Organisations here celebrate World Autism Awareness Day with carnivals and exhibitions

Ms Denise Phua, president of the Autism Resource Centre said that there is more to be done to develop the full potential of people with autism if society can accept, value, and embrace them. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - From carnivals to art exhibitions, the four autism organisations that make up the Autism Network Singapore hosted individual events to showcase the abilities of individuals with the condition and create greater awareness among the public.

The activities were organised as part of a campaign to mark the World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday (April 2). The network is made up of four autism partners - Autism Association (Singapore), Autism Resource Centre, Rainbow Centre and St. Andrew's Autism Centre.

Ms Denise Phua, president of the Autism Resource Centre and a Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC, said: "There is so much more to do to develop the full potential of people with autism if the rest of society could join in to accept, value and embrace them in both word and action."

At Eden School on Saturday, more than 1,000 people showed up for a carnival organised by the Autism Association to raise awareness for autism. Visitors played games at the various booths and also picked up some educational messages on autism.

Mrs Jenny Lai, principal of Eden School, said: "It is encouraging for individuals with autism to see such strong support from the public. There is an increasing awareness about autism in Singapore, but we need to do more to engage the community."

This month, several buildings around the island will be lighted up in blue, the colour representing autism. These include the National Gallery, Orchard Central and the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Other programmes held this month include an Autism Symposium, where medical professionals and caregivers will share about the early warning signs of autism spectrum disorder, among other topics. The symposium will be held on April 9 at the Autism Resource Centre in Ang Mo Kio.

Businesses too, are providing free services for individuals with autism or their caregivers.

Kimage Hairdressing School, for instance, is giving free haircuts, wash and blow-dry services to caregivers and parents of those with autism. Skyhigh trampoline park too, is planning to provide those with special needs an hour of free play during their birthday month.

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