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Each April, we celebrate Autism Appreciation Month here at ESNorCal. Celebrated since 1970, this month is a time to recognize the achievements of all those in our communities with autism, to value the growing movement of authentic representation, and to appreciate the individuals and families with autism who contribute to our society. You can take a look at how we’ve been celebrating this month on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms!

Additionally, April is Stress Awareness Month and a great time to take a deep breath, practice self-care, and reflect on the things that bring positivity to our days. Inside this month’s newsletter, you’ll find great tips to reduce stress for the whole family.

Take a look at what’s new at Easterseals Northern California this month. As you think ahead, please take our survey to help us ensure we continue to deliver great, relevant content to you in future months!

Autism Services

Research shows that caregivers of children with autism score higher on their level of stress than other groups of caregivers. Parents and caregivers of children and adults with autism devote countless hours to their child’s treatment and ongoing care, resulting in caregiver self-care often being overlooked. With April being both Autism Appreciation Month and Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to share some important self-care reminders for all of our caregivers, clients and families.

  • Schedule Self-Care: Even 10-15 minutes a day of self-care can significantly support more balance and reduce stress throughout your day. Looking for some ideas? Megan Gunnell shares many ideas in her 15 minute self-care challenge.
  • Try Mindfulness and Breathing Strategies: It’s well-known that these exercises reduce stress, and the resulting physical changes can also benefit your mental state and concentration throughout the day. You can try out many of the guided exercises available on YouTube. Additionally, UCLA offers a free app for Apple and Android, called UCLA Mindful, and features over a dozen meditations of different types in English and Spanish. Check-it out here!
  • Continue with Enjoyable Family Activities: With all of the responsibilities that families face each day, oftentimes the focus is on caregiving and supporting ABA treatment. One way to combat stress levels is trying to make time for each family member to do things that make themselves feel happy, like a trip to a favorite park, a movie night or baking a special treat—bonus if other family members can join as well!
  • Seek Out Respite Care: Respite care can give you a much-needed break from caregiving, and we offer it at ESNorCal. If you’d like more information on virtual or in-person respite programs available in your area, please contact Kent Higa, ESNorCal Program Manager, at [email protected], or reach out to your BHPN Clinical Cast Manager
  • Ask for Help: If you find yourself looking for additional support or resources for you and your family, you can chat with your clinical team or BHPN Clinical Case Manager via the myBrightlink app, available on your phone's app store.


While the Kaleidoscope group has been adventuring around the community, we have also been focused on lifelong learning. Here are some examples of what we have incorporated into our calendars:

  • Mindfulness: Breathing, yoga, calm cards (to look at when feeling stress), and counting to 10 to center yourself.
  • Social Interactions: When to approach someone, how to greet someone, how to exit a conversation, cheering and complimenting friends.
  • Money Management: Paying with proper denominations, collecting and counting change, and completing transactions without rushing.

Kaleidoscope is growing! If you know of an individual who would be interested in services, or someone who would make a great addition to our team, please contact Zach Lupton at [email protected].

Early Intervention (EI)

In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to provide a few activities that can target some of the stress that we all, as parents and caregivers, encounter daily with our children. We would also like to share information about family friendly events within your region happening throughout the month of April!


  • Aerobic Activities: Nature walks, hikes, bike rides and swimming.
  • Stretching: Reach for the sky, toe touches, V-sits, butterfly, neck stretches, and wrist stretches.
  • Music: Dancing and singing.
  • Sensory Activities: Playdough, stress balls, finger painting, water play, sand play.


Share Your Feedback

We want to hear your thoughts on our Family Newsletters! Please take a moment to take our short survey to share your experiences with our monthly updates and tips.


ESNorCal Office Closures

All Easterseals Northern California services will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday, May 30 — Memorial Day

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

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