Frequently-Asked Questions

About Autism

1. What is Autism?

Autism is a brain-based developmental disorder with no scientifically proven cause or cure. It is a spectrum disorder, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. No two persons with autism will exhibit the same symptoms. Each person with autism is unique.

People with autism and their families need our support and acceptance to safely navigate in our world.

2. Why should I be concerned about Autism?

On average, about one in every 100 persons has autism. With a population of about five million people in Singapore, there could be as many as 50,000 people with autism here. Bringing it closer to home, if your school has 2,000 students, 20 of them could be living with autism. Or if your company has 500 employees, that means you could know five persons with autism. Perhaps you, or someone you know well, has autism.

3. Where can I go for more information about Autism?

Here are some online resources that you may find useful:

— Autism Spectrum Disorders in Pre-School Children by Ministry of Health Singapore

— Autism Spectrum Disorders by Institute of Mental Health Singapore

— What Is Autism? By KK Women's and Children's Hospital Singapore

4. Is it true that autism is caused by poor parenting?

It is a myth that poor parenting causes autism. Parents do not and cannot cause autism. While there is presently no known cause for autism, it is known that parental behaviour before, during, and after pregnancy does not cause ASD to develop.

Here are more myths and facts about autism.

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About SAAC

5. What is SAAC?

St. Andrew's Autism Centre (SAAC) is a non-profit, integrated centre for the education, training and care of persons with autism and their families. Our students and clients tend towards moderate to severe autism.

A community service of St. Andrew's Mission Hospital (SAMH), SAAC operates a special school for children and youths with autism from seven to 18 years old, and a Day Activity Centre (DAC) for adults aged 19 years and beyond. Both students of the school and DAC clients benefit from shared services in specialist therapies — speech, occupation and music therapy — and in varying extents, expressive arts programmes in dance, art and music.

6. When was SAAC started?

SAAC began operations in October 2005.

7. Why was SAAC started?

There are about 50,000 people with autism in Singapore. Yet, many Singaporeans know little, if anything at all, about autism. People with autism, especially adults with autism, are an underserved segment of our population.

SAAC began with the aim of helping people with autism lead dignified and meaningful lives.

8. Who does SAAC serve?

SAAC serves persons with moderate to severe autism regardless of race, religion or creed and strives to provide them with the opportunity to gain independence and self-reliance, and learn life skills that will enable them to live dignified and meaningful lives.

9. Do you provide Autism Assessement?

No. We do not provide such service at our Centre. Should you require help, please approach the following:

Child Development Unit @ Jurong Medical Centre — for children under the age of seven

Developmental & Behavioural Paediatric Services @ NUH's Children's Clinic 2 — for children aged seven to 12

Department of Child Development, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Neuro Behavioural Clinic, Institute of Mental Health Singapore — for children and youths aged five to 19 years old

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Visiting SAAC

10. May I visit your Centre?

We do not generally accept visit requests from individuals. However, if you have a group from your company or organisation that would like to visit, please submit your request here. Please note that requests for visits are reviewed and accepted at SAAC's discretion.

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Careers at SAAC

11. How do I apply for a job with SAAC?

Take the time to look through our website to try to understand a little about autism and what we do, then look at the current openings (if any) careers.

If you feel that you could be right for us and the opportunity, email your resume and relevant documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., making sure that you indicate the reference for the job opportunity that interests you. Do note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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