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
Asian Cash N Carry
Dr. Baheerathan Thurairajah
Boston Pizza - Morningside & 401
Cambridge Group of Clubs
Canadian Tamil Medical Association
Canadian Tamil Professionals Association
Century 21 Innovative Prime Home Realty Inc.
East York - Scarborough Reading Association
Halton Regional Police Service
Meridian Credit Union
MRX North Communications Inc.
Nava Wilson Law
New Ocean Supermarket
Northstar Trade Finance
Out of the Box Inc
Royal Bank of Canada
Right & Square Construction
Road Sport Chrysler
Road Sport Honda
Royal Petroleum Maintenance Ltd
Royal Shades Inc
Smith & Long
Dr. M. Selvanathan
South Asian Internal Support Network
Top Choice Solutions LTD.
Dr. Visvalingam Vijayaratnam
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
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
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
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 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.
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.
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 Magendran
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
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 and sports brands including 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 committed to the safety and well-being of the community through seeking multi-sectoral collaborative partnerships to reduce risk in the communityNishan Duraiappah
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.
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
My goal to serve on SAAAC’s board is to advocate for individuals with autism. My contribution aims to break down barriers and cultural stigma with the hope of changing the discourse to ensure inclusion.Dr. Meera Mather
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.
For over 25 years, I have been in leadership positions in the academic and not-for-profit sectors. As Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Centennial College, I am passionate about providing access to education for all and student success. In support of this value, I have developed a myriad of diverse programs and established many industry and academic partnerships.
Here you will find our annual reports that outline our financial information, our
various initiatives, and the impact of our work.