World Autism Awareness (Singapore) or WAA(S) for short is a collaborative community outreach effort by key partnering non-profit organisations in Singapore who specialise in autism education, training and care, and are passionate about the quality of life and care of the individual with autism.
Converging on a common vision for social inclusion and integration of the autism community with community at large, the idea for WAA(S) was initiated by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Benjamin Sheares College. The college embraced the autism cause and have played a central role in bringing all WAA(S) partners together. The partners are namely, Autism Association (Singapore) [AAS], Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) [ARC], AWWA, Rainbow Centre Singapore [RC], and St. Andrew's Autism Centre [SAAC], members of Autism Network Singapore (ANS).
ANS, the first of its kind of autism network in Singapore, was formed on 7 April 2015. Founding organisations include AAS, ARC, SAAC and RC, with AWWA being the newest member. ANS seeks to be more effective in addressing the needs of persons with autism in Singapore.
About World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD)
World Autism Awareness was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly, which declared 2 April as ‘World Autism Awareness Day’ (WAAD).
Autism is a pervasive, neurodevelopmental disorder that affects tens of millions. The UN resolution was hence passed with the intention of bringing the world’s attention to the needs and struggles of persons living with autism among member states.
Through WAAD, member states participate by raising awareness about autism throughout society, as well as encourage early diagnosis and intervention. A key objective of WAAD was also to shed light on the high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges.