Investigation Autism Awareness in Aruba highlighted during conference in Hawaii: FAA research: how do families cope with ASD

Fundacion Autismo Aruba is ready to launch another important investigation to help improve the inclusion of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD. The Family Situation research follows a successful investigation on the awareness level of the Aruban society regarding ASD.

Results of the 2019 Aruban survey on Autism Awareness were recently highlighted during the Hawaii International Conference on Education. The presentation was led by Ms. Lizeth Alcantar of Coastal Carolina University, who along with Mr. Matthew Eichenlaub conducted the study on the level of awareness regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder in Aruba. Ms. Alcantar and Mr. Eichenlaub from the Public Health Department of Coastal Carolina University of South Carolina were in Aruba in 2019 for their internship at the Fundacion Autismo Aruba, FAA. They, under the guidance of FAA board member, Ms. Carolina Span, executed the research to measure the level of awareness of the local community of Aruba, on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The research was part of the advocacy plan of FAA.

Ms. Alcantar together with help from Dr. Royce of the Public Health department of Coastal Carolina University and Ms. Span from FAA, decided to make the research the topic of her Honor’s Thesis for her bachelor’s degree in Public Health. The thesis is titled Autism Spectrum Disorder Inclusivity in Aruba and concluded that the research showed the moderately high level of awareness that Aruba’s adult population has on ASD as well as their knowledge and beliefs. However, a limitation is that the Aruban population does not know how to interact with children or individuals with ASD.

Impressed by Ms. Alcantar’s work and the research conducted by FAA, Ms. Alcantar together with Dr. Royce were invited to the 2020 Hawaii International Conference on Education. Ms. Alcantar was asked to present the findings during presentation her presentation titled Measuring Knowledge and Awareness to Inform Education Strategies for ASD Inclusivity in Aruba.

Fundacion Autismo Aruba is extremely proud to see the findings of this very important research be presented during an international conference in Hawaii. FAA’s main focus for the coming years will be to achieve the inclusion of individuals with

ASD in the local school system and the community as a whole. We are off to a great start!

New research.
In order to continue to gather important data to continue to work towards inclusion FAA is launching the next research in survey form titled “Family Situation of Children & Individuals with ASD”. This research’s focus group are parents and other family members close to children and individuals with ASD.

The survey will open on January 23rd and will close on February 24th. Students from the University of Aruba, Elida Arteaga, Natasha Matai, Gislaine Martijn, Joshua van Spaandonk and Stephanie Richardson will be assisting in the collection of the data and will also plan an informational event for all relevant stakeholders.

To complete the survey in English please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ASDfamily

More information can be found on their facebook page Fundacion Autismo Aruba

or by email fundacion_autismoaruba@yahoo.com.q