Name: Nola Chambers
Qualification: BA (Speech and Hearing Therapy); MA (Speech Pathology), PhD (Communication Sciences and Disorders
Position: Research Officer, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Title: Feasibility of the Autism Navigator® Training in South Africa. Co-investigator and project manager. Florida State University Autism Institute funding; July 2014 – present
Problem: Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be detected reliably between 18 and 24 months of age. However, the typical age of detection is much later, and valuable years for early intervention are lost. There is an urgent need for evidence-based training in the early signs of ASD.
Project: This study is investigating the feasibility of the Autism Navigator® for Primary Care professional development course in South Africa. This is a web-based course designed for health professionals to raise awareness of the early red flags for ASD and thus lower the age of detection of children at risk for ASD and facilitate earlier referral to intervention. A mixed methods approach is being used. Quantitative measures will document participant utilization of the course and changes in knowledge of early red flags of ASD from before to after the training. Qualitative measures will explore participant’s perceptions of the training course in terms of feasibility, appropriateness, and cultural acceptability.