PUTRAJAYA – Early intervention is very important for children with Down syndrome so that it will not be late for them to learn and be independent, said Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, who represents persons with disabilities (PwD).
“Early intervention is very important for mental development so (that) they can speak better and play like anybody else,” she said after breaking fast with children from the Malaysian Down Syndrome Association (MDSA), here, today.
The event was organised by D’Tandoor Food Industries Sdn Bhd to celebrate 60 people, including children with Down syndrome, as well as to present “duit raya” to the children. Also present was D’Tandoor Group of Companies managing director Datuk Abdul Malik Abdullah.
Ras Adiba, who is also OKU Sentral president and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, said parents of children with Down syndrome should send their children to special schools so that they can begin the learning process early.
“Sometimes parents think they want to protect their children, but actually they are not when they do not give them the opportunity to learn like other children,” she said.
Meanwhile, MDSA president Hanizah Hussin said awareness of the existence of Down syndrome children in the community was important so that these children are given exposure and know they have the ability to work.
“We want to tell the community that these special people need to move forward because they have abilities and do not have total disabilities. They can be taught because they are very focused,” she said.
Hanizah said the special group could be given employment opportunities depending on the initiative of the parents and the acceptance of the employers.
According to her, in every 800 births, there will be one child with Down syndrome. It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 50,000 people with Down syndrome nationwide.
On the COVID-19 immunisation programme, Hanizah said she had been contacted by the Social Welfare Department to register those aged 18 and above, with 50 people with Down syndrome set to be vaccinated.