The News that Matters

Servicing Families in Alaska and Nebraska

Behavior Matters Team

What an amazing team we have!!!! Here is a list of the people who make this all possible!

Team Alaska:

Supervisors: Antonina Shangraw, Rex Shangraw, Consuelo Davis, Rebecca Parenteau, Maya Heim, Dale Foreman, Liza Ross(Juneau)

Lead Tutors: Beth Hastings, Wendy Carrio, Melodie Radcliffe

Tutors: LaRelle Swavely, Krystle Vargas, Olivia Colon, David Walberg, Michelle Thompson, Daisy VanSlyke, Christy Wasmer, Kate Fochs(Juneau), Kelly Tousley(Juneau), Julie Johnson(Kenai)

Team Nebraska:

Supervisors: Corey Cohrs and Jenna Rhodes(Distance)

Tutors: Nora Robinson, Phil Carey, Adan Iniguez, Jessica Shepherd

Administrative Team:

Rebeka Edge CEO, Laura Smith Business Manager, Angela Marusa Office Manager,

Heidie Godfrey Accounting, Andrea Kramer NE coordinator, Pearl Pena Admin Assistant,

Spencer Klessons Admin Assistant.


12836 Old Glenn Hwy Eagle River AK

Extended Therapy Sessions at the Clinic in Alaska

We will be offering a new service this fall called extend therapy sessions. These will be 4 hour ABA sessions from 11am-3pm M-F. The extended therapy sessions will allow us to plan for more variety in activities and be able to build in more group activities, meal planning, social interactions, communication opportunities and at times, community outings.

If your child is a client of Playful Learning, you could schedule OT or PT around the ABA session, we would be more than happy to walk them to the Playful Learning Clinic. We are also willing to extend a invitation to your child's private OT, PT or SLP to provide therapy to the child at our clinic prior to their ABA session from 10-11am. This model allows for professionals to collaborate and for the child to have all therapy in one location.

We will continue to offer 2-3 hour sessions at the clinic, home and/or community. The extended therapy session is an another option. If your family is interested in this new therapy model, please contact the office soon, as some children will need new authorizations for additional hours and we will need to coordinate schedules. At this time we only have 5 extended therapy slots. Instructors will be delivered by 3 tutors and 2 BCBA's.

BxM Group

This group is for anyone interested in services or training provided by Behavior Matters Alaska. Behavior Matters provides applied behavior analysis to children and adolescents with developmental delays in the home, community and/ or clinical settings.
Big image

PEERS Teen Social Group Fall 2014- Alaska

We will offer a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for 6-8 motivated teens in high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during real play activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.).

Parents are taught how to assist their teens in making and keeping friends by providing feedback through coaching during weekly socialization homework assignments.

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) was originally developed at UCLA by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, Founder and Director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, and Dr. Fred Frankel in 2005. PEERS is a manualized, social skills training intervention for adolescents and young adults. It has a strong evidence-base for use with teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, but is also appropriate for teens and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other socioemotional problems.

Topics of Instruction:

  • How to use appropriate conversational skills
  • How to find common interests by trading information
  • How to appropriately use humor
  • How to enter and exit conversations between peers
  • How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
  • How to handle rumors and gossip
  • How to be a good host during get-togethers
  • How to make phone calls to friends
  • How to choose appropriate friends
  • How to be a good sport
  • How to handle arguments and disagreements
  • How to change a bad reputation


What are the participation requirements?

  • Have friendship problems
  • Teens in middle school or high school
  • Teens must be interested in attending the program.
  • Teens must agree to participate in the program voluntarily

Application process:

  1. Call our office at 907-726-5330 to set an appointment to complete a 15-minute phone screen with a member of our staff, and subsequently receive an enrollment packet in the mail.
  2. Complete and return your enrollment packet
  3. Come in (parent and child) for a 1.5-hour intake appointment with one of our clinicians to determine if this program is appropriate for you and your child.


The cost of the 14 week course is $800 and a $50 registration fee which includes intake and the pre-assessment.

Duration: 14 weeks

Planned Days: Tuesday

Planned Terms: Fall 2014, beginning September 9, 2014

Planned Frequency: Weekly on Tuesday. Session time: 6.30pm - 8.00pm

For more information, please email

Saying Goodbye.....

It's never easy to say goodbye to anyone but when you have a BxM team member leaving that has been with us from the beginning it's even harder. Mr. Chad has decided to take a return to school. We wish Mr. Chad all the best with his schooling and hope he comes to visit often.
Big image


14301 First National Bank Pkwy Omaha NE

NE Staff in the Spotlight

Corey Cohrs is a BCBA with Behavior Matters, Omaha. After receiving his M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida in 2012 and working in a variety of settings with both adults and children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities, Corey made the move to Omaha, NE to begin a doctoral program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. When he gets a break from supervision and academic activities, Corey enjoys visiting the zoo and traveling to new places.
Big image

Autism Society Nebraska

Stay connected with the Omaha Support Network by visiting us at


This group is specially designed for those in need of personalized coaching and assistance when it comes to all things gross motor!

The Recreation Club will meet twice a month on a Sunday afternoon. One session will be an activity-based gym program that will practice the physical and social skills required in a school physical education class. The second session will be a community based recreational event where participants will apply those skills in real life recreational activities. This club is designed for the student who is fairly independent but misses out on the subtle instruction in a large group setting.

The Autism Society – Omaha works hard to serve our families and creates many events and educational opportunities for our community. Another way we seek to serve you is to help you stay informed about other community offerings in Omaha. The calendar above includes events planned and coordinated by the Autism Society-Omaha as well as ones created by other organizations. We have tried to list that information along with the event.

Big image

Online Resources

Big image

IEP Tips from Wrightslaw Summer #4 Newsletter

Parent Rights & Responsibilities in the IEP Process

The law is very clear that parents have the right to participate in the meeting where their child’s IEP is developed.

…provisions are important to encourage parent participation in the IEP process, which is an important safeguard for ensuring FAPE under the Act.

Schools must do all they can to ensure that parents participate in the IEP process.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you'll find Part 4: Maintaining Control at IEP Meetings. Learn how to make the IEP process work for your child with a simple tool to document:

  • your requests
  • school decisions made to accept or reject your requests
  • the reasons provided for these decisions

Strategy Tip: Adding Parent Input to the IEP

Parents are free to provide input into their child’s IEP through a written report if they so choose. Commentary to the Federal Regulations (2006), page 46678.

Nothing in the statute or regulations prevents you from adding input to your child’s IEP. Adding Parent Input to the IEP – Find Out How!

Parent IEP Attachment: A Powerful Tool to Keep the IEP Team on Track!

Do you find that requests made at the IEP meeting are sometimes forgotten, or sidestepped?

Do you find that your questions are not answered?

Do you have a good plan in your IEP, but have difficulty getting the plan implemented?

Parent Advocate Judy Bonnell designed a powerful little tool, theParent IEP Attachment, to help keep the IEP team on track.Download in pdf.

Back to School Time

It's that time of year again....back to school!! The kids are excited and nervous and there will be a major shift in daily routines. Here are some great ideas to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

Some tips families recommended to help ease the back to school process included: touring the school building ahead of time, meeting the new teacher before the first day of school, and going on the bus route in advance.

These tips were taken from the Autism Speaks Website. You can go to this link for more articles and ideas.

Back to School and Back on Schedule

This presentation will provide simple and easy to implement strategies to assist in getting children back to school after a long summer break. Participants will learn how to set up their environment for success and simple ways to prepare their child for what to expect when the first day of school is upon them.

Date: August 14, 2014 Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
Presenter: Tahra Cessna, BCaBA, Assistant Clinical Director, Positive Behavior Supports

US/CAN Toll Free: 1.800.245.1683 Passcode: 570084


This is a great website and updated often.