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!