In Singapore, one in 150 kids is autistic, compared to one in 160 kids worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. As more preschoolers in this country receive developmental problem diagnoses, this has happened. These kids increased from 2,500 in 2010 to 4,400 in 2014, a 76 percent increase.
autism singapore needs a wide range of services and support from many sectors and providers at various phases of an autistic person’s life. However, studies have shown that autistic people and their families frequently face difficulties getting the services and supports linked to autism that they require.
Three key themes emerged from semi-structured interviews with select participants:
- enhancing access to autism-specific services
- developing adaptable supports in an inclusive setting, and
- addressing stigma and altering social attitudes
What is being done, if anything?
- Increase in availability of services
Everyone with professional and personal experience agreed that there were few or no autism services in Singapore 20 years ago, but things have changed quickly and significantly since then. Despite some remaining reservations regarding the amount and the caliber of services, the participants generally expressed satisfaction with the availability of services for autistic children, such as early intervention and special education.
- Closing the knowledge gap in the neighborhood
They ascribed the lack of awareness of some specific services by autistic people and their caregivers and families to inadequate public relations and marketing efforts. The opinion of service providers and users that there is a knowledge gap between families was also expressed.
- Repairing financial support’s flaws
Fees for services provided by SSAs are split between the government and the service recipient, with donations being collected to cover any residual costs for families that are unable to pay. Government services, such as traditional healthcare and education, follow the usual funding model, with means-tested fees and government subsidies available to those who qualify.
- Enhancing the coordination of services
The provision of short-term care for autistic children after diagnosis is handled by a multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and social workers in Singaporean hospitals, according to service providers.
Overall, service providers and users in this study reported a significant increase in the availability of autism services in Singapore. In terms of how users and service providers assessed how approachable, accessible, affordable, and adequate the services were, there were differences. Although autism-specific services in Singapore have grown quickly, more general societal structures must now catch up. A paradigm shift from disability to capability is required to properly support autistic people in society, and autistic voices must be highlighted.