Aloha Autism Development Foundation
A special project with the Government of Bangladesh
The Aloha Autism Development Foundation (AADF) is a partnership between Dr. Dustow and Md. Almas Hossain to assist the Government of Bangladesh with autism education and outreach through the virtual training of parents, teachers, administrators, service providers and doctors.
Training includes areas such as child development, nutrition, intervention techniques, and therapeutic approaches for children with autism. Dr. Dustow trains and monitors teachers as they learn to assess each child's needs. The support team then works to develop and follow a comprehensive individual intervention plan.
AADF activities include Dr. Dustow’s globally recognized midline exercises intervention, which activates and stimulates brain focus; academics; classes in play interaction; socialization through conversation, both verbal and non-verbal; relationship building and communication techniques; self-care behaviors; art; and music.
Dr. Dustow provides a weekly curriculum that can be modified for each child, as well as a debriefing with teachers to ensure AADF progresses and operates smoothly.
Mission & Vision
AADF's mission is to ensure that children with autism are able to reach their full potential. We work to help children with autism participate productively within the world around them while becoming active and contributing members of their society.
Autism in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, making opportunities for specialized education for children on the autism spectrum particularly challenging. Over the past several years, the country has experienced economic and social growth, with a great need for autism awareness and education. Medical professionals, especially pediatricians, must be trained on autism etiology, as most of the known cases of autism in Bangladesh are identified by general pediatricians. A 2017 study indicates that at least 17 per 10,000 babies in the country have autism spectrum disorder, but more data is needed.
By increasing awareness and educating the public about autism, the social stigma associated with it will decrease, and more children will be diagnosed and receive the help they need. To support the country's growth, it is important that comprehensive and sensible programs are developed for all people, including those with disabilities and special needs. Developing economic activities for disadvantaged populations is one of the expressed objectives of the government's current five-year plan.
How are we supporting these goals?
Providing access to world-class educational resources and training to teachers, doctors, families and service providers in urban and rural areas.
Improving the lives of children with autism to help them become active and contributing members of their communities.
Collecting more accurate data on autism spectrum disorders.
Reducing the stigma around autism spectrum disorders to ensure faster, more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Interested in getting involved with AADF? We are actively seeking grant support as we expand our program to serve children in a variety of urban and rural areas in Bangladesh. A detailed proposal and program overview are available upon request.