The Creative Arts Centre was recently launched by the Malaysian National Autism Society of Malaysia or Nasom. This came from the RM675,500 sponsorship from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and was graced by Ms Michelle Wie, a professional Korean lady golfer of the LGPA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).
The sponsorship from Sime Darby would be used to cover the renovation cost of the Creative Arts Centre which would essentially be an art centre for autistic kids. This would be the first initiative by the YSD in helping and assisting autistic children in education and well-being. The launch of centre was carried out by Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman, a council member of YSD and attended by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, the chairman of the SP Setia Foundation as well as Datuk Abdul Wahab Maskan, the Chief Operating Officer of the Sime Darby Group. Bistmam Siru Abdul Rahman, the chairman of Nasom was also at the ceremony.
Zaitoon said that such initiatives will help autistic children to learn to cope and the Creative Arts Centre will have programmes to help them lead better and normal lives. Statistics by the Health Ministry showed that 1 of 600 Malaysian children are autistic and the centre will offer alternative therapy sessions which would use art, music, drama and dance to help the children cultivate confidence and to lead normal lives. There will be a team of professionals who will be helping with the classes which would include teachers from Nasom, psychologists, occupational therapists as well as vocal specialists.