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April is Autism Appreciation Month!

For decades, April has been heralded as Autism Awareness Month—but at Easterseals Hawaii, we believe the next step is for everyone to appreciate the strengths, skills, ideas and perspectives that people with autism bring to the community.

Want to join us in celebrating? Rock all things blue this month and use #AutismAppreciation on social media to join the conversation. You can also download our Zoom background to show your support during telehealth sessions!

Please reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions you have about Autism Appreciation Month or our programs.

Early Intervention (EI)

Early Intervention programs are planning to safely reintroduce in-person services in April with small pilot groups. This plan incorporates the guidance from the Department of Health (DOH) – Early Intervention Section and the State’s reopening strategy and status. Please click here for additional information. The pilot will focus on children and families most in need of in-person services, so please reach out to your Care Coordinator if you are interested in participating in the pilot.

Did you know?

In the past 15 years, the prevalence of autism in children has nearly tripled and boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Signs of autism typically appear by the time children are between the ages of 2 and 3, but can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research demonstrates that Early Intervention services lead to positive outcomes later in life, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and therapies based on its principles are the most researched and commonly used behavioral interventions for autism. Please reach out to your Early Intervention provider to learn more about ABA services at Easterseals Hawaii.

Home and Community-Based Services

Back in March, the Easterseals adult programs across the state kicked off our return to in-person services through a pilot called "Meet Ups." This pilot is designed to help us prepare for our broader phased re-opening which will happen throughout the coming months in alignment with state and local re-opening plans.

In the Waimea Adult program, our participants and staff had fun showing support for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and World Down

Syndrome Day by waving their homemade signs - masked up and socially distanced, of course! Our Meet-Up also created some local buzz — check it out. Mahalo to our event sponsor, Kaua'i Developmental Disabilities Council and SAAC Advocacy Group.

Autism Services

Our team has been celebrating Autism Appreciation Month by spreading awareness of autism and its impact on individuals and families in the U.S. While this is a great step forward, many young adults with autism still experience significant unemployment and underemployment, and continue to face many barriers to independence. Our goal in moving from 'Awareness' to 'Appreciation' is to help spark meaningful change to support increased opportunities, education and policy change. We all want to live a fully rewarding, happy life doing what

we love, so this year and into the future, let’s commit to joining forces to create greater appreciation within our communities so that today’s children receiving autism services can have equal opportunity to realize their potential!

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

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