Who are we
The Association of Resource and Education for Autistic Children set up in 1987, also known as Lions REACH, provides free services for autistic children and their families. The centre is manned by a few dedicated and committed Lions and supported by the public and the Lions family throughout Malaysia. From a small group of four children, our centre is now offering free services to more than 55 children, ranging from 3 years old to 21 years old. We have also started another centre in Butterworth since 1998, to meet the increasing needs from the northern region in Malaysia. Both of our centres have been providing 16 programmes to the autistic children and their families.
1. Music and Play Sessions
We provide music and play sessions weekly for the children. In this programme, we use music and play to help the children develop language, social and motor skills. With the increasing number of children in our Centre, we now have two sessions of music and play per week. One group is for children of less than six years old and another for children above six years old.
2. Pre-vocational Programme
We have a pre-vocational programme where we use art and craft to enhance aesthetic values of the children by stimulating their visual, emotional and sensory abilities. This also helps in promoting good working habits and the ability to earn a source of income.
3. Story Telling Session
Story telling session is conducted once a month. The volunteers use stories to stimulate the autistic children in developing language and social skills through listening and communication.
4. Sunday Group Therapy
We hold Sunday group therapy weekly. This programme is aim to create opportunities for the children to socialize and interact with each other and also to learn living skills such as household work, handicraft, woodwork and preparing their own meals. Parents or any family members are required to be with the children so as to provide support for each other and to receive training on how to handle their children. This session is fully conducted by parents of our Centre with the help ofsome volunteers.
5. Snoezelen Room
This therapeutic room is a programme that has been implemented to provide an environment for tranquility and relaxation through visual, auditory and touch stimulation. The gentle stimulation has a soothing effect that helps reduce temper tantrums and agitation in the autistic child.
6. Respite Care Programme
We provide the opportunity for parents to take temporary charge of other autistic child so that the child’s own parents may have a break or holiday. It promotes understanding and support for each other’s child. We organise camping outing to train the children to be self-reliance.
7. One-to-one learning programme – Monday to Friday
We provide individual teaching-learning programme for the children and in accordance to a tailored curriculum for each child. The teaching curriculum covers four aspects of development such as mental and language skills, social skills, personal and self-help skills and motor skills.
8. Computer Classes
We have computer classes daily for our children with the aim to integrate these children into the new information era by introducing educational programmes via computer to help them improve their language development, concept learning, motor skills, psychosocial skills and motor co-ordination. This programme also hopes to build and strengthen the thinking capacity of autistic children by using computer simulated pictures in a structured manner.
9. Art Camp; Creativity Programme
We plan to stimulate and enrich the children’s imaginations and expressions. This is achieved through flashing pictures and art pieces on the computer accompanied by a relevant piece of music. The children are encouraged to give an account of what they feel and imagine. The sound track is important here for it draws our different emotions in different children and we try to make sense of why the child responds in that manner. This programme serves as an area for research effort to uncover the thinking patterns of our autistic children to help us understand them better.
There is also an art class to encourage the children to experiment with colours and express creatively.
10. Diagnostic and Development Assessment
We provide free diagnostic and developmental assessment for the children. Diagnostic assessment is used to confirm if the child is autistic and developmental assessment is carried out to assess the developmental stages of the child.
11. Library and other resources
Our library has resources that include printed, audio and visual materials on autism. These are provided for the use of families of autistic children.
12. Awareness Programme
We are strong and persistent advocates for autistic children. We conduct road shows, exhibitions and talks to promote more understanding about autism.
13. Training Sessions
We organise training sessions for parents, volunteers, teachers and public. On going in house training is carried out over the years. We recruit and invite professionals and experts to run seminars and workshops for parents, volunteers and teachers in the hope that everyone will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to cope with the autistic children. We also run seminars for institutions who would like to understand autism. We have also been providing fieldwork training for the medical students from Penang Medical College so that the students may have a better understanding on autism.
14. Counselling Programme
We provide counselling for parents and family members of autistic children. The counselling is design specifically for parents and family members to meet with counselor to discuss problems or issues they are facing when handling the autistic child.
15. Parent Support Group
We have a parent support group who meet to provide support and assistance to each other. This is where parents could come in to discuss the progress of their children and organise social activities amongst themselves.
Research is essential in the REACh approach. Research serves to update treatment and intervention methods. Data collected over the years of practice can be rationalized, put on strong scientific foundations and disseminated to help other caring groups all over the world. Currently we are conducting studies in the following areas:
- Understanding the mind or thinking patterns of autistic children using computer simulated pictures
- Impact of sensory integration using Snoezelen to relax and calm the autistic children
All the above services and programmes have been made possible because of the kind and generous support from the members of the Lions family and the public. The supports have enabled us to continue FREE services for the autistic children and their families, and move ahead to further improve our services.
It is our hope that we could extend our services to all autistic children in Malaysia. Our vision is to become the source of information, training and motivation for parents of autistic children throughout Malaysia. We hope to become a Centre of research for autism in Malaysia.
Estimated Monthly Expenditure: RM 20,000
Volunteers are welcome to help out in the various programmes and to help reduce paid staff. Support their Annual Food Fair – The centre organises a Food Fair annually as one of our major fundraisers. Please contact the centre for more details.
The centre needs about RM 20,000 per month, that is, RM240,000 per year to run all the programmes. The centre is looking for financial aid through an adoption programme. An individual or corporation or any institution who wants to adopt the Centre can contribute RM2,000 yearly. We need a bigger premise as a result of the increasing demands for the programmes necessary to help the autistic children and their parents. We need financial support for our building fund too.
Donations can be in the form of cash or kind. A wide range of items are welcome, including educational materials and toys, musical instruments, stationeries, computers, and audio visual materials.
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The Association of Resource and Education for Autistic Children (REACh)
|Mr Lim Eng Chye(Chairman) / Dr. Sue CM See(Volunteer Principal) / Ms Pek Wooi Ling(Administrator)Contact Person|
|[email protected] ; [email protected]Email|
|+604 656 4357Phone Number|
|+604 657 8315Fax Number|
|Established since 1987Year of Establishment|
|279 Jalan Pekeliling, 11700 Bukit Gelugor, Penang, MalaysiaAddress|