About Us

The Aruba Autism Foundation, called “Fundacion Autismo Aruba” is one of the few organization on the island that works specifically for the interest of people with autism, their families and caretakers.

“Fundacion Autismo Aruba” (herein after referred to as F.A.A.) was officially founded in June of 2005. The foundation was formed by parents of children with autism, who had personally experienced the lack of an organization to help them navigate life with autism after a diagnosis. Aruba being a small island two of the current board members found out they had something more in common than children of the same age. Both parents had to find the necessary support for their children through their own effort. Their early talks about the need for an autism organization resulted in several informal meetings starting in 2003, that led to the official founding in 2005.

The Board of F.A.A.

The original board of the foundation consisted of 5 mothers, all with a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The official act by notary was signed on June 22nd of 2005 by Mrs. Monique Coenjaerts (board member), Mrs. Dilma Arends-Geerman (secretary), Mrs. Marja Essed-Tromp (treasurer), Mrs. Monique Kuiperi-van Embden (president), Mrs. Rosana Peterson-Quandt (board member), Mrs. LL.M. Yahaira N. Croes-Maduro (candidate notary) and Mr. LL.M. Ralph. Yarzagaray (notary).

In August of 2006 the board got reinforced by Dr. R. Bryson and Dr. K. Veel, two Aruba Rotary Club members. Aruba Rotary Club recognized the need for an organization offering support and information about autism within the Aruban community and decided F.A.A. could do with some extra support. The Rotary Club of Aruba adopted the autism foundation as one of the organizations to which they structurally extend help.

The board underwent some changes during the years and currently(2014) consists of:

  • Mrs. Dilma Arends-Geerman, president
  • Mr. John Eloy Arends, treasurer
  • Mrs. Marian Krozendijk, secretary
  • Mrs. Monique van Embden, board member
  • Mrs. Uleike Tromp, board member

The office of F.A.A.

In June 2006 the foundation had the opportunity to rent a small office in the De Lasallestraat 41 in Oranjestad (of Aruba).

This office used to belong to dr. Guda, a general physician, whose daughter also has a son with ASD. When dr. Guda retired his daughter suggested to share the office space with the foundation and motivated F.A.A. in undertaking this first step to expand and become an established organization within the Aruban community.

The office allows F.A.A. to store and organize autism information, books and articles collected over time and to make these available to the public. But more important, the office enables the foundation to hold different meetings and as such expand the activities of the foundation allowing it to further develop.

Mission and Vision F.A.A.

Mission and Vision


General Objective F.A.A.

F.A.A.’s general objective is to work for the interest of people with autism, as well as that of their parents, family and caretakers with the intention to stimulate integration within society and improve quality of life.

F.A.A. aims to reach this objective by:

  • raising awareness about autism;
  • developing and distributing informational materials;
  • developing, organizing, stimulating and coordinating courses and workshops about autism for different target groups;
  • stimulating research and the collection of local data concerning autism;
  • stimulating early detection and intervention;
  • promoting activities that will lead to improved and specialized services;
  • creating different networks, locally and internationally that will sustain the foundation in reaching its objectives;
  • collaborating with other organizations active in the field of autism or with whom the foundation has a common ground;
  • raising funds to sustain these activities.

After obtaining the office space the foundation developed rapidly and it became obvious F.A.A. needed to “man the station”. In September 2007 the foundation employed ms. Thaisse Erasmus to work  in the office, handling and coordinating different activities of the foundation and being the contact person for F.A.A.

Current Activities of F.A.A.

  • Raises awareness about autism through media campaign and information materials
  • Holds parent support meetings;
  • Offers a basic course in autism for parents and educators, in collaboration with the Dutch Association for Autism;
  • Gives lectures upon request;
  • Guides students with projects on autism;
  • Collects, purchases, organizes, books and publications on autism an makes these available to the public;
  • Develops a strategic plan for the further development of the organization and to improve autism services within the Aruban community;
  • Advocates the need for more autism related services;
  • Guides parents how to correctly navigate available services for diagnosing autism, treatments and therapies;
  • Organizes an international autism symposium with workshops for different target groups.