GSC Launches Autism Awareness Campaign With Educational Workshops & Hand-Drawn Merch

The funds raised from the year-long initiatives will be channelled back to The Hope Project and the National Autism Society of Malaysia.

Cover image via GSC (Provided to SAYS)

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In conjunction with World Autism Awareness month in April, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) has planned a year's worth of initiatives to raise awareness on autism amongst Malaysians

GSC is partnering with The Hope Project (THP), a non-profit arm of The Early Autism Project Malaysia, and the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) for the #LovingAutism campaign, allowing Malaysians to partake in activities such as attending a series of educational workshops and buying limited-edition merchandise.

The funds raised from the year-long initiatives will be channelled back to the respective organisations.

Themed 'Becoming Autism Friendly', the educational workshops will be conducted at GSC halls nationwide

In partnership with THP, these workshops will encompass relevant topics such as recognising early signs of autism as well as treatment and strategies that parents and caregivers are able to put in place to manage children with autism.

The launch of the first workshop on 1 April will also have a series of fun activities for children and a mini bazaar with vendors in support of the autistic community.

Here are the workshops taking place in April:

Becoming Autism Friendly
Date: 1 April
9am - 3pm
Location: GSC 3 Damansara Mall

Basic Teaching
Strategies for Autism
Date: 15 April
Time: 10am - 12pm
Location: GSC CityONE Kuching

Maximising Daily Learning for Individuals with Autism
Date: 15 April
Time: 10am - 12pm
Location: GSC Gurney Plaza Penang

"We're excited to embark on our efforts with GSC to support Malaysians on the importance of creating safe, and inclusive spaces for the autistic community as well as to equip parents, caregivers, and educators through our lineup of workshops," said Jochebed Isaacs, Director of Early Autism Project Malaysia and spokesperson for THP.

Aside from the workshops in April, bi-monthly workshops up till December are in the pipeline, with further details to be announced by GSC closer to the dates.

To further support the autistic community, GSC has partnered with NASOM to curate limited-edition T-shirts with hand-drawn designs by children aged between five and 19 years old

Based on the theme "What does love mean to you?", the T-shirt designs represent meaningful interpretations from the perspective of an autistic child.

Available in five designs and priced at RM36 per piece, the T-shirts are available for sale on GSC's e-commerce site and at selected Keepsake kiosks located at Tropicana Gardens Mall and The Starling Mall from 1 April onwards, while stocks last.

Julian Wong, the chairman of NASOM, believes that social acceptance is a key factor in cultivating an inclusive and safe space for the autistic community, and is made possible through their partnership with GSC.

"At NASOM, with the right guidance and specific training programmes, we are able to nurture individuals with autism to reach their fullest potential, so that they are able to embark on opportunities for the betterment of their future," he said.

These exciting activities by GSC will take place until December, and will be further supported by like-minded partners

Koh Mei Lee, chief executive officer of GSC, said that autism awareness is a cause that is close to their hearts.

"We believe in channelling our long-term support to the neurodivergent communities in Malaysia by providing them with accessibility to a safe space to enjoy movies with our sensory-friendly halls.

"By working together with like-minded partners including THP and NASOM, we inspire to drive inclusivity and acceptance amongst Malaysians towards the autistic community," she said.

GSC offers sensory-friendly movie halls designed specially for children with autism, which is aligned with their aim of creating an inclusive community for all

Neurodivergent children will enjoy watching child-friendly movies at a reduced volume, dimmed lighting, and more. 

Movies are available every second Sunday of the month, priced at RM9 per ticket at the following locations:

- GSC 3 Damansara, Petaling Jaya
- GSC Kuantan City Mall, Pahang
- GSC The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey, Johor Bahru
- GSC AEON Falim, Ipoh

Last year, GSC opened sensory-friendly halls in Malaysia for autistic children:

Read more #autismawareness stories on SAYS:

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