Government to consider autism sub-categories in OKU card

Deputy minister Hannah Yeoh said the Welfare Department (JKM) will consider parents’ requests to create autism sub-categories in the Disabled People’s (OKU) card to enable them to access more specific services. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Deputy minister Hannah Yeoh said the Welfare Department (JKM) will consider parents’ requests to create autism sub-categories in the Disabled People’s (OKU) card to enable them to access more specific services. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The Welfare Department (JKM) will consider parents’ requests to create autism sub-categories in the Disabled People’s (OKU) card to enable them to access more specific services.

Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh said it was one of the ministry’s efforts to safeguard the welfare of autistic children and to create awareness on autism among the people.

She said the ministry had implemented various programmes in order to raise public awareness on autism and encourage parents to register their children who had autism.

“Among the efforts is one that requires the registration of disabled persons annually by state or zone,” she said in response to a question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) on government efforts to provide information and awareness to the public about autism so as to encourage parents to register their autistic children.

She explained that among the reasons why many parents did not register their children who had autism as an OKU was because they believed in early intervention, adding that as such, there was no need for the child to be registered as an OKU.

“Many do not know that the OKU card can be cancelled upon confirmation of a medical officer,” said Yeoh.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said the government was in the process of adding three more Permata Kurnia Centres in Melaka, Alor Setar, Kedah and Putrajaya.

She said the centre provided a full-time intervention programme for children with autism aged between 4 and 6 years in preparation for entering mainstream schools.

She also hoped that more non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and parent support groups would come forward to provide early intervention programme (EIP) services to children with autism. — Bernama

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