KUCHING:The One-Stop Early Intervention Centre (OSEIC) for autistic children at Metrocity in Matang here is expected to open in January next year, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (pic).

“Through a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme with Petronas, the state government has allocated a total of RM4 million to the ministry for the construction of the centre," she revealed in her speech beforelaunching the Sarawak Kids Talent Showcase 2019 here at the Imperial Hotel on Wednesday. The centre, she added, was scheduled to be completed in December this year.

“Autistic children below seven years old will undergo early diagnosis, intervention and rehabilitation programmes at the centre. “Such programmes will help them to become self-reliant in their day-to-day activities and prepare them for primary and secondary schools.

This can help the schools to allocate them either in the mainstream class or integration class or special class. “Other than that, the centre will also provide training programmes and courses for parents, teachers, educators and caregivers so that they can handle autistic children," she explained.

Fatimah also pointed out the need to further strengthen educators, teachers and caregivers at early childhood education institutions. “These educators and caregivers play a huge role in the children's development," she said.

Referring to the recent Randau workshop programme for educators and caregivers of pre-school, the minister said the engagement through forums and academic paper presentations would enable the group to address issues pertaining to children's development. “The ministry organised the Randau Child Development Workshop with the theme 'Inclusivity: The Way Forward' from Sept 13 to 15.

“A total of 550 participants including representatives of NGOs, parents and volunteers attended the workshop," added Fatimah.

>Sources: New Sarawak Tribune