphasized on the government’s efforts of adding more Pemata Kurnia Centres in Melaka, Alor Setar, Kedah and Putrajaya. The center is instrumental in lending a full-time intervention module targeted towards kids suffering from autism in the age group of 4 to 6. This module is extremely helpful in equipping the kids to be prepared for mainstream school. The minister also expressed her optimism over non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and parent support groups stepping in to set up early intervention programmes (EIP) to aid autistic children.

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