Johor Bahru, 1 April – On  13th of February 2019, Dr. Dayana Farzeeha Ali, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FSSH) was interviewed along with other well-known personalities involving autism. The interview was aired on Bernama Television on Astro channel 502. The interview discussed issues involving the importance of therapy and education on autism to parents, teachers and the general community. It has shed lights on the importance of parents and teachers in understanding autism issues. It also gave knowledge and skills in fostering therapy at home and in school.

The interview discussed awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in community which would help in early recognition and improved support of affected families. Dr. Dayana talked about stigma towards autism that is difficult to tackle because it affects everyone differently and it’s a hidden disability, which makes it hard to recognize. But it can, and must, be addressed. In the interview, Dr. Dayana also emphasized on the importance of public awareness of the community, parents and teachers to help autistic children get the best quality of education and life in general.

Therefore, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has opened the first Little Genius Therapy Center equipped with multi sensory smart room as well as various activities and trainings for children with special needs. Little Genius was developed under UTM Endowment Unit and is managed by a group of researchers from CDE and Penawar Special Learning Centre (PSLC). The Little Genius therapy and learning center offers Occupational Therapy services for special needs children such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy and so on. Little Genius also offers training  to parents, educationists, guardians, youths and general community.

Dr. Dayana Farzeeha Ali with panelists in Bernama News Channel’s interview program