Your February Updates are Here!
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February is an important time of year, as we celebrate Black History Month to recognize the central role of the Black community in US history and to highlight the community’s many achievements. February also brings us American Heart Month, promoting the opportunity to take care of our heart health. Finally, we also want to take a moment to wish a joyous new year to all of our families who celebrate the Lunar New Year!

Take a look at our updates and stories for this month. Please reach out to us at [email protected] with questions.

Early Intervention (EI)

Families may wonder when they should start reading to their child. Now is always the perfect time! Reading books aloud to children and talking about the pictures they see helps develop their love of reading, encourages imagination, and expands their understanding of the world. Reading with your child provides opportunities for them to hear words and sounds as they develop language and listening skills. Letting them turn the pages and point at pictures not only uses fine motor skills, but they learn to

connect spoken words with imagery as they hear you say a word and point to the corresponding picture.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr.Seuss

If you read just 1 book to your baby each day from birth until their 3rd birthday, you’d have shared 1,095 stories together—wow! The more you read aloud, the more words your baby will hear, which helps them expand their vocabulary and love of reading. Cloth and board books with pictures and a few words on each page are a wonderful place to start story time explorations with your infant, plus they’re nearly indestructible! As toddlers, stories with rhymes, repetitive lines and patterned sentences catch your child’s attention. Don’t worry if your child runs away or mouths the book along with you. Keep reading, as they are still listening. If your child likes to be active while you read, try having them act out the pictures or use toys to follow along.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” —Emilie Buchwald

Take a look at what some other Easterseals Hawaii families love about storytime with their children!

Storytime with Jack

Jack’s dad says, “We started reading to Jack as a newborn and it has always been a nice bonding activity. Now that he is older, he loves labeling and pointing out different animals or shapes.”

Storytime with Oshen

Oshen’s mom says, “The first thing Oshen does when he wakes up in the morning is walk to his bookshelf, grab a book, then bring it to me to read to him - about 20x in a row! It’s also the last thing he does before bedtime. I love that he’s a bookworm! Our Early Intervention teacher introduced us to “indestructible” books, so we don’t have to worry if Oshen puts them in his mouth. They can be washed and read over and over again!”

Storytime with Eleanor Faye

Eleanor Faye’s mother shared, “I love to spend time reading with my daughter. Eleanor Faye likes sensory books with different textures to touch on the pages. She and her grandmother like to explore some of her favorite books together.”

Image of three children: Jack, Oshen, Eleanor Faye reading with their parents

Would you like to share your story? If you’ve had an Early Intervention experience you’d like to share with your local community, please contact your Care Coordinator or program office. We’d love to share your story with other families in the community!

Home and Community-Based Services

Did you know that journaling has many benefits? Journaling has been found to reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-confidence, strengthen memory, improve writing and communication skills, and even help people achieve goals! That’s why we practice sketching and journaling at our program to foster communication through imagery.

Take a look at what our Ewa Beach participant Nate created for his communication journal using a

composition notebook, coloring pages, and a box of colored pencils, markers and other craft supplies. Creativity is endless when it comes to coming up with unique ways to communicate and express ourselves!

Photo of Nate from Ewa Beach, coloring

Autism Services

Easterseals Hawaii’s Sarah Novickis, Autism Services Clinical Manager and BCBA®, was featured in the latest issue of Hawaii Parent magazine—now on shelves and online! Discussing autism, early signs for parents to keep an eye out for, the benefits of Parent-Led ABA and how early treatment is critical, this article does a great job of highlighting how easily confusion and misinformation about autism can impact parents and caregivers. What a great benefit for families concerned about their child’s milestones!

With Autism Appreciation Month coming up this April, now is a great time to get a head start on spreading awareness with friends, family, and in your community. You can thumb through the digital pages and take a look at the full article here.

Want a refreshing dose of neurodiversity in your TV lineup? Amazon Prime Video’s new show As We See It features actors on the autism spectrum, along with a neurodiverse crew and production staff. Catch the first season to celebrate authentic representation!

Did You Know?

You can make your Amazon purchases count towards supporting Easterseals Hawaii’s programs with donations made by Amazon! Next time you want to browse and shop Amazon, visit and select Easterseals Hawaii as your charity of choice before loading up your cart. There is no additional cost to do this and the Amazon shopping experience is just the same as the “old-fashioned” way. Shop for nearly all your favorite goods while doing some good!

ESH Office Closures

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

  • Friday, March 25 — Prince Kuhio Day

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

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