The scheme called Sens-Ability, is operated by the Housing Authority and will also benefit adults with autism who would like to install a multi-sensory room at their home.
Social Accommodation Minister Roderick Galdes said the scheme was not a budget measure or a pledge made in the electoral programme but one that was responding to a need voiced by people on the autism spectrum.
Galdes said the scheme tries to respond to the individual needs of people. “I wanted this scheme to be a celebration of the abilities of its beneficiaries,” Galdes said, adding it would help people create the best environment in their homes.
Lydia Abela, the prime minister’s wife, who was also present for the launch said it was every politician’s duty to listen, understand and feel the direct experiences of families.
“This scheme enables us to target individuals and families that need direct support in their homes… families that might not be vocal about their needs and are suffering in silence,” Abela said.
The scheme was created with the help of the Autism Parents Association. The association’s public relations officer, Valerie Brincat, herself a mother of three children with autism, said this scheme was long-awaited.
“Research shows that 90% of individuals with autism have difficulty to process sensorial information and the response to these stimuli can be atypical,” she noted.
Brincat said this has a negative impact on the individual’s ability to participate in everyday activities and contribute comfortably to society.
She said this scheme will help families adopt therapy plans at home and provide people with autism a quiet space where they can calm down.