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With many schools starting back up this month, we’ve got some helpful back-to-school tips for families. Summer break may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop!

In other news, the State of Hawaii is introducing a new resource for mental health. You can read the full update from the Department of Health here.

Take a look at what’s new this month at Easterseals Hawaii, and please reach out to us at [email protected] with questions.

Early Intervention (EI)

Early Intervention Provided the Tools We Need to Help Support Our Son

“When we were first referred to Easterseals we were so unsure of what to expect. Our youngest son had some developmental delays that he needed help with and through his therapists and care coordinator we have had so much support as a family and our son has had so much success. We finally have the tools we need to provide our son with

the support he needs to grow. We always feel heard. It is such an amazing feeling knowing you have a whole team of people who want to see your child succeed as much as you do. We have been very blessed.” – Kim K.

Image of Ursula and family

After Only a Few Months, My Child Has More Communication Skills

“My name is Kaye and I am a mom to Kiki (2.5 years old). Kiki is my second child, and she is such a joy. I noticed early on that Kiki is unique in many ways. I started to have some concerns noticing that Kiki’s communication was something I could not relate to after she turned 1 year old. I began looking for answers and I was led to Easterseals Hawaii. Easterseals has been great with support and resources. They have wonderful people who are approachable and show genuine care for your child."

“After only a few months, I noticed that Kiki is now more sociable, acknowledges other people around her, she now loves things that used to scare her so much like the water (pool & beach), sand, grass and playgrounds. Although Kiki is not talking yet, she communicates more effectively now using actions. And I also can’t get her out of the pool, and waterpark play-day is always on our top of the list for activities."

“I could not speak more of the importance of Early Intervention with speech therapy and occupational therapy. Consistency and persistence make all the difference. If you have any concerns at all with your child’s development, look for answers and seek the right people. The earlier, the better. Remember that every child is different. Do not lose hope. Be your child’s advocate.”       -Kaye D.

Image of mother Kaye and their daughter

Coming in August 2022 — Family Wellbeing Scale Surveys

Beginning in August 2022, and with each 6-month or annual Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) review afterwards, your Early Intervention Team will be asking you to complete a Family Wellbeing Scale.

What are Wellbeing Scales?

Wellbeing includes positive emotions and moods like contentment, happiness, the absence of negative emotions like depression or anxiety, and overall satisfaction with life. Since children in Early Intervention are too young or unable to answer wellbeing questions on their own, you will receive the Family Wellbeing Scale to complete. These scales measure how your child and family are doing overall and can give you an idea of how Early Intervention services are improving wellbeing.

Why do we ask you all these questions?

You may be wondering why we ask you a lot of questions at the beginning of your child’s treatment and then about every 6 months after that. Your answers to the questions in the questionnaires help us understand your needs and the needs of your child. Over time your answers give you and your Early Intervention team a better understanding of how effective your child’s IFSP support is, how you and your child are doing overall, how much stress you might be experiencing and how confident you are feeling. We ask you to answer these questions because while we would like to understand how well your child is doing with their goals, it’s also important to see how you and your child and family are doing overall. Please help us by filling out the survey once you get it!

Home and Community-Based Services

Our Kea’au location has been making waves with canoe paddling at Bay Front Hilo! “No Ordinary Race” is put on for people with disabilities as an opportunity to get involved in paddleboarding, with practice sessions taking place twice a week at the Hale Kenoi Paddling Club. Our participants were part of the First Annual Awesome Athletes Kamehameha Day Race this past June, and had a great time making new friends and putting their skills into action! The successful event – with about 60 athletes, 100 volunteers and lots of

supporters – is set to return next year. We’re happy to share that we’re still actively paddling in the canoe club, and already getting ready for more events. Check out some photos of the fun below!

Three supporters of the program outside enjoying the race.
More supporters
Participant enjoying the outside weather

Autism Services

Social Chef's Corner

This month, the Social Skills Group of four clients and various ESH ABA staff (BCBAs and RBTs) cooked up their first recipe: Spam musubi! Here is the recipe from our chefs for you to try at home.


  • Rice Cooker
  • Spatula
  • Rice spoon
  • Musubi Maker
  • Plate
  • Big Pan
  • Tongs
  • Clear Wrap


  • 3 handfuls of cooked rice
  • Spam
  • Nori Wrap
  • Water
  • Sauce
  • Guava Jelly (Optional)
  • Nori Flakes
  • Clear Wrap


  1. Cook rice
  2. Take out Spam
  3. Cut Spam
  4. Put sauce in pan
  5. Add Spam to pan
  6. Flip Spam (3 minutes each side)
  7. Take Spam out
  8. Get Masubi maker
  9. Put nori on plate
  10. Put Musubi maker on nori
  11. Put rice in (80% of it)
  12. Smash rice down
  13. Add nori flakes
  14. Add cooked Spam
  15. Smash them together
  16. Take off the Musubi maker
  17. Put nori over half
  18. Dip finger into water
  19. Put water on nori
  20. Fold other falf on water
  21. Wrap it

On our first try cooking musubis, we learned a few tips that might help you at home:

  1. Remember to add water to the rice pot before you cook it
  2. It's better to list how much you need of each ingredient before you start trying to cook

Why Cooking is a Great Recipe for ABA

Each of our recipes is a task analysis that allows the chefs to follow simple steps to make their meals at home. The chefs would like to give a big thank you to all our ESH staff who helped us cook, including Miss Alana and Miss Danielle! We look forward to sharing more recipes, tips and tasty treats with you in the next newsletter. Let’s see what our chefs will cook up next!

Person enjoying Spam musubi!

ESH Office Closures

All Easterseals Hawaii services will be closed on the following days:

  • Friday, August 19 — Statehood Day
  • Monday, September 5 —Labor Day
  • Thursday, September 22 — All-Staff Training & Day of Learning

For general questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]

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