Easter Seals 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, Easter Seals 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 Easter Seals Hawaii autism services. Easter Seals 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, Easter Seals 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.
Easter Seals 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.
Easter Seals 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 Easter Seals 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.
Meet the ESH Autism staff:
Janell Kaneshiro, MSCP, BCBA, LBA
Janell Kaneshiro is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who works as a Clinical Supervisor at the ESH Autism Center. She has worked at PAC since 2008 and has been a clinical supervisor since 2013. Janell was certified as a behavior analyst in January 2012 after completing her behavior analysis coursework from the Florida Institute of Technology. She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University. Janell completed her Master’s practicum at Hoʻokupono, which is a learning center for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities. She started at PAC as a behavior therapist and was eventually promoted to the position of clinical supervisor where she is responsible for overseeing individual client programming and training staff. Her goal is to continue to grow as a behavior analyst while providing individualized, socially significant programming for each learner.
Lauren Cox, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA (Clinical Consultant)
Lauren Cox is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Clinical Supervisor at the ESH Autism Center. Lauren became certified as a BCBA in February 2014, after being certified as an assistant level Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) since May 2012. Lauren received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis in 2006 in Psychology and worked as a clinical intern at the MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute for a year. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Special Education with an emphasis in ASD/Severe Disabilities. Originally from California, Lauren has worked with kids with special needs in both California and Hawaii for the past 7 years. Starting in 2009 as a Behavior Therapist at the Pacific Autism Center (PAC), Lauren moved through each position at PAC to eventually move in to her current role as a Clinical Supervisor, supervising clients programs and training staff on the various needs of each kid. Lauren is committed to providing individualized and meaningful programs for each client that she serves and their families.
Cheryl Tse, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
In 2006, Cheryl Tse graduated from University of Hawaii, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Shortly after graduating she began working as a Skills Trainer in the public school setting. In 2008, she began working at the Pacific Autism Center as a therapist and was later promoted to a Behavior Analyst in Training. Cheryl took the BCaBA certification classes from Florida Institute of Technology, and became a BCaBA in June 2011. Soon after becoming certified, she was promoted to a Behavior Analyst. In December 2012, she received her master’s degree in education with a focus on BCBA certification. She became a BCBA in March 2013. She believes that the ESH Autism program places an incredible amount of emphasis on the importance of having well-trained staff and dedication to highly individualized programs, which she has personally found to be unrivaled. Cheryl is drawn to this field for several reasons: 1.) Working with the kids is like having a second childhood, except you have to be a little less self-centered. 2.) All of the kids she has come across are so drastically different, that they continue to keep her challenged, forcing her to continue to expand and improve her skill set. 3.) Watching ABA succeed over and over again never gets tiresome.
Sean Tarrant, B.A., BCaBA
Sean has been in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 1999. In 2001, Sean graduated from University of Central Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While still enrolled in his undergraduate program, he began working in the field of ABA as a behavior therapist for a residential setting for adolescents and adults who engaged in severe problem behavior. He completed his BCaBA prep course through Florida Institute of Technology in 2001 and became certified as a BCaBA in 2002. He has worked in multiple areas within the field of developmental disabilities and ABA including: in-home therapy and parent training, consultation with public school, charter school, residential, and center based therapy. A great deal of Sean's history in the field has been related to the ethical reduction of severe problem behaviors. He has been certified as an instructor in multiple crisis management systems. His interests in the field of ABA are training procedures, data collection systems and interpretation, and crisis management.