Mission: Making autism services equitable for all Canadians.

Vision: Building Tomorrow Together – this is our guiding principle. It looks to inform all our initiatives in order to defeat ignorance, embrace difference, and conquer stigmas.

Our Humble Start

Founded by Geetha Moorthy in 2008, the SAAAC Autism Centre was initially created as a direct response to the growing need for awareness, as well as support, for South Asian families impacted by ASD and related developmental disorders in the Greater Toronto Area

Beginning in the basement of Geetha’s home, the centre offered limited
services ranging from one-on-one tutoring, periodical workshops for families,
and dance classes. These initiatives were created and implemented by a
handful of committed volunteers and dedicated families.

Since then, the SAAAC Autism Centre has rapidly grown to serve diverse communities, with a special focus on newcomers living with autism who experience a host of challenges in accessing autism care.

Led by a multi-disciplinary team of clinical supervisors, social workers, instructional therapists, artists, social workers, among others, the Centre provides a suite of services that serve critical milestones in an individual’s life – from diagnosis support as a child to employment and daily life skills training as an adult.

Through innovative programming, passionate leadership, and committed partners, the SAAAC Autism Centre is working hard everyday to fulfill its mission to make autism care equitable for all Canadians.

Our partners

A special thanks to all of our partners for their contributions.

Champions

Partners $25,000 - $49,000

Partners 10,000 - $24,999

Partners $1,000 - $9,999

Arrow Professional Services Inc

Asian Cash N Carry

Asiyans

Dr. Baheerathan Thurairajah

Bistro

Boston Pizza - Morningside & 401

Cable Shoppe

Cambridge Group of Clubs

Canadian Tamil Medical Association

Canadian Tamil Professionals Association

Century 21 Innovative Prime Home Realty Inc.

Computek College

East York - Scarborough Reading Association

Halton Regional Police Service

KPMG

Kuber MIC

Meridian Credit Union

Mortgage Mogul

MRX North Communications Inc.

Nava Wilson Law

New Ocean Supermarket

Northstar Trade Finance

Out of the Box Inc

Reaching Education

Royal Bank of Canada

Right & Square Construction

Road Sport Chrysler

Road Sport Honda

Royal Petroleum Maintenance Ltd

Royal Shades Inc

Scotiabank

Smith & Long

Dr. M. Selvanathan

Shell Canada

Dr. Srivamadevan

Stuart Olson

South Asian Internal Support Network

Top Choice Solutions LTD.

Dr. Visvalingam Vijayaratnam

Board members

I, along with my colleagues, are committed to removing the economic, cultural, and geographical barriers that prevent individuals and families from accessing quality autism support.

Geetha Moorthy

I am committed to advancing greater accessibility to necessary programs and services for diverse and often times disadvantaged families through a model of care, collaboration, and community.

Dr. Linda Zaretsky

My goal is to help raise additional funds and community support to help the SAAAC Autism Centre take care of our local kids, parents and families.

Glenn De Baeremaeker
Geetha Moorthy

Executive Director

From classical arts, and business/entrepreneurship, to community development, my professional journey has been unique as it has been fulfilling. Before beginning the SAAAC Autism Centre, I held senior roles in controllership and operations. My training and love for dance pushed me to establish the NarthanaI havelaya Centre for South Asian Dances in 1985, training hundreds of students across the Greater Toronto Area, which helped me forged deep ties with my community. It was at Narthanalaya that I first came across students who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Touched by these students’ commitment to dance and learning of the cultural, financial, and social difficulties their families experienced, I established the SAAAC Autism Centre in 2008.

Dr. Linda Zaretsky

Board President

I hold a Ph.D. degree in Education Administration, Theory and Policy Studies from the University of Toronto. My research, teaching, publications, and leadership roles continue to focus on inclusive and culturally responsive programming, administrative, and governance practices. Currently I run a consulting service (Reaching Education Resolutions Inc.) supporting organizations in enhancing inclusive and strengths-based designs in organizational practices. I also serve on the Provincial Education Standards Development Committee K-12 education, and sub-committee for post-secondary education.

Glenn De Baeremaeker

Director

I am a life-long Scarborough resident who graduated from Scarborough Campus, University of Toronto, lead the fight to create the Rouge Valley National Urban Park (the largest urban park in Canada), protect the Oak Ridges Moraine and create the Greenbelt. I am a former Scarborough City Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Deputy Speaker and am currently a government relations consultant.

My goal is to leverage the learnings from the Fintech space to guide SAAAC into the digital age of connecting families, volunteers and sponsors through a delightful experience.

Ajantha Ganeshalingam

I want to help SAAAC utilize multiple forms of communication art to tell powerful stories, and help to articulate the experiences of individuals living with autism and their families.

Sady Mahendran

I want to provide my expertise to help SAAAC develop a strong, reliable operational infrastructure, so the great professionals at the Centre can fulfill their mission.

Tony Balasingham
Ajantha Ganeshalingam

Treasurer

I was the Co-Founder and CEO of a start-up Fin-Tech called Wiser Investments which was acquired by RBC in 2017. Now I head an innovation lab for RBC Global Asset Management focused on most of the same Wiser goals with the benefit of having access to millions of customers to learn, test and iterate our products.

Sady Mahendran

Director

For over 18 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some of Canada's biggest media, telecommunications and sports brands including Rogers, Sportsnet, NBA, Tennis Canada among others as a Creative Director. I am driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, and am passionately involved in various startups and boutique agencies, with various application specialties. Currently, I am the Founder and Creative Director for Lukasu Road, a creative, content and branding agency.

Tony Balasingham

Director

Currently, I am the President of Lastman’s Bad Boy Furniture. I am a designated CMA with over 30 years of experience in finance management with a specialization in the furniture and appliance industry. As a SAAAC board member, I oversee outreach efforts in the community with a special focus on developing relationships with fundraising capacity.

Leveraging my experience in Family and Estate Law, I look to help community organizations like SAAAC pursue their missions with passion.

Dilani Gunarajah

As a member of the Board I want to make sure more families, like my own, are able to benefit from this amazing organization.

Erasiah Kobikrishna

I am committed to the safety and well-being of the community through seeking multi-sectoral collaborative partnerships to reduce risk in the community

Nishan Duraiappah
Dilani Gunarajah

Director

I am a Barrister and Solicitor, from Sri Lanka and was called to the Bar in Ontario in July 2005. I served as a Director at the Family Law Association in 2014 and since 2008, I have been a Family Duty Counsel at the Newmarket Court House assisting self-represented family clients. Before I was called to the Bar in Ontario, I served as Director at the West Scarborough Community Legal Services and worked at the Ministry of Attorney General office for over a decade.

Erasiah Kobikrishna

Director

My first role at the SAAAC Autism Centre is that of a parent. I am proud to be the father of an energetic, kind-hearted young man. As a parent representative on the board, I look to articulate the needs of caregivers and work hard to support programming that increases access for more families to receive support.

Nishan Duraiappah

Director

I began my career with Halton Police in December 1995 serving in a variety of assignments throughout my career including front line policing, specialized investigations and Diversity and Community relations. I was promoted to Deputy Chief of Halton Police in 2015 leading front line policing, community mobilization as well as innovation and technology. In October 2019, I was appointed to Chief of Peel Regional. I arrived with a mandate for change and the strategic goal of becoming the most progressive police service in Canada. I am proud to champion a re-emphasis on front line policing; to modernize traditional community policing; and to seek multi-sectoral collaborative partnerships to reduce risk in the community. I am proud to be part of this esteemed board, and look to provide my knowledge and experience to creating a community that is open, respectful, and accessible to individuals of all abilities.

I want to help the Centre develop its research capacity, so we can create more evidence-based approaches to helping underserved communities access critical autism services.

Dr. Chris Pasarikovski
Dr. Chris Pasarikovski

Director

I am a neurological surgery resident at the University of Toronto. I earned my medical degree from the University of Western Ontario before moving to Toronto for residency. I am enrolled in the Surgeon-Scientist Training Program and have been the recipient of multiple awards including: American Association of Neurological Surgeons Robert J. Dempsey resident award, Brain Aneurysm Foundation Ellie Helton Chair of Research, and the Canadian Institute of Heath Research Fellowship.

Annual reports

At the SAAAC Autism Centre, we believe accountability and transparency is crucial to maintaining the trust you have placed in us.

Here you will find our annual reports that outline our financial information, our
various initiatives, and the impact of our work.

2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report

Contact us

705 Progress Avenue Unit 63
Scarborough, ON M1H 2X1