Your September Updates are Here!
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We hope this message finds you and yours well. With summer coming to a close and school back in session, we are here to support you as you and your family may be starting new routines. We also want to share that after careful consideration, we have decided to require that all our team members providing in-person services be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the month. We are working with our practitioners to support them through this process and to ensure continuity of services. We have reached out to those clients impacted by this change to discuss options.

Early Intervention (EI)

It’s been a busy summer for our Early Intervention Services team! Coming soon, we will be sharing revised in-person service guidelines based on COVID-19 infection protocols and guidance from the state.

We look forward to continuing to provide services to those who need them most, like one of our Central Oahu families: “Our son, Jack, has always been a mover, not a talker. He was always on the go! We were excited to get a speech referral from his pediatrician at his 18 month

visit so we could finally start bringing out those words we knew were in there. Easterseals Hawaii has been so good to our family. They did a thorough examination of all his developing skills and provided brochures that showed us what we should be expecting from him. His speech therapy is all play based and practical. We even have help from an occupational therapist to get Jack more comfortable with water. We are only a couple appointments in, and he is already speaking more words!” Alex Moraleta, Easterseals Hawaii Early Intervention Parent

Young boy, Jack with lei of flowers

Home and Community-Based Services

As you might have heard, there are now new COVID-19 access guidelines for Honolulu County and Maui County.

  • Honolulu County - Many establishments now require photo ID and vaccine card or the Hawaii Smart Health Card on an electronic device. Click here for more information.
  • Maui County - Entrances to indoor dining and gyms now require photo ID and a vaccine card or
  • the Hawaii Smart Health Card on an electronic device. Click here for more information.

Going out into the community is a large part of our program. To make sure the time we spend in the community can be as interesting and useful as possible, we are asking families in Honolulu and Maui counties to provide us with a photocopy or scan of their participant’s ID and vaccine cards at service time so that we can continue to access establishments in the community. Please do not share original documents - keep them at home in a safe spot. Additionally, please do not send any electronic devices with your participant unless they can take full responsibility for them.

As a reminder, if your participant or any household member shows symptoms of COVID-19, has been advised that they have been exposed, or has tested positive, your participant must stay home. Please review the following guidelines for symptoms or exposure:

If a household member displays symptoms: The participant must stay home until the household member receives negative test results or quarantines for 10 days.

If a household member has been advised that they may have been exposed and they need to get tested: The participant must stay home until the household member receives negative test results or quarantines for 10 days.

If the participant or a household member has tested positive: The participant must complete a quarantine period as advised by their healthcare provider.

Please contact your Service Supervisor or Program Manager with any COVID-related questions, they will help connect you with someone that can assist you.

Autism Services

School has started and home life is busy – there are schedules to manage, lunches to pack, homework to do, and helping your child with autism adjust to all the newness tops your task list. Much like your care team creates an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your student, parents and caregivers also need to create their own plans to ensure that self-care becomes as routine as all they do to care for others.

Of course, adding another “project” or thinking about major changes may feel overwhelming, especially at the

start of the school year. But there might not be a better time – the first few weeks of school are when everyone starts to get used to new routines, and so can you! It is important to remember that we can’t help others before we help ourselves, and parents and caregivers need to stop and recharge, refuel and reimagine just like anyone else. This often involves making sure we have food, rest, and recovery — which on some days can feel like quite a task! But on other days, you might feel that you have a moment to reflect on what makes you smile, what activity you enjoy so much you lose track of time, or what helps you be your best self. These are great additions to your plan, along with some simple self-care activities for the days when there is quite a lot going on.

Find the method that works best to remember your plan, whether it’s a written list or a mental one, or digitally stored in a device. As we begin to identify experiences that nurture our well-being, we can creatively include them in our daily lives. In their “5 Self-care Tips for Parents of Children with Autism” blog, Trumpet Behavioral Health suggests double-tasking to add self-care activities to your life. This can look like calling friends and family while walking the dog; listening to an Audible book while driving; reading a favorite magazine or book while eating lunch; singing in the shower. All are great examples of how to enrich routine activities. Trumpet Behavioral Health also suggest task-bettering, which mean combining the enjoyable with less preferred activities, like watching TV and folding laundry; listening to music while washing dishes; playing games on the phone while waiting.

Of course, self-care is more than feel good moments. But our choosing to breathe more fun, meaningful and restorative moments into our daily routines is a commitment to care for ourselves, which is also an amazing way to show up for others.

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

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