Her eyebrows knitted in deep concentration, Narelle, 32, meticulously folds origami lucky stars as gifts for her care staff at St Andrew’s Adult Home (SAAH). Stella, 28, who is the only other female at the home, fusses over a name list of people she knows, who are recipients of her prayers and crafts on different occasions throughout the year. Another resident, Benedict, 26, breaks into a smile from his daze each time someone approaches him for a chat.

Living in a sheltered environment with limited contact with family and friends, it is common for these young adults to yearn for time with their families. Home leave is so precious it motivates good behaviour.

As the first and only autism-focused residential facility in Singapore, SAAH is a beacon of hope for parents of autistic adults with high support needs, many of whom can no longer meet the demands of care. Beyond providing basic needs and round-the-clock care, the home is seeking ways to help residents become more visible and closer to the larger community


Since he was young, Jun-Yi, 26, has been fascinated with animals and insects. He would not bear to hurt even the ants at home. A staple diet of National Geographic and Wildlife TV has expanded his knowledge of the animal kingdom, while drawing has become a channel of communication for him.

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