Navigating Through the Systems Around Autism in Hawaii



Start Time: 

8:30 AM

End Time: 

10:00 AM

This workshop walks the participant through diagnosis and treatments available through insurance, early intervention, schools, governmental agencies, and non-profit programs. 

This session will cover supports available in all States in the USA, but also inform about services particular to Hawaii. Several scenarios will be used to illustrate the issues and supports for different ages and for particular supports available to children and adults with autism through agencies and insurance can situations, such as the family being in the military.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to apply to, or refer people to:

  • Diagnosis covered by insurance or agencies
  • Early Intervention and School programs
  • Intensive ABA treatment and sensory integrative therapy
  • and others

About the Seminar Leaders

Photo: Jeffrey Okamoto

Jeffrey Okamoto M.D., is board certified in Pediatrics and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) who is an expert in developmental disabilities, including autism. He is a graduate of John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, and completed his residency at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles and a DBP fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  More recently he was a Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Fellow working in the office of Senator Barbara Mikulski in Washington DC.  He is the medical director for the Hawaii Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Division, in addition to being faculty at John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii and a subspecialist at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children. Also, he is a co-author of the 2015 AAP Technical Report "The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act for Children With Special Educational Needs" with Dr. Paul Lipkin at John Hopkins University School of Medicine .

Photo: Chanel Kealoha

Chanel Kealoha Psy.D is the psychologist on the Clinical Interdisciplinary Team of the Developmental Disabilities Division, Hawaii State Department of Health. She has expertise in autism, child maltreatment,  applied behavior analysis, and diagnostic assessment. Dr. Chanel Kealoha earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Southern California then went on to obtain her Master's and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. She completed a doctoral fellowship at Kapiolani Medical Center where she received intensive training in the assessment and treatment of families referred for issues related to child abuse. Dr. Kealoha is licensed to practice in Hawaii and has more than 10 years of experience providing clinical services. She has focused her training on Child and Adolescent Psychology, particularly the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders throughout the lifespan. Her clinical background has been largely influenced by her interest in culturally-appropriate therapies and assessment. Through her research, Dr. Kealoha has sought to improve the relevance of mental health care and education for the Native Hawaiian community and her research on an alternative treatment for depression has been published in a nationally recognized medical journal.

Photo: Leolinda Parlin

Leolinda Parlin has over 25 years of demonstrable leadership in the areas of Medicaid, government financed programs, curriculum development and training.  She has specific expertise in areas of health care systems, program evaluation and legislative advocacy.  She has worked for and provided consultation to multiple state Medicaid programs, the Los Angeles County Hospital System, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.  She is Clinical Faculty to the John A. Burns School of Medicine and is the Project Director of the Hilopa‘a Family to Family Health Information Center and currently administers grant funding in excess of $4,500,000 in various aspects including the training of health care professionals and support for families in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities and related disorders.  In addition she serves as the Principal Investigator for the Hawai‘i Autism State Implementation Grant, the Co-Director of the Hawai‘i MCH LEND Program, the Co-Chair of the Ka Huliau Medical Home Transformation Project and is the Ombudsman for the Hawai‘i Medicaid Program.

Curtis Toma, M.D., completed a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Hawaii in 2002.  As a primary care physician, Dr. Toma spent most of his career in the community health centers, as medical director for the Bay Clinics on the Big Island and the Kalihi-Palama Health Center in Honolulu.     

Dr. Toma is the Hawaii Medicaid medical director since 2011.  Hawaii Medicaid covers health care for 330,00 indivuduals in Hawaii including approximately 190,000 adults and 140,000 children, approximately 50% of the children in Hawaii.