Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), commonly referred to as autism, is a complex developmental condition manifested in persistent challenges with social communication, restricted interests, speech challenges, and repetitive and rigid behavior and thinking patterns, among others, that range in severity and effect on day-to-day functioning.
Crucially though, every person with autism is unique! And not only that – though long believed to affect 4 times more boys than girls, research is increasingly finding that girls often go undiagnosed or are diagnosed later than boys. Autism in girls often looks different than the stereotype of autistic behavior – many girls on the high-functioning end of the spectrum (often referred to as having Asperger’s Syndrome) even find ways to mask and cope with their difficulties early on and seem to develop fairly typically, but then find social communication and “fitting in” to be increasingly difficult from teen years onwards. Finally, though officially a “disorder”, individuals on the spectrum – and many professionals – don’t feel that there is anything wrong with them. Rather, we live in a world dominated by neurotypicals – a world significantly and increasingly enriched by neurodiversity!
If you suspect your kiddo may be on the autism spectrum, these are the best resources and support groups for parents looking for information on Autism Spectrum Disorder in Singapore.
ASD is a life-long condition that can be managed through early intervention, support, and first and foremost awareness of the condition and its complexities – simply receiving a diagnosis often changes the person’s and their family’s life! If you suspect your kiddo may be on the autism spectrum, this is the perfect place to begin the process of understanding the way they function and your pathway to getting the support you both need in identifying and navigating it:
WANT MORE HANDY RESOURCES FOR AUTISM EARLY INTERVENTION?
As awareness of neurodiversity grows, schools are getting better at accommodating and even celebrating learning differences – to the far-reaching benefit of the entire school community. These are some of the inclusive schools in Singapore that cater to special educational needs and think outside of the box:
Many kids on the autism spectrum who cannot fit into mainstream classrooms will thrive in a safe environment specifically adapted to neurodivergent brains. For some, smaller class sizes and specialized teachers are crucial for unlocking their potential that soars when there is no burden of being misunderstood – and without neurotypical peers holding them back!
Though it goes without saying that professional guidance is indispensable, sometimes sharing our worries, questions and joys with those who share our experience is where we truly find our sense of support. This kind of horizontal sharing and learning can prove to be a great source of a-ha moments! Connect with other parents, caretakers and autistic individuals through these Facebook (and WhatsApp) groups:
Because individual manifestations of ASD are so unique – in terms of spectrum, gender, and ultimately individual expression – there is nothing even close to a one-size-fits-all solution. The scientific community is also still figuring out the complexity and depths of autism, so don’t be hard on yourself or your kiddo if it takes some time to work out how they can lead rich, fulfilling lives that they themselves feel empowered in. There’s always more to learn, read, and try out, so here are some more resources for kids, parents, and caretakers dealing with autism:
AUTISM ORGANIZATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS IN SINGAPORE: