April is Autism Awareness Month – a month to celebrate, educate and generate awareness of the many spectrums, realities, as well as signs or symptoms of autism.
With that, this marks an important month in our yearly calendars as autism is estimated to occur in one out of 68 newborns, according to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) – this is why education surrounding the many sides of autism is imperative.
Because of this, Sunway Putra Mall is hosting an autism awareness program under their Autsome Initiative throughout April. The mall is also the first Autism Friendly Mall in Malaysia who provides privileges and facilities for their Autsome members. This year’s theme, ‘Kindness Begins With Me”, will see various activities and events including a donation-driven bazaar with artworks, cookies and handmade products for sale by autistic entrepreneurs, as well as fun and educational sessions.
So, make some room on your schedule – here are four activities happening during the mall’s Autsome Program that you and your family can show your support at.
1# View expressions at ‘Art & I’
It’s a known fact that art is a therapeutic form of expression for those with autism – their feelings or experiences are captured through their works, which can give better insight into their thoughts or realities. With that, there will be various artworks by autistic artists on display at the Art & I Gallery throughout the month of April.
The gallery is happening the whole month of April from 11am to 9pm at the Creative Hub on Level 4 in Sunway Putra Mall.
2# Autsome Bazaar
There’s an Autsome Bazaar, Level 4 that is happening from 2 – 4 April where handmade products and merchandises made by autistic entrepreneurs and friends that are available for sale. This includes paintings by DanieaArt, Lukman Hakim, handmade accessories and many more. Respectively, 10% of the sales proceeds and will be channeled to NASOM’s education fund towards the end of the campaign.
For parents who are concerned about their child’s milestone and development, the mall’s initiative partner will also be hosting a FREE autism screening and consultation for toddlers age 16 – 30 months during the 3 days’ event. It is best to identify or screen your children during their early years so you can understand how to nurture their individualistic traits as they grow up.
The free screening will be held from 2 to 4 April 2021 at Level 4 in Sunway Putra Mall. Appointment slots will be from 11am to 8pm.
You can book an appointment through these methods:
3# Go the extra mile by donating for a cause
The bazaar also aims to raise funds for the NASOM’s Education Fund. So, let’s join hands to support the cause by donating a minimum of RM5! Guess what, you will also receive a handwoven coin pouch sewn by NASOM’s students themselves as a token. Donation is only applicable at the mall’s Concierge Counter located on Ground Floor, happening from 1 to 18 April 2021.
Another way to donate is to shop at the Autsome Bazaar from 2 to 4 April 2021 on Level 4 in Sunway Putra Mall. Here, you can support local autistic entrepreneurs, where 10% of proceeds will be donated to NASOM. The bazaar will be going on from 11am to 8pm.
4# Educate yourself more with ‘Austome Talks’ on Facebook Live
A major part of autism awareness is education. This is for the public to understand the disorder through all spectrums such as social interaction, communication and behaviour. To learn more, Sunway Putra Malls is organising several talks with experts that focuses on children, as well as empowering those with autism. These talks will be held as Facebook Live sessions, which you can join on the Sunway Putra Mall Facebook page.
Here is the schedule for Sunway Putra’s Autsome Talks:
- Week 1 – 3 April, 11am: ‘Getting to know Autism in Children’ with Dr Cindy Chan Su Huay (Consultant Developmental Paediatrician, Sunway Medical Centre)
- Week 2 – 10 April, 11am: ‘School Readiness Skills: Preparing Children for Pre-school Mainstream Education’ with Chalene Samuel (Director of Autism Behavioral Centre) and Desiree Kaur (Project Haans for Autism Awareness)
- Week 3 – 17 April, 11am: ‘Interest vs Skills: What is Important’ with Grace Liew of NASOM and Mohd Adli Yahya (Founder of Autism Café Project)
- Week 4 – 24 April, 11am: ‘Empowering Individuals with Autism’ with Dr Chee Ann Abdul Ghani
5# Immerse into a musical experience at ‘Move to the Beat’
The mall will host fun sessions with ‘Move to the Beat’ which will feature a drum circle, where you can create simple rhythmic parts on tunes, drums and other musical instruments with a group of people – this will be happening on 10 April and 17 April 2021. Meanwhile, there will also be a Yoga Dance session on 24 April 2021. Moms and dads, don’t worry, the sessions will be held with strict SOP guidelines for everyone’s safety. Remember to put your face mask on at all times!
Both events will be happening from 4pm to 5pm on their respective dates at the Auditorium, MOX Co-Making Space on Level 4 of Sunway Putra Mall. You can lookout for the registration details on Sunway Putra Mall’s website here.
With that, we do hope you show your support to a truly important cause!
For more information on “Autsome”, follow Sunway Putra Mall’s official Facebook page at (facebook.com/sunwayputramall), Instagram (@Sunwayputramall), visit website at https://www.sunwayputramall.com/autsome/ or call 03-2786 9333
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Read more: 5 Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers