December 21, 2017

A Great Job by our Wonderful Students!

Here are some of the secrets of how the students made the beautiful arrangements that were sold at the Higashi Store today! We are very proud of all of them!!

All Aboard the Elementary Holiday Train

As Elementary winds down the semester, we have been celebrating all of the holidays that come with this wonderful season.  In November elementary started off the holiday season with a friendsgiving lead by our communication teacher Sara Kelly. The students went around a table and said they were thankful for friends, family, teachers, and even food, students used their voices or answered by using their talkers, which is great to see all the technology so all the students and voice their opinions.

As we geared up for Winter Music Festival, the students got into the holiday spirit by reading stories such as Polar Express and also Who Ate my Latkes? to learn about not only Christmas, but all of the other holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the New Year.  To go along with reading our stories, Elementary visited the Polar Express ride at Jordans Furniture and made latkes on the first day of Hanukkah.  WE have such a diverse group of students and it is great to see all the students get into the holiday spirit for all the holidays.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Emergence Charity Project

The Emergence Students participated in their annual charity project in conjunction with their academic unit on helping others. This year the students donated to School on Wheels, which is a charity that helps students who are homeless receive school supplies.  The students budgeted for these items, went to the store to purchase them and went to the center to deliver.  We would like to thank the Emergence families for their participation in our project as well.

December 14, 2017

Items made with a touch of Love available the day of the Winter Music Festival!

Residential students have been very busy while at the same time having fun working on their vocational skills in December. They are creating beautiful decorations to celebrate the holidays. They are making Holiday arrangements and Wreaths crafted from bread, which will be available to purchase at the Higashi Store before the Winter Music Festival. Please check them out! 


December 12, 2017

EP Boys Division (Res) is ready to take flight!

The young men in the Emergence Program at the residence went to see airplanes in action at Hanson Airfield. They saw airplanes taking off and landing at ground level! It was cold outside but students got so excited to ask questions to the pilots, touch actual planes and look inside the cockpit. Who knows, a Higashi pilot maybe in our future!

December 02, 2017

Holiday Sibling Day a Hit!

On December 2nd, we held our Holiday Sibling Day. Our sibs spent a fun morning having a “snowball fight” in the gym, team building with a scavenger hunt around the school building, and ending with everyone’s favorite, making gingerbread houses! Each sibling made an individual gingerbread house, which we put on display in our lobby, along with a handwritten note to their brother or sister that attends Higashi. When their own house was finished, they collaborated on a huge house that will be the centerpiece of our holiday lobby display - just in time for Winter Music Festival at the end of the month. ‘Tis the season!

Check out more photos on our Facebook page!

November 14, 2017

Junior High Res Honors our Vets

On Tuesday, November 14th, students from the Junior High School Residential Division visited the Brockton Veterans Hospital in order to show appreciation to veterans of military service.  Henry P., Mark S., and Jayson I., along with several staff, delivered a poster to veterans served by the hospital during their dinner.  The poster featured letters written by the students describing military veterans in one word.  It also featured quotes by some of the military’s most famous leaders.  This project was part of a weekly class taught by Jared Faircloth called “Salute to Military Service” where the students were taught about the branches of the United States Military and what they do. Thank you veterans!

October 03, 2017

Elementary Learns to Conduct!

“Leading the Way” is the school theme of this year.  The Elementary Division has been learning how we can lead the way during music class by singing along with the song “Leading the Way.” We are also learning how conductors lead the way with music. A conductor leads and directs an orchestra or musical group using hand movements and a baton.  They help set the tempo, shape the sound and unify the group. We learned time signature 2/4 last month, this month we'll learn 3/4! Look at us conducting!

September 27, 2017

Back To School Night a Success!

Welcome Back Night for parents was a HUGE success! We had over 75 parents attend and participate in various activities with the Division teachers (shout out to the MS parents for their dance moves!). Parents had the opportunity to meet not only all of the staff within the division, but also the Clinical Staff, and more importantly, got to meet each other! What a great way to start off the new school year! Stay tuned for next month - we'll be having a "Welcome to the Residence" where parents and family members will have the same opportunities to meet all of the staff that work with their child.

Remember Parents: We have a monthly Parent Training (listed on your Higashi Calendar), and we'd love to see you there!

September 24, 2017

Faculty Softball Team Brings Home Championship Trophy

Staff members from the Boston Higashi School (BHS) participated in an annual softball tournament hosted by the Japanese Association of Greater Boston (JAGB) this past Sunday, September 24th, at Danehy Park in Cambridge.  This was the 29th year the JAGB has hosted this historical tournament.  The JAGB is one of the largest non-profit organizations for the Japanese community in the greater Boston, currently boasting over 2,000 members and dates back to 1908. Their mission focuses on the networking and support of the local Japanese community through various activities. 

This year, BHS brought home the championship trophy for the second year in a row, adding to an impressive 7 total championships for the school from the JAGB softball tournament. The staff played a total of four games, winning all four in impressive fashion.  An MVP was also selected at the end of each game by the opposing team. The individuals selected for MVP's at the close of each game included Jason Hurlock, Frank Okoye, Johnny DePippo, and Corinne DeJoseph, who also marked the first female in tournament history to be awarded an MVP title. BHS staff proudly represented their school at the JAGB's event and plan to return next year with hopes to secure another championship.


September 21, 2017

Continuing Adult Education Program (CAEP) Fall 2017 Started!

The CAEP Fall 2017 started on Saturday, September 9th with 37 former students and their parents/caretakers. This is the third year since we launched this alumni program and the number of participants has been growing year by year.

This time, the participants will be enjoying swimming, art, music/jazz band, cooking, and Zumba/yoga in a group. The Fall session will be held from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm every other Saturday until November 18th (6 times in all).

On November 18th, the last day of the Fall session, participants will showcase what they have learned in the past five sessions and celebrate their achievement.

We greatly appreciate the Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation for giving the full-year scholarships to 10 former students and supporting program operation. Their generosity made a big difference to those former students and their families.

We will post the information about the Winter/Spring 2018 session this November on our school website. Please check it out!

June 29, 2017

EP Girls' Summer Adventures!

Our EP Girls took a special field trip to Family Funway in Foxboro on Monday 6/26. It was sponsored by one of the parents, and the girls had a blast! From the driving range, and mini golf, to bumper boats and trampolines, it was a perfect summer day for some FUN! 

EP Division Bowling & Pizza Party!

On Sunday June 25th Emergence students had a day of fun at King's in Dedham. Students enjoyed big ball bowling under black lights.  They enjoyed showing their teachers their skills, with many bowling spares and even a strike or two!  The fun didn't stop there; bowling was followed by a pizza party!  EP has enjoyed this annual tradition and can't wait to see what next year's trip brings.

June 27, 2017

"Just One Person" Video - Continuing Dr. Kitahara's Legacy

This is our "year in recap" video for 2017. This is the kickoff to Higashi's 30th year, and we couldn't be more delighted to have an opportunity to reflect on where it all began, with "Just One Person," Dr. Kiyo Kitahara. Enjoy!

June 20, 2017

Research Opportunity - Take a Survey

Invitation to Participate in Dr. Woodman's Research Study

One of our research consultants, Dr. Ashley Woodman, from University of Massachusetts Amherst, is seeking parents of children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to complete a survey on use of respite care and related services for her research study. Previous use of respite care is not required for participation. Parents 18 years or older are invited to participate. Findings from this study will be used to inform the creation of a free, publicly available respite care training curriculum.
If you would like to participate in this study, please click the link provided below to access the electronic survey. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will have the option to enter your name into a raffle to win one of two $25 gift cards to a merchant of your choice.

Please address any questions or concerns to Ashley Woodman, Ph.D. by phone (413-545-0292) or email (


May 26, 2017

BHS attends IMFAR

This year, the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) was held in San Francisco, California from May 10th to 13th. As usual, members of the Boston Higashi School were enthusiastically in attendance. Michael Kelly (Executive Director), Deborah Donovan (Principal),  Dr. Ann Roberts (Director of Clinical Services) and Dr. John Maina (Director of Program Research, Evaluation, and Development) spent their time attending presentations and making connections. They had a chance to meet with some wonderful colleagues- old and new!

May 10, 2017

Daigo Kobayashi Joins Us for Residence Soccer Fun!

NE Revolution Mascot Slyde glad posed for photos
We welcomed back Daigo Kobayashi from the New England Revolution on Wednesday to join us for some division team soccer matches at the Residence! 

We kicked off the event with Middle School Division, and a game of Red Light / Green Light using soccer balls to practice dribbling skills. Then, the division matches began.

The final standings:

  • Junior High Division (Mark S., Jayson I., Christian G., Derek K. & Timmy H.) was defeated by High School A (BJ S., Cole C., Zack L., Jeremy M., & Brendan W.); 
  • Girls Division (Hope K., Grace F., Helen C., Karina, Kristina & Dyan) dominated over EP Girls Division (Henya, Maeve from the younger girls division, Nicole, Andrea, & Hayley);
  • EP Boys apartments 1&3 (Cameron D., Ben O., Andrew B., Nick B., Pat G.) beat apartments 2&4 (Ethan N, Jack W., Hayato M., Antony G., & Dale L.);
  • Young Adults (TJ B., Ryan D., Jacob D., Patrick C., & Dante G.) triumphed over High School B (Billy C., Austin L., Johnson L., Paul W., & Chris B.)

After the games, students tried their best kicks against Mascot Slyde, and even got autographs from Daigo! Thanks Revs for a great night! 

Check out our Facebook page for photos from the event!

April 05, 2017

BHS Leaders Invited to United Nations

Pictured (from Left to Right): Dr. John Maina,
Director of Program Research, Evaluation, and
Development, Deborah Donovan, Principal,
Michael Kelly, Executive Director
Each April, the United Nations (UN) recognizes Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by bringing together leaders in the field to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. For the second year in a row, representatives from the Boston Higashi School, Mike Kelly, Executive Director, Deborah Donovan, Principal, and John Maina, Director of Program Research, Evaluation, and Development, were invited to attend the UN's day-long seminar. This year, the theme of the event was "Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination," a topic strongly related to BHS's goals of empowering its students to lead fulfilling lives. One speaker the event included Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, who has been a long-standing front runner in the field. Our team is very proud of its leadership and is thrilled to see that others recognize the true magic of our program!

Kelly, Maina & Golden visit the Organization for Autism Research

Pictured (from Left to Right): Dr. John Maina, BHS Director of Program
Evaluation, Research, and Development, Michael Maloney,
OAR Executive Director, Rebecca Golden, BHS Assistant
Clinician, Michael Kelly, BHS Executive Director

Michael Maloney, Executive Director of the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) in Arlington, Virginia, welcomed Boston Higashi School (BHS) staff members Mike Kelly, John Maina, and Rebecca Golden for a groundbreaking meeting on March 28, 2017. Founded in 2001, OAR is an organization lead by family members of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and uses science to address the social, educational, and treatment concerns of self-advocates, parents, autism professionals, and caregivers. During the meeting, the two teams exchanged stories about successes and discussed overlapping values about the importance of high-quality research studies that generate meaningful outcomes for individuals with ASD and their families. By focusing on the practical value of research, OAR empowers programs to determine best practices for ameliorating the symptoms of ASD and creating the best lives possible for its constituents. It was a great honor for the BHS staff to meet Mr. Maloney and his team and looks forward to collaborations in the future.

Check out the OAR website for more information on this amazing organization!

Research Team Travels to Tokyo

Members of the Mushashino Higashi Gaukuen Parents
Associations hosted a party for visitors from
the Boston Higashi School.
In February, members of the BHS Research Team, John Maina, Yumiko Mori, and Rebecca Golden took the trip of a lifetime. Over the course of nine days, the team had a full schedule, comprised of a myriad of events. From tours of the Musashino Higashi Gaukuen Schools and the opportunity to attend the absolutely amazing Happyokai (Annual Celebration) and meetings with the Parents Associations (see photo), every minute was educational and astounding. The Research Team was especially honored to have the opportunity to present its recent work to Michiko Okubo and Akirhiro Takamatsu in a meeting at the Musashino Higashi Center for Education and Research.

The team wishes to thank the administration of Boston Higashi School, especially the Executive Director, Mike Kelly, and Principal, Deborah Donovan, who made this opportunity possible. In addition, the team expresses sincere gratitude to the faculty, staff, and students, of the Musashino Higashi community, especially President Kinji Terada, Executive Manager Katsumi Suzuki, Assistant Director Michiko Okubo, and Assistant Director Akihiro Takamatsu, who were wonderful hosts. It was a trip that we will never forget!

February 24, 2017

February Sibling Day

Sibling Day was a lot of fun with our families! From academic activities in the classroom, PE assemblies that tested our endurance, music making, and even some social games, the morning was action-packed. Even though our sibs were on February break, the fun goes year-round at Higashi, as we were still in session. We had an amazing turnout, and we always love having our siblings visit!

The most enjoyed activity was probably the game "Cake Splat" that was played during Elementary D-Class' Communication time. Check out our Facebook page for some great game photos! Who got a whipped cream SPLAT, and who escaped a messy end? Take a look!

February 03, 2017

Elementary Launches Rockets!

On Friday our Elementary Division held a science fair style contest to see how far their rockets, built during Art classes, would fly! Classes competed one at a time, and two-by-two, students took turns launching their rockets, using math to determine how far each had flown, and charting the distance on a poster on the wall for all to see. The atmosphere in Marble Hall rivaled that of any Super Bowl event, as both students and staff cheered loudly for their friends, used noisemakers, and high-fived the competitors for a job well done. Congrats to Ben J, whose rocket flew the furthest, clocking in at 16 feet. He received a medal for his win, and he was truly excited that his rocket traveled so far!

Congrats, Elementary staff and students!

Check out the photos on our Facebook page here!