July 2, 2019 | Blog, News Article
Our Global Reach Keeps Growing!
In many countries, there is a distinct lack of access to information and to therapy providers specializing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time Major Champion, Ernie Els and his wife, Liezl, experienced this first hand. Their son, Ben, was diagnosed with ASD in 2005. At the time, he was three years old and they were living in the U.K. After doing a lot of research, Ernie and Liezl discovered that schools and therapies were more available and further ahead in the U.S. Since Ernie was playing a lot of golf tournaments in the U.S., it made good sense for the family to move.
But not all families can just pick up and move. In 2015, to service U.S. and international families, the Foundation initiated its GOALS (Global Outreach Autism Learning Services) program. This program gives families around the world an opportunity to access a highly-qualified transdisciplinary team, an integration of professional expertise, that includes: Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Music Therapists. These professionals work together, using a train-the-trainer approach, to develop unique and individualized programs for individuals with ASD, their families, and therapists/professionals.
The GOALS program commences with a comprehensive, remote in-take process. With the train-the-trainer program, a face to face consultation with the families and their therapists/professionals is set-up for typically one week in length. Throughout the week, the family is provided with coaching, support and recommendations of best practice in ASD. A key component of the GOALS program is to support parent/caregiver and therapists/professionals in their ability to translate what they have learned into practice in their home environment. To ensure the customized plan and training is successfully implemented, the Foundation staff provides a report summarizing the recommendations. The team follows up monthly via video conferencing to monitor progress.
To date, the Foundation has provided this program to over 115 families outside the U.S. as they have participated in a service within the GOALS program from countries, including Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, UAE/Abu Dhabi, and Venezuela.