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.
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.
Arrow Professional Services Inc
Cambridge Group of Clubs
Century 21 Innovative Prime Home Realty Inc.
East York - Scarborough Reading Association
Halton Regional Police Service
Nava Wilson Law
New Ocean Supermarket
Out of the Box Inc
Right & Square Construction
Road Sport Chrysler
Road Sport Honda
Royal Petroleum Maintenance Ltd
Royal Shades Inc
South Asian Internal Support Network
Top Choice Solutions LTD.
I, along with my colleagues, are committed to removing the economic, cultural, communication 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 research on #WhereCultureMatters in our day-to-day practices aligns a lot with how SAAAC has organized its delivery of service, and because SAAAC does it so well, there is an almost perfect synergy!Dr. Mohammad Zubairi
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.
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.
I am a Developmental Pediatrician at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and Assistant Professor at McMaster University, where I also lead training/education with MacART and am a MERIT Scholar with research in the field of health professions education. I also sit on the executive committees for PONDA and the CPS’ Developmental Pediatrics Section.
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
My years of working in finance management has provided me with experiences to help SAAAC develop a strong, reliable operational infrastructure, so the great professionals at the Centre can fulfill their mission.Tony Balasingham
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Here you will find our annual reports that outline our financial information, our
various initiatives, and the impact of our work.