S.T.A.G.E.S. of Learning Center

March 2016 Newsletter

Spring Forward on March 13

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Parents attending CPI training

CPI training has been moved to Saturday, April 2nd. If you are interested in attending to gain an understanding of our staff's crisis prevention training, please email Laura at bxmatters@gmail.com.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Who: This training is open to all community members, 18 years and older

Date & Time: March 3, 2016
8:30am - 5:00pm

Location: BP Energy Center

1014 Energy Court, Birch Room

Anchorage, AK 99508

Cost: FREE

Description: Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an eight-hour public education program, intended for adults, which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Register: Those who wish to attend must register through the The Alaska Training Cooperative Learning Management System: Click Here to Register

Contact: For more information, contact Wendi at 907-264-6224 or wendis@alaskachd.org.


This year's Anchorage Rocks for Autism fundraising concerts will be on April 2nd (for all ages) at 7:00PM at Anchorage Community Works and April 16th (21+) starting at 4PM at Williwaw in Anchorage .

Tickets for the show on April 2nd: http://www.flavorus.com/event/Anchorage-Rocks-For-Autism-All-Ages/317946

Info about the show on April 16th: https://www.facebook.com/events/810969152345970/

Anchorage Walks for Autism

Registration is open for Anchorage Walks for Autism! This event takes place on Saturday, April 23rd from 2:00-4:00PM at The Dome (6501 Changepoint Drive, Anchorage, AK 99518). Tickets and t-shirts are available at the link below:

Anchorage Walks for Autism is an annual event coordinated by the AARC. The goal of the Walk is to help establish a sense of community spirit among parents, educators, professionals, and people living with autism. This untimed walk does not have a specifed length: you can walk 1 lap, or sprint 20! The event is meant to be fun for all ages and abilities.



Temple Grandin came to Fairbanks in February. If you were unable to hear her speak in Alaska, here is a TED talk with Dr. Grandin.


Dealing with Bullies

Bullying has become a prominent issue in today's world. A recent survey of 400 parents conducted by Massachusetts Advocates for Children found that 88 percent of children with autism have been bullied at school. Interactive Autism Network (2012) surveyed 1,167 parents and found that 63 percent of children with ASD have been bullied at some point in their life. Whether in the form of cyber bullying, verbal abuse or physical assault, we frequently hear terrible stories of students being tormented by peers.

A number of strategies have been employed to decrease bullying. How effective are these approaches? Often they fall short and the result is that bullying actually increases and our children are further victimized. Since traditional strategies are largely ineffective for children with ASD, let's think outside the box and consider other options:

  • Determining whether the victim is really a target of bullying or if the child may be misinterpreting the actions of others.
  • Developing a strategy of avoidance.
  • Teaching children coping and relaxation strategies can be effective; anxiety and stress can make a bad situation even worse.
  • Enlisting a peer tutor. These peers are beneficial in two ways. First, they can be extremely valuable in helping teach much-needed social skills in a truly authentic way. Perhaps more importantly, they offer protection! We've found this to be very successful.
  • Evaluating situations involving children with ASD being bullied. When evaluating, it is important to look at our own behavior as adults to determine if we are inadvertently contributing to the problem.
  • Attempting to reduce the distinction between children with ASD and their peers is also worth considering.
  • Helping children with ASD learn to develop meaningful friendships may be the most important strategy of all! It is the very reason why we wrote the book Crafting Connections.

By Autism Partnership: Ron Leaf, PhD, John McEachin, PhD and Mitchell Taubman, PhD.



We know how mysterious acronyms and abbreviations can be to families that are new to ABA (applied behavior analysis), so we are going to try to help you all decode our behavior lingo every month.

This month's definition is from Behaviorspeak: a Glossary of Terms in Applied Behavior Analysis.

VISUAL PROMPT: A cue that is meant to be seen and that has behavior-altering effects. This may take the form, for example, of a culturally accepted symbol such as a "stop sign," or may take the form of something designed for an individual teaching program (e.g. holding up a red piece of construction paper while simultaneously asking a student to "touch red"). This can also be a model or discriminative stimulus.


Private Respite Care

If you are or someone you know is looking for a private respite care provider, consider contacting Eliza Jamison at eliza.jamison@live.com for information on her services.


S.T.A.G.E.S. of Learning Center

S.T.A.G.E.S. of Learning Center (STAGES) is a private, therapeutic school dedicated to improving the lives of its students through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. We serve students aged between 3 and 21 years who demonstrate a wide range of needs in the areas academic, social, communication, and daily living skills. Our goal is to prepare our students for success and fulfillment both academically and socially so that they can have the smoothest transition into the mainstream world. We provide individualized educational programs based on the principles and methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). We seek to make the programs both functional and socially significant for the student.