Vijayaratnam Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the QI Group in Malaysia, observed World Autism Awareness Day recently with children of Taarana School to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of children with autism.

Taarana, which was established by the Foundation in 2011 as a school for children with special learning needs, celebrated World Autism Awareness Day with a poem-reading session and fun games with full participation by the thirty two students and 14 staff.

The children sowed their talents and touched everyone’s hearts with their poem rendition, thanks to the support and assistance provided by the specially qualified teachers at Taarana.

“Every child is an asset to the country. In conjunction with the World Autism Awareness Day, I urge people to increase their awareness of the importance of early education for autistic children. To do this, we need to first be open to understanding what it is like for a child with autism and also a child who transits into adulthood with autism.” Said Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, Chairperson of Vijayaratnam Foundation

“The tolerance that is extended to children with autism is often lacking, and we hope that we can begin to create a philosophy of inclusion and acceptance,” she continued.

World Autism Awareness Day, celebrated on April 2 each year, aims to put a spotlight on the hurdles that people with autism – and others living with autism, face every day. The entire month of April is also Autism Awareness Month dedicated to highlighting efforts to reach out to those affected by autism.

“Let us be reminded that children with special needs are first of all, children.  They are unique in their learning, behaviour, food preferences and friends,” noted Datin Sri Umayal, adding that early childhood educators have to be equipped with knowledge and skills to teach and accommodate all children.

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