"My approach to intervention is rooted in respect for child development and focuses on making the mundane meaningful, looking at daily interactions as opportunities for learning and growth while respecting the uniqueness of the individual and family. It’s about setting high expectations for long term quality of life and relationships for individuals on the spectrum and implementing a specific and doable plan to get there one step at a time.”
– Lauren Wilson, LCSW, RDI® Program Certified Consultant

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SB: 668 Hawaii Autism Insurance Reform Bill- Submit Testimony


I encourage folks to submit testimony while the "doors" are open so to speak.  This is an encouraging bill.  However, I am troubled by language that may in practice limit families to ABA treatments.  With such a diverse population it is critical that families have a wide variety of choice when choosing autism treatments.

I am also troubled by the omission of Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) as providers.  There is a shortage of licensed professionals who specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders, to omit a population of providers who are able to provide an equal level of assessment, diagnosis and treatment as a licensed clinical psychologist (listed in the bill) seems a gross oversight that would only be a disservice to families- especially those on the neighbor islands where professionals with expertise is already limited.

You may view the entire bill here:

And submit written testimony or in person (on Oahu) here:
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx  Simply enter Bill:  SB 668

Written Testimony is only open prior to the hearing on Wednesday January 30th, 2pm.

Senator Roz Baker, who represents much of Maui is Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Health who will be hearing testimony on the bill may also be contacted via email at senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

I am very hopeful that Hawai`i will soon be added to the growing number of states with mandated insurance coverage and with expansions in the legislative language families will have an abundance of choices of treatments and providers.

Lauren, MSW (and working towards her LCSW)
RDI Program Certified Consultant

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quotes: No Shortcuts

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”  ― Beverly Sills

I saw this the other day and I thought of a great conversation I had with a few colleagues from different disciplines.  We discussed whether or not the way in which we are taught something matters if the end behavior is the same.  Does it? 

My thought, which was shared by most, is yes.  Yes it does- our neurology tells us this is true as we are experienced based learners.  A great example of this is GPS.  What an amazing invention... and a crippling short cut to our own learning.  If learning how to get to a complicated place is what you are looking to do... using the short cut GPS will not get you very far.  Sure, you'll arrive... though when asked how you got there you may find yourself drawing blanks. 

Hard work is just that... extremely hard... but the payoffs last so much longer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I wish I knew...

A beautiful and powerful video of parents sharing what they wish they knew the day of diagnosis.

Double click to play full screen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Disability resource/job fair part of Feb. 7 event

Thu, February 7, 2013 @ 3:30PM

The fifth annual BIG MAC Event, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Feb 7 at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku, is designed to assist people with disabilities and their caregivers in planning for life after high school.

The event will feature a disability resource/job fair from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. There will be exhibits from more than 27 Maui-based agencies including Social Security, voter registration, The Maui Bus, Easter Seals, ARC of Maui and Legal Aid.

Pattie Hackett-Hunter will be the featured speaker from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Hackett-Hunter has been at the forefront nationally for promoting inclusive employment opportunities for people with a disability or chronic illness in addition to family-centered care and innovative problem solving.

The fifth annual BIG MAC Event is sponsored by the Maui Community Children's Council Office, Hilopa'a Family to Family Health Information Center, the Department of Education Maui District Special Education and the Hawaii State Developmental Disabilities Council.

People requiring access accommodations may call the Maui Developmental Disabilities Council office at 984-8218 by Feb. 2. Requests for access accommodations received after the deadline may not assure that accommodation request will be met.

To learn more about this event, contact Mary Matsukawa at 984-8218 or send email to mary.matsukawa@doh.hawaii.gov.

The Velma McWayne Santos Community Center is located at 395 Waena Place.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Powerful Research

Employment and Post-Secondary Educational Activities for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders During the Transition to Adulthood

Abstract: Abstract This report describes the post-high school educational and occupational activities for 66 young adults with autism spectrum disorders who had recently exited the secondary school system. Analyses indicated low rates of employment in the community, with the majority of young adults (56%) spending time in sheltered workshops or day activity centers. Young adults with ASD without an intellectual disability were three times more likely to have no daytime activities compared to adults with ASD who had an intellectual disability. Differences in behavioral functioning were observed by employment/day activity group. Our findings suggest that the current service system may be inadequate to accommodate the needs of youths with ASD who do not have intellectual disabilities during the transition to adulthood.

Taylor, J., & Seltzer, M. (2011). Employment and Post-Secondary Educational Activities for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders during the Transition to Adulthood. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 41(5), 566-574.

Quite powerful

Monday, January 14, 2013

Activities to Keep in Mind

While the process (how we do something) is always more important than the content (what we are doing), you can't have much process without content, and some days it can be a struggle to come up with content.

I was impressed with the variety of ideas on this site.  And don't let the title "Toddler" activities fool you, these could be used for a wide variety of ages and creative levels.  We're doing the Super Hero toilet paper rolls at our house today.

Toddler Crafts

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Some days don't you wish you.. or your kids just had a reset button?  Wouldn't it be wonderful!  Sometimes you know you're going to need that button from the very moment you or your child wake up.

Acknowledging the need for the reset button is the first step.  Then from there here are some great ideas for actually achieve reset:

20 Ways to Reset when you or the kids are having a bad day