Piecing the Puzzle: An Autism Awareness Campaign by the American Degree Psychology Association

Piecing the Puzzle: An Autism Awareness Campaign by the American Degree Psychology Association

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Dr Choong Yeow Wei, the President and CEO of HELP CAT, presenting his opening speech.

The ADP Psychology Association at HELP CAT recently organized an Autism Awareness Seminar in conjunction with Autism Awareness Month this past April. The purpose of the event was to provide students and participants with a better understanding of the subject of autism and to encourage the community to become partners in a movement to gain support and acceptance of autistic children.

“There are a lot of things that we can benefit from this seminar to prevent further misconceptions about autism,” said Dr Choong during his opening speech. “At the end of the day, we would like people with autism to be fully integrated into our society and to live a normal life – to share happiness and joy.”

Dr Joseph Jacob Panikulam, who is a consultant psychiatrist, gave an informative talk on the Autism Spectrum Disorder which includes both Asperger’s syndrome and Autistic Disorder. He explained the features and conditions of these disorders, giving participants a good introduction to the subject.

Michelle Mong, the Director and Program Supervisor at Bluminate Kids, also helped participants to better understand autism. Armed with over 7 years of experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy and school shadowing assistance, she emphasized on the importance of accepting autistic children and gave some advice on interacting with them.

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Dr Joseph Jacob Panikulam and Michelle Mong giving their talks on autism.

Denu Sankey spoke on “Autism from a Parental Perspective”. She founded the Shekinah Educational Consultancy (SEC), an educational service which guides parents in making informed choices regarding schools for their children. She discussed the importance of parents’ role and hopes to empower other mothers of special needs children to contribute to the development of special needs in Malaysia.

Mahisha Naidu, a consultant dance movement psychotherapist gave a talk on the power of dance and movement for self-expression, self-awareness, creative exploration, social integration and self-healing. She advocated for dance movement therapy as one of the many approaches to work directly with the core deficits of autism.

The American Degree program offers a Bachelor of Science degree in six disciplines: Psychology, Communication Studies, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing and Business Administration. Selected courses are taught by ADP’s own highly qualified and experienced Resident Professors, in addition to local lecturers with PhD degrees.

Students who are interested in the ADP Programs are able to enter directly after completing their SPM examinations with just 5 credits. Students can enroll in these programs without having to go through a pre-university course and graduate with an American degree awarded in four years. Alternatively, students are given the opportunity to live and study at the ADP campus in Fayette, Iowa, in their 3rd year.

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The student organizers from the ADP Psychology Association, Parvesh Krrish and Naoi Kanamori, psychology major students in the 4+0 America Degree Program.

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A song performance by 4+0 America Degree Program students.