Saturday, May 30

RM30 million autism centre to be set up in Kuala Lumpur by 2015


SPECIAL EDUCATION: Rosmah with a few students of the Anova Centre of Education in San Rafeal holding a Jalur Gemilang made out of cardboard. The school is meant for children and adults on the autism spectrum. At second left is Bailey. — Bernama photo

SAN FRANCISCO: Malaysia will have a RM30 million autism centre named Permata Kurnia in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur by 2015, said the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

In 1985, the ratio of children with autism in Malaysia was one in 10,000 but the rising figure has become a cause for concern, while in countries like South Korea one child in 30 is autistic, she told reporters after a visit to the Anova Center for Education in San Rafael, here.

Rosmah was welcomed by the centre’s founder, Andrew Bailey. Also present was Congressman Jared Huffman.

The Anova Center for Education was opened in 2008 and has 170 autistic students in three schools located in Concorde, Santa Rosa and San Rafael.

During the visit Rosmah shared her views on special education for students with autism.

The centre also provides effective treatments involving speech and movement therapies.

Meanwhile,, a United States news and information site reported Monday that Rosmah visited the Anova Center for Education in San Rafael to learn more about the school’s philosophy on education for children and adults with autism.

It reported that Rosmah was particularly interested in Anova Center’s focus on teaching “essential life skills for independence and creating the confidence required for success in school, home, and work.”

She also had a discussion with the school administrators on their education model with the hope that they could help Malaysia develop a similar programme, it said. — Bernama