SIBU: Sibu Autistic Association (SAA) will start its new therapy and assessment programme (TAP) next year with the new Therapy Department at Agape Centre.
SAA president David Ngu said TAP is one of the three restructured academic programmes which started in August.
“This is a brand-new department and programme where all children with autism will be given occupational and physiotherapy including physical strengthening and fitness exercise, balancing, sensory integration and so forth.
“We have invested lots of money to set up the Therapy Department by upgrading and purchasing the necessary facilities and equipment,” he said at the SAA prize giving ceremony at Agape Centre yesterday.
Ngu said this first therapy centre for autistic children in Sibu will open its door in January with standard operating procedures (SOP) in place to accommodate 10 children at any one time with six qualified therapists headed by Kong Su Hui.
“Previously, teachers also played the role of therapists and vice versa. With the restructuring, staff will specialize in their respective fields,” he added.
The two other new programmes to be implemented next year are Early Intervention Programme (EIP), and School Age Programme (SAP), as upgrades and changes are necessary to meet the objectives of SAA.
He was glad that despite many challenges adapting to the new norms, eight children have completed their education with flying colours.
“Four months of not attending physical class was extremely difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as they were trained in old methods before Movement Control Order (MCO),” he said, adding that dedicated staff gave their best to serve the children effectively.
At the event, seven children received certificates for the completion of EIP programme while a youth received a certificate for completion of Young Adult Programme.
Also present at the event was SAA manager Winnie Siong.