Malaysia to set up new centre for autistic children

PUTRAJAYA - The Permata Kurnia centre, which is a new programme under Per mata Negara, will help to teach autistic children and address the prob lems faced by them.autistic children in the country.

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the Permata Negara patron and, who is also the prime minister's wife, said it was timely to have such a centre, especially when the country was heading to wards achieving the developed nation status.

"In order for us to be a developed nation, we must have a systematic and scientific centre to address such issues and Permata Kurnia would be catering for autistic children.

"It will also be a centre where wewhich will teach par ents to understand their children better and to help them to cope with their disorderdisability," said Rosmah during the centre's pre-launching event held at Seri Perdana complex, here, yesterday.

Permata Kurnia, to be built on a 1.05ha2.6-acre plotplot in Jalan Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, at an estimated cost of and the approximate cost is RM28 million (S$11 million), is, which is fully funded by the government.

Construction of the centre is expected to start in August with completion will take in 18 months to complete (Feb 2015).

The pre-launch of Per mata Kurnia was held in conjunction with the World Autism Day celebrated celebration which is held on April 2 annually.

Rosmah said that even though autistic children had special cognitive abilities.

"Some of these chil dren are talented, whether academically or musically.

"So, with the interven tion programmes that would be pro vided by the centre, they can be equipped with skills that will help them go through their lives as normally as possible." aside from developing their abilities."

She said that the centre would providebe providing three types of services, name ly and they are full-time intervention, family and support intervention and training programmes.

They and would be designed to cater to the needs of parents and their children.

"For example, the full-time inter vention programme is for a catered to children aged 4 to 6 who has been diagnosed with mild autism.

"This early intervention pro gramme willwould be used to guide and help the chil dren toso that they would be ready for their formal edu cation." Rosmah added.

Rosmah added that the idea ofto building the centre was conceived during working visits to various autism cen tres in the United States and the United Kingdom between Feb 4 and Feb 11, 2013.

The objective of the working visits was to learn and observe the im plementation of autism pro grammes in the centres.