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Autism

Autism is a range of developmental conditions characterised by difficulties in communication and social interaction, sensitivity to sensory stimulation and repetitive behaviour.

Here you will find information on the social supports available for persons with autism, resources and stories of people going through the same journey.

 

Therapy & Intervention

There are some behaviours – such as avoidance of eye contact and repetitive behaviour – that may be symptomatic of autism and warrant further assessment to rule out the possibility. While ASD is a lifelong condition, therapy and intervention can help children with Autism improve their social and communication skills.

Services & programmes

EIPIC is likely the most common programme for children with special needs. Activities at EIPIC centres aim to maximise the child’s developmental growth potential and minimise the development of secondary disabilities.

Ad-hoc therapy for children and adults

If your child is not in a programme or school where therapy is already provided, he can still go for therapy sessions offered by other SSAs or private intervention centres. Adults can also consider therapy services to overcome challenges they face in independent living, working and socialising, though generally, intervention is more effective if done early at a young age.

There are various schools of thought and approaches to therapy for persons with autism. Some, like Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), are more widely practised; others, like the use of hyperbaric chambers, may be less so, and still others may be considered ineffective by medical professionals. Caregivers are encouraged to consider mainstream evidence-based forms of therapy, and to seek advice from medical professionals. More information can be found in the Therapy & Intervention section of this website.

Other useful information:

 

Child & adult care

Day care, residential programmes and other care services are available to support persons with autism. The type of service needed would vary based on the person’s needs and the level of support that his caregiver can provide.

Services & programmes

For caregivers looking for childcare and before- or after-school care, they could consider services such as the Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP) for pre-schoolers aged 2 to 6, or Special Student Care Centres (SSCCs) for students aged 7 to 18. More information can be found in the Child & Adult Care section of this website.

For youths and adults, care services like sheltered workshops and Day Activity Centres (DACs) provide a safe environment where they can receive therapy and training, and are supervised throughout the day. For others, getting a job may be a goal to aim for as it is a step towards financial security and participation in society.

Organisations like Autism Association have activity-based programmes that aim to enhance the social integration of persons with disabilities.

Eden Activity Club (EAC) by Autism Association (Singapore) provide social integration opportunities specifically for adults with autism who are currently without employment or support services. This programme is conducted every Saturday, and it includes activities like sports, music and outings. Please contact the programme to find out more and check for eligibility.

In light of enhance safe distancing measures for COVID-19, most activities are now being conducted in small groups for its members, or else suspended for the time-being.

Other useful information:

Future Care Planning 

Caregivers of people who lack mental capacity can apply to be their deputy. This gives the deputy the authority to make important decisions where necessary, such as those involving personal welfare and health, property ownership, and finances. As children with Autism approach the age of 21, parents may want to consider applying to be their court-appointed deputies – the Assisted Deputyship scheme will help them do this, or they can approach the Office of the Public Guardian directly. More information can be found here



Education

Children and youths with special needs have a few choices in their education pathways – the exact choice would depend on their individual needs and abilities.

Pre-school

Apart from early intervention programmes, pre-schoolers may enrol in inclusive or integrated pre-schools.

Special Education and Mainstream school

Education is compulsory up to age 15 in Singapore, so children from age 7 will need to enrol in either Special Education (SPED) schools or mainstream primary schools.

A number of SPED schools in Singapore admit children with autism. Mainstream schools support children with mild autism too, with the assistance of teachers trained in special needs education and allied educators. They work closely with community partners and parents on suitable school-based intervention and support.

Parents can speak to medical professionals, social workers or teachers to seek their recommendations on whether the child should go to a SPED school or mainstream school. The links below also provide useful info.

Service providers:
Other useful information:

 

Preparing for work

There are initiatives to help students with special needs prepare for working life – whether they’re in SPED schools or in Institutes of Higher Learning.

 

Employment and skills upgrading

Job seekers can check out services and schemes designed to help them secure and hold down a job.

Job placement and job support agencies offer a suite of services for job seekers. Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) is dedicated to persons with autism. There are also training courses offered at subsidised rates and customised for persons with disabilities.

Other useful information:
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Other forms of disability support

An overview of disability support can be found on our Introduction page.

Money Matters

Information on financial assistance schemes, subsidies and grants.

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Transport

Information on accessibility features of public transport, concession cards.

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Assistive Technology

Hearing aids, Braille devices, magnifiers and other assistive technology to help you live and work more independently.

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Leisure & Recreation

Arts and sports venues, and other places of interest with barrier-free accessibility.

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