SPECIAL Kids Expo (SPEKIX) 2024 officially opened today, Saturday (05/11), 2024, the most comprehensive event on children with special needs held by Zally Zarras Learning Center and Drisana Foundation, as an effort to bridge the sharing of information about diseases autism, as well as foster a sense of concern for them.

With the theme #LoveUnitesSpekix / Love and Kindness Unite – Illuminating the path to Inclusion and Equality, the SPEKIX 2024 Steering Committee Dr. Sri Hartati Sutowo SpMK hopes that this event will be able to help children with special needs to live a better life. As well as providing assistance to families regarding information to help the growth and development of special needs, especially those with autism.

“SPEKIX was implemented to create a forum for children with special needs. Starting from their own children, family, friends and so on. Previously we started this with seminars, now they are teenagers and up to working age, here there will be several companies that open job opportunities for crew members,” said Dr. Sri at the opening of SPEKIX 2024 at the Jakarta Convention Center, Central Jakarta.

“First we have to feel it from the children and families themselves. Having children and families who have it (autism) is not easy. So, our first theme was ‘You are not alone’, there are still many parents who are confused about parenting and raising children with autism. So, it is not uncommon for there to be a sense of guilt between parents,” she said.

Dr. Sri Hartati, explained that it’s very sad (parents), especially mothers, sometimes fathers blame their mothers. They don’t know what to do (for children with autism), sometimes they (choose) to be silent.

Under such conditions, there must be a platform to educate parents and families of children with autism so that they can get the right to live properly. The main problem of children with autism is communication.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, fully supports the efforts of SPEKIX 2024 to pay more attention to special needs children, especially autism. According to Budi, the problem of autism in Indonesia is still not properly managed, and he promised to pay more attention to it in his remaining term.

“Frankly speaking, (autism) can’t be taken care of. As soon as I hear about it, I will take care of it. But there are only 5 months left, no matter what, I will start,” Budi stated.

According to Budi, knowledge about autism is still relatively low in Indonesia. This is a challenge for the government to continue studying to overcome the problem of autism in the country.

“We are conducting research so that we can study autism scientifically. I have allocated IDR1 trillion for the development of research, called genetic research. The funds are already there,” Budi concluded.

SPEKIX 2024 will be held on May 11-12, 2024 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC). For two days, there will be a comprehensive agenda that is free or open to the public. This event is intended as an effort to support related communities and the general public in gaining access to the latest information. By carrying 4 categories (children, youth, adults and professionals) and 4 main contents (health, education, development and support). [].