Vocational training programme for autistic youth in pipeline: Khairy

ARFA YUNUS


PETALING JAYA: The National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) is considering introducing a pilot programme offering technical and vocational skills training for school leavers with autism, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

He said the programme will be suggested in order to ensure that autistic youth are given the opportunity to continue their studies after secondary school.

Khairy said he has discussed developing the programme with IKBN and the National Autism Society of Malaysia (Nasom).

"Many parents have children with autism, including myself. At the moment, the big question is what happens after school, so the idea is to provide them with skills training.

"There's a need for them to further their studies, aside from pre-school as well as primary and secondary school.

"I have asked IKBN to talk to Nasom and develop a pilot programme for children from the We Rock The Spectrum kids gym to learn vocational skills," he said during The Rock Walk 2017 here, today.

Details of the pilot project have yet to be finalised, but Khairy said he believes that it will be a major step in the right direction.

"Existing early intervention (programmes) for autistic children (in Malaysia) are not going to be enough to care for them.

"We cannot call ourselves a developed or progressive nation if we are unable to care for all our people," Khairy added.