Easterseals Hawaii | Autism (ASD) Services
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has always existed but only recently has better diagnosis and greater clinical understanding of ASD captured public awareness. Affecting as many as one in 68 children born each year, ASD is one of the leading health issues facing the nation.
As a leading provider of early intervention services across the state, Easterseals Hawaii recognized the important role it could play in addressing the growing need for applied behavior analysis as a treatment for learners with ASD and other developmental disabilities. We addressed this need in June 2013 by expanding Easterseals Hawaii autism services. Easterseals Hawaii added to its staff a group of talented professionals committed to serving individuals and families impacted by ASD. They bring with them experience in language based assessments; treatment plan development; functional behavior analysis; evidence-based treatment; coordination with schools and other agencies; linkages to speech, physical and occupational therapists, and family member support, education and training.
As a leading nonprofit in caring for individuals with developmental disabilities, Easterseals Hawaii is well-known for its quality programs. Our autism team will add to that reputation. Please contact our autism staff if you have question about the services we provide and how we can best support your family.
Easterseals Hawaii Autism Services include:
- Applied Behavior Analysis / Verbal Behavior-Based Therapy
- Comprehensive Assessment
- Speech and Language Pathology (with certain tuition packages)
- Occupational Therapy ( Coordinated with outside providers when clinically relevant)*
- Physical Therapy ( Coordinated with outside providers when clinically relevant)*
- Special Education Services (In Development)*
Training, Education, & Consultation
- Parent/Caretaker Training
- IEP Collaboration & Consultation
- ABA/VB Program Review, Collaboration & Consultation
*For more information, tours, and scheduling, please contact the ESH Autism Center.
Easterseals Hawaii - Autism Center
200 N. Vineyard Blvd., STE A600
Honolulu, HI 96817
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) / Verbal Behavior-Based Therapy (VB)
The ESH Autism Center provides effective, evidence-based, and individualized behavioral therapy and services for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related disabilities and disorders. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs often include intensive Verbal Behavior-Based therapy (VB).
The field of ABA has over 1,000 peer-reviewed, scientific articles which describe the success and effectiveness of ABA/VB therapy. This is one of the reasons why ABA is the only scientifically valid treatment for ASD and is endorsed by the U.S Surgeon General. Since the 1960s, research has demonstrated that ABA is effective in decreasing problem behaviors and in teaching complex communication, social, play, independent living, vocational, and self-help skills and behaviors. ABA offers/provides effective interventions and strategies to not only reduce problem behaviors, but to teach meaningful behaviors.
The ESH Autism Center is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the children we serve and their families by:
- Identifying socially significant outcomes based on each child's individual needs and history of therapy
- Designing and implementing a program that is based on those individual needs
- Focusing the program around functional communication and related language skills
- Intense, 50+ hour training for RBTs (Registered Behavior Technicians)
- Continual staff training, performance evaluation, and clinical supervision
- Parent and caregiver training
- Individualized data collection systems
- Ongoing, daily progress evaluation based on the participant's data
ASD and related disorders and disabilities are defined by behavioral symptoms, thus they are best treated behaviorally. The ESH Autism Center is committed to providing ABA services based on the fields best, current practices and ethical guidelines.
The practice of ABA involves using assessments to guide the development of the participant’s program. These assessments are a part of the initial steps of behavior program development, but also continue throughout the program.
The ESH Autism program has a foundation of comprehensive assessment. The clinical staff approach each client with the following beliefs:
- Every child can learn!
- Assessments must be more than simply identifying what a client can't do or should do less often
- Each client learns in a very different way
- We can discover the most effective way to teach each client
- Selecting behaviors to teach and reduce is a process
- The needs and goals for an individual can change by day, week, and month
Each individualized program at the ESH Autism Center is developed using standardized assessments such as the Essentials For Living, and the VB-MAPP as well as other ABA literature and research. As the needs of a client change, additional standardized assessments are used. Each clients behavior program also includes an individualized data collection system to keep track of progress. These individualized data collection systems are based on direct observation and typically follow an ABC model of recording. Continued analysis of the client's data allows each program to become more effective over time.
When there are challenging behaviors to reduce, Individualized Behavior Intervention Plans are developed and implemented. Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP) are written to reduce problem behavior and as well as outline what behaviors should be taught as an appropriate replacement behavior for the challenging behavior.
Behavior plans also include:
- Adjustments that can be made to the environment to limit the likeliness of the child engaging in problem behavior.
- Appropriate replacement behaviors to teach, which reduces the need for engaging in problem behavior.
- How to react when a child is engaging in problem behaviors to ensure the safety of the client and others
Additionally, ESH's clinical staff strive to ensure that each and every goal is socially significant for that client. This additional step of assessment is used along with the standardized assessments and individualized data collection systems described above, creating a truly comprehensive assessment process for each client.
Speech and Language Pathology (SLP)
ESH currently offers SLP services for several clients. It is Easterseals Hawaii's goal to increase the availability of these services for all clients who receive services through the ESH Autism program. The inclusion of SLP services will allow a more comprehensive program with respect to the different communication and language needs of each client.
An important part of ESH Autism's program is training parents and other family members how to assist in their child's program. This includes training related to the behaviors that the program is attempting to teach as well as the reduction of any challenging behaviors. ESH is committed to developing parent training in the future to extend to not only current families, but also to the community at large.
Individualized Educational Planning (IEP) & Consultation
When requested, ESH clinical staff can be used to offer support for IEP creation. This service may involve reviewing previous IEP and education information, providing recommendations, and attending IEP meetings. For more information on IEP consultation, please contact the ESH Autism Center.
ABA/VB Program Review & Consultation
ESH's clinical staff can be used to offer support for a client’s current ABA/VB-based program. This service may involve reviewing another providers behavior program, behavior intervention plan, records, data, interviewing other clinicians, and observation. For more information, please contact the ESH Autism Center.