Sunway Putra Mall has kick-started \u201cAutsome April\u201d \u2500 a month of workshops, movie screenings, talks as well as fun-filled and educational activities prepared specially for the autism community in conjunction with World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) on April 2, 2019.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSunway Putra Mall is Malaysia\u2019s first and only autism-friendly mall and Autsome (Autism is Awesome) is their initiative that aims to educate the public and to advocate acceptance and inclusiveness as well as celebrate the autism community which is in line with Sunway\u2019s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of Reducing Inequalities in the move towards Sustainable Cities and Communities.\r\n\r\nWith April being autism awareness month, come one come all to join together in celebrating WAAD 2019 at Sunway Putra Mall\u2019s Autsome April.\r\n\r\nThe activities lined up for Autsome April are:\u00ad\u00ad\u00ad\u00ad\u00ad\u00ad\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout WAAD \r\nOn April 2 of\u00a0each year,\u00a0the United Nations (UN) observes World Autism Awareness Day which is celebrated internationally to increase\u00a0community awareness on individuals especially children with\u00a0Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).\u00a0The theme adopted by the UN for WAAD 2019 is \u201cAssistive Technologies, Active Participation\u201d.\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vbVR10mwDkEA&featureyoutu.be\r\n\r\nSunway Putra Mall and the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) celebrated this day with more than 200 autistic children showing off their capabilities in song, dance, music and art amid an appreciative crowd.\r\n\r\nPresent at the event\u00a0were YB Hannah\u00a0Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development;\u00a0HC Chan, CEO\u00a0of\u00a0Sunway Malls and Theme Parks;\u00a0Phang\u00a0Sau\u00a0Lian, General Manager of Sunway Putra Mall;\u00a0Feilina SY Muhammad\u00a0Feisol, Chairman of\u00a0NASOM\u00a0and 12 Autism Champions\u2019 Representatives;\u00a0Sunway Putra Mall,\u00a0Universiti\u00a0Teknologi Mara (UiTM),\u00a0The\u00a0Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM),\u00a0Danajamin Nasional\u00a0Berhad,\u00a0Ronald McDonald House of Charities,\u00a0Malaysian Ministry of Sports and Youth,\u00a0Gerbang\u00a0Alaf Restaurants\u00a0Sdn\u00a0Bhd,\u00a0Tunku Mona\u00a0Riza\u00a0binti\u00a0Tunku Khalid,\u00a0Zarina\u00a0Zainuddin and\u00a0Clarence Kang Zheng Wei, Umar\u00a0Hasfizal and Wan Jamila Wan Shaiful\u00a0Bahri.\r\nPublic, Private and NGOs Working in Concert\r\nIn opening the event, Chan said:\u00a0\u201cAt\u00a0Sunway,\u00a0our vision\u00a0is\u00a0to become Asia\u2019s model of sustainable development and we are projecting a more inclusive as well as sustainable pathway.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHannah\u00a0Yeoh\u00a0congratulated the mall for\u00a0being the first autism-friendly mall in Malaysia and stressed that, \u201cInitiatives as such should be implemented in other sectors and I hope to see Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focus more for the disabled individuals and make it as a new culture in the corporate community.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe said, on her side, her ministry has already initiated dialogues with other ministries such as the Human Resources Ministry and Agricultural and Agro-Based Industry Ministry to see what other facilities can be offered to those with ASD.\r\n\r\nThere are currently 22,000 autistic individuals registered with the Welfare Department although Yeoh believes the actual numbers are higher.\r\n\r\n"Because it is such a wide spectrum, we need more people to come on board to support the families and also the children," she said.\r\n\r\nHowever, some strides have already been made such as the police who recently announced a new standard operating procedure to deal with suspects with autism and the National Youth Skills Institute's (IKBN) under the Youth and Sports Ministry that will be accepting students with autism starting in 2020.\r\nNASOM\r\nNASOM, on their part, has initiated a national-level autism campaign via the National Autism Week (NAW). While the themes for WAAD usually follow those adopted by the UN, the themes for NAW are tailored more to the local situation and needs.\r\n\r\nThe theme for NAW2019 is \u201cMaking Sense of Autism\u201d. The underlying aim is to shift society\u2019s attitude from mere autism awareness to acceptance and real action for inclusion.\r\n\r\n\u201cChildren, youth and adults with Autism in Malaysia are still being denied their rights under relevant UN conventions and are being excluded from various aspects of life,\u201d said Feilina Muhammad\u00a0Feisol, explaining there are six focus areas they will be working on:\r\n\r\n \tThe need for consistent understanding on autism\r\n \tThe need for quality, reliable and up-to-date data\r\n \tImportance of early detection, diagnosis and intervention\r\n \tThe need for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to autism\r\n \tHelp and support for parents and family\r\n \tMaking the rights real for persons with disabilities for a better Malaysia\r\n\r\n\u201cThese six focus areas are supported by a total of 16 enabling initiatives to be carried out in 2019-2020,\u201d she added, detailing the steps that would be taken moving forward.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNASOM is the first and only national society for the autism cause in Malaysia since 1987. It is the only NGO that provides lifelong services and support to persons with autism in Malaysia. It is a parent-driven, tax-exempt charity that depends on public donation and contribution to serve persons with autism of all ages without selection, discrimination and exit criteria. NASOM is the only Malaysian member of the ASEAN Autism Network (AAN) and World Autism Organisation. NASOM will be hosting AAN Congress and ASEAN Autism Games 2020 and World Autism Congress 2022.\r\nHumanoid Robot NAO\u00a0\r\nThe event continued with the official commemoration of the\u00a0Humanoid Robot NAO\u00a0as part of the\u00a0assistive technologies\u00a0that\u00a0have been shown to have positive effects on the social-cognitive behaviour of brain-impaired children, particularly those with\u00a0autism.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSunway Putra Mall was presented\u00a0with a Certificate of Recognition\u00a0together with the other 11\u00a0individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions in making differences to the autism community.\u00a0The award recognised the mall for\u00a0its Autism-Friendly Initiative which has truly impacted public awareness and acceptance of the ASD community.\r\n\r\nA\u00a0choir performance by NASOM Maestro\u00a0singing two songs then\u00a0took the stage, followed by autistic singer Umar\u00a0Hasfizal who blew everyone away with his captivating voice. Next was a special dance\u00a0performance\u00a0by\u00a0Program\u00a0Pendidikan\u00a0Khas\u00a0Integrasi (PPKI) students of\u00a0Sekolah\u00a0Menengah Taman Melawati, and\u00a0for a stunning finale,\u00a0Clarence Kang Zheng Wei,\u00a0an autistic savant-pianist, enthralled guests with Beethoven's\u00a0Path\u00e9tique Sonata.\r\n\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?viFSfuAHrG9Q&featureyoutu.be\r\n\r\nThe event ended with a tour around the\u00a0Autsome Bazaar\u00a0where\u00a0comic books by Andi\u00a0Meranti, paintings by Anthony Lee,\u00a0Pua\u00a0Zhe Xuan and\u00a0Amira\u00a0Daniea, DIY accessories by\u00a0Denack\u00a0and other\u00a0unique\u00a0products\u00a0made\u00a0by autistic individuals\u00a0were available for sale.\u00a0A total of\u00a010% of the proceeds will be donated to NASOM to help the autism community in Malaysia.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBe Autsome\r\nApart from enjoying Sunway Putra Mall's autism-friendly features, facilities, privileges and services, the autism community is invited to become a member of Sunway Putra Mall's Autsome because every Tuesday, Autsome members enjoy shopping convenience at participating outlets such as Cold Storage, The Parenthood Playland, C-A-T Playground, The Body Shop, Padini, The Chicken Rice Shop, Dolly Dim Sum, Onde Onde, Kampung Kravers, Swensons, Krispy Kreme and more. Several of these outlets and others have gone the extra mile by offering exclusive promotions such as free entry and 10% off all items.\r\n\r\nFor more information on Autsome, follow Sunway Putra Mall's official Facebook page, Instagram, visit the website or call:03-2786-9333.