The News that Matters

Behavior Matters-- Serving families in Alaska and Nebraska

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Happy New Year

Wow it's 2015!! Can you believe it? The time seems to be flying by faster every year, I guess that is a sign that I am getting old :). My resolution for 2015 is to take time to breathe. I recently spoke with a friend of mine who has a child that has multiple impairments and she is just overwhelmed!

Being a parent is one of the hardest, most important jobs we have. Being the parent of a child with special needs is even more challenging. I use to call myself the CEO of my child's education and therapy team. I heard another parent said she felt like the General of a small army. At times you are an advocate, attorney, therapist, nutritionist, physician, care giver and.... well the list goes on and on. Please remember that you have to take care of yourself first. Think about the message you hear on a airplane, "Put the oxygen mask on yourself, then assist others". Our mental and physical health is important! Try to take time this year for you; take a evening walk, read a book or go to a movie. Breathe!

I hope this year brings you much joy and peace,


S.T.A.G.E.S of Learning Center- Alaska's newest private school

In December 2014, STAGES began working with our first student. We have primary and secondary students.

The curriculum for our primary students focuses on direct instruction and fluency. We are using Reading Mastery and Math-U-See and will also be adding Language for Learning. Our students in the primary level have a later start time so that they can overlap with clients on the clinic side. This allows for natural environment and social skills training.

The secondary students are being taught using the Unique Learning System by N2Y and A Functional Assessment and Curriculum by Valletutti, Bender and Baglin. We also have other books and materials to supplement the individual needs of the student. Along with academic skills, we offer instruction in pre-vocational, daily living, recreational and communication training, both in the school and in the community.

Let me proudly introduce the amazing staff that will be working with these students:

The School Director is Dr. Tonya Shangraw, BCBA-D. Tonya has a doctorate in clinical psychology and a background in science education. Please contact Tonya with any questions about the scheduling, treatment plans (IEP, WSP) or programming issues. Tonya's email is

The Program Manager is Beth Hastings. Beth has a MBA and a bachelors in psychology. She also a veteran and a BCBA candidate. Beth will be coordinating our curriculum and community relations. Beth's email is

The Teacher is Amy Rees. Amy has a BS in Education from DePaul University. She holds special education certification in Illinois and North Carolina. Amy very recently moved to Alaska. She will be working closely with our students and staff on implementation of IEP goals and instruction. Amy's email is

Our Lead Tutor is Olivia Colon. Olivia attended UAA for a bachelors in psychology with a focus on ABA. Olivia is also a veteran and was a senior Behavior Technician on the clinical side. Olivia will assist with staff training and planning community outings. Olivia's email is

Our other tutors are Wendy Carrio, Terri Akers & Dawn Bliss. Wendy has a bachelors in psychology and has begun to work on a masters degree in ABA. She was also a senior Behavior Technician with Behavior Matters. Terri Akers is a certified special education teacher and has a bachelor's degree in exceptional education. She come with a wealth of experience. Dawn Bliss has a bachelors in psychology and has developed a love of the science of ABA. We have also hired a Teachers Assistant, John Godfrey. John is going to assist on community outings and work along side students on vocational skills. John has begun training and will come on full time in February.

The general email address for the school is This mailbox is checked daily.

STAGES is located at the Behavior Matters clinic. This will allow our clinical and administrative staff to assist or fill in if needed or use for generalization trials. The number for the school cell phone is 907-726-3350. Feel free to text as well.


At this time we have a wonderful group of young clients attending the clinic during traditional school hours. Our staff has set up a mock classroom. Clients are learning to attending in a group, academics, receptive and expressive language along with play skills. It is exciting to see these kids raise their hands to answer questions or watch them share their snacks with a peer. They are building meaningful relationships while learning valuable skills.

Our afternoons are bursting at the seems. Clients come in with backpacks, lunch boxes, boots and coats. The therapist work on academic skills, daily living skills, group and play skills. On my most recent trip, I loved watching one kiddo hurry to finish his homework so he could play a board game with his friend.

Beginning Summer 2015, the clinic will move to block scheduling. The times offered will be 9-12, 12:30-3:30 and 4:00-6:30. There will be some flexibility within the blocks. More info to come.


Behavior Matters Nebraska has the most wonderful group of therapist and families. At this time, we are on a waitlist for ABA services but we are adding more Behavior Technicians to our team. If you are interested in more hours, please contact Jenna Rhodes We would also like to offer social groups this summer, please let Jenna know if you are interested. Groups will mostly like be twice a week at a park. Structured activities will be planned. Staff are anxiously waiting on the arrival of the Superflex curriculum from Social Thinking. It will be taught in individual session and put into practice when we have group sessions.

We have an office in LaVista. At this time, the office is primarily used by the therapist to get and house therapeutic toys, materials and supplies. As we continue to expand, we may begin to offer clinic based sessions at this location. At the bottom of the newsletter is a survey, please take a few minutes to fill it out. We will also continue to offer home, community and school based services.

Speech & Language Therapy Omaha

Behavior Matters to now offering in home Speech Language services. Below is a picture and short Bio. Brittany will be offering services M,W, F from 8:30am-6:30pm. If you are interested in services please send a email to or

At this time, we only accept Tricare but we are working to get her credentialed with other insurances.

Brittany Warby, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her degree from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2012. She has worked in school, clinic, home, rehabilitation, and hospital settings, and has treated patients ranging in age from 1 to 82 who have various delays or disorders. Some of the disorders she has treated include the following: Articulation delays and disorders; language delays and disorders; fluency disorders; cognitive difficulties; childhood apraxia of speech; autism spectrum disorder; neurological disorders; Down's syndrome; cochlear implant; traumatic brain injury; and swallowing disorders. She has received her Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a member in good standing of ASHA.

Nebraska Resources

I set out to find out about different type of services offered in Omaha for families with children with Developmental Delays. The Autism Society of Omaha send me a link to a 2003 publication that has lists of providers, information on government programs, etc. I was told most of the information is still accurate. It looks like a great place to start.

Another recommendation was PTI Nebraska. PTI is a statewide resource.,

2564 Leavenworth St, Suite 202, Omaha, NE 68105

They are located in the Alliance Group Building
(402) 346-0525, (800) 284-8520, (402) 934-1479 - Fax

Behavior Matters


Behavior Matters

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

12836 Old Glenn Hwy Eagle River, AK 99577

907-726-5330 BXM office 907-726-3350 STAGES cell

907-726-5366 office fax


Behavior Matters

7200 S. 84th St LaVista, NE 68128

253-686-6958 cell 855-726-5366 fax

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