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EAP in Penang!

This year in the month of August, EAP Malaysia’s dream to lengthen our services to other parts of Malaysia finally came true! We did a two-day trip to Penang which involved our Director, Jochebed Isaacs, Senior Supervisor, Rachel Gomez, and Neeshallini Kaleappan, our Supervisor, who went there physically to visit some of the centers that work with those diagnosed with autism and to conduct a workshop on Basic Teaching Strategies for Autism for 80 participants from August 5th to August 6th, 2022. The workshop was held at the Livingston Tower from 09.00-12.00 on the 6th of August, and the participants that signed up for the workshop were teachers & therapists from over 15 organizations and parents of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Center Visits

Our team had the opportunity to visit three different organizations to understand and discuss topics related to individuals with special-needs in Penang, particularly for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Asia Community Service (ASC), LemmeLearn Empowerment Center and the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) in Butterworth for their hospitality during our visit.

Our first visit was to ACS at their Stepping Stone Work Center near Balik Pulau. It was an eye-opening experience when we got to see some of the beautiful art works of the members of the organization, which involved hand weaving, batik, hand soap, and paper boxes using natural based materials. They also provide training for people, and the equipment was all very organized. The members were very skillful, and their products were environmentally friendly. We got to see how visuals were used to guide the members to come up with their products.

Our next stop was to the Lemme Learn Empowerment Center, where vocational training for those 18 years and above was conducted. Here we got some insights on inclusive vocational training, especially on kombucha making. It was very interesting to hear about one of their initiatives to create an autism-friendly township to encourage individuals with autism to live on their own independently. The team was very friendly and supportive, they showed us around the center and we managed to speak to some of the students and one of them was their kombucha maker! The students there were impressively independent. 

The final visit was to NASOM Butterworth, where we learned about another vocational training involving cross stitch and got to see how sessions were conducted for the afternoon session for those children on the spectrum. The teachers explained how sessions were conducted for a group of kids, and we managed to see how they were learning through play. The cross stitch products were very unique, and it was good to know their products have been sold at one of the tourist attractions in Penang. We managed to see one of the children’s paintings using numbers there too!

Training Workshop

We were very excited to meet different people that are involved with those with ASD not only in Penang, but also from Perak and Kedah. The workshop was conducted by our Director, Jochebed Isaacs, on the basic teaching strategies of modern ABA principles, and she gave a detailed explanation and very relevant examples to the participants to help them understand how ABA can be a useful tool for those on the spectrum. The participants were among those who work directly with those on the spectrum, but most of the participants were parents who were involved and they asked excellent questions throughout the workshop.

We went over the key points of teaching strategies to help parents, teachers, and therapists better understand what we do best here at EAP Malaysia. It was overall a success for our team to gather people on the northern side of Peninsular Malaysia to educate them on autism and ABA. We even got some enquiries from the participants on when EAP would be coming to Penang again! We couldn’t have done this without the help of the young volunteers from Kingdomcity, Penang, who helped us overall to run the workshop.

Right after the training workshop, we headed off to conduct an Initial Screening and Diagnostic Evaluation for some families who attended the training workshop in the morning. It was a 2-hour appointment, and it was pleasant to work with both the kids and their parents. We are definitely looking forward to starting work with the adorable clients we meet that evening. We were obliged by the support from Ms. Eileen and Ms. Sharon from the Lemme Learn Empowerment Center for providing the space to run the screenings.

On behalf of everyone here at EAP, we thank each and every one of the people who were involved directly or indirectly in making our visit to Penang happen. We appreciate all your efforts, not forgetting our own team members who have been helping from the start to make this event successful. Thank you, Jochebed Isaacs, Rachel Gomez, our assistant manager, Alice Ang, our EAP interns, and our clinic team members for all your time and support. 

It was a wonderful visit to Penang and we are looking forward to ways to collaborate with some of the centers we visited, the other organizations who joined the workshop, and not forgetting the parents who were eager to know more about our services to help their children have a better quality of life and to get the best out of them. We believe that this was a stepping stone to reach out to more people out there!