Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

First Reader

Stacy Frauwirth, MS, OTR/L


The current estimated prevalence of autism in the United States is 1 out of 88 children, up from 2006 when the estimated prevalence of autism was 1 out of 110 (Centers for Disease and Prevention, 2012). Increasing numbers are a major concern because there is a greater need for services for individuals with autism. According to Kidsdata (2010), approximately 5.7% of Marin County of California’s population of children has a diagnosis of autism. The Hispanic community forms the largest minority group in Marin County, consisting of 15.5% of the population (US Census Bureau, 2010). This community was the target underserved population for this project. The purpose of this project was to create a parent resource and education guide for the Marin Autism Collaborative in a fotonovela format. A fotonovela is a Spanish language photo-book that tells a dramatic storyline (Flora, 1980). A fotonovela can be an effective tool in educating the Hispanic community in Marin County about autism (Unger, Molina, & Baron, 2009). The project bridges the gap in autism awareness within this hard to reach, underserved population by providing an education-resource guide in a culturally appropriate format. A Likert scale survey of the fotonovela was given to families that provided their stories, occupational therapists, and other professionals to evaluate the fotonovela. Overall, the results of the surveys were positive.