Stages Learning Materials, creators of the top-selling autism education product, the Language Builder Picture Cards, creates a new community support platform to provide those impacted by autism to share and support each other.
San Diego, CA – March 7, 2020
The New Autism Learning Line (A.L.L.), several years in development, was released in April to provide hope and support during the challenges of the global pandemic.
“We had been designing a community platform to provide a place where families and professionals working with children with autism could have a safe and supportive place to share strategies and concerns,” said Angela Nelson, CEO of Stages Learning Materials. “When COVID hit, suddenly we knew we wanted to focus our energies on getting the online support platform up and running as quickly as possible. We felt there would be a stronger than usual need for this kind of space online, and we wanted to give back to our community during this difficult time,” Nelson said.
Work on the online community first began four years ago at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A team of interns working for Stages helped staff at Stages develop the first few iterations of the design for the community. That hard work paid off as staff at Stages put together the final pieces and announced the creation of the Autism Learning Line (A.L.L.).
A soft launch of A.L.L. was rolled in early March, just as news of the pandemic was starting to spread. Within less than a week, 800 members signed up and began participating. With parents and teachers facing difficult challenges and less face time with families and friends, A.L.L. provides a supportive community as parents grapple with online learning, mask wearing, and other challenges of living with the global epidemic.
Responding to requests, A.L.L. has added different subgroups on the site to support different needs: parents, teachers, school administrators, and therapists all want to discuss different aspects of supporting children with autism. A new subgroup is just being added called Recursos en Español for members searching for resources in Spanish, and for Spanish speakers to communicate and learn from one another. Patty Martinez, A.L.L.’s coordinator, says this tailoring to member needs is one way the project is already making a huge — and necessary — impact.
“We know that A.L.L. is especially important during this difficult time,” said Nelson, “but we also know that this type of platform was long overdue for supporting the needs of everyone who is touched by autism: family, friends, therapists, and teachers.”
About Stages Learning Materials
Stages Learning Materials was founded by a UCLA-trained ABA Therapist in 1997, when autism diagnoses first began to rise. Its top-selling autism education product, the Language Builder Picture Cards, was designed to specifically meet the learning needs of the individual with autism. The Language Builder Series has become a staple in home and school programs across the world. Today, Stages offers a full range of real photo-based products as well as numerous Apps including the Language Builder App. Visit www.stageslearning.com for more information.
Media contact: Angela Nelson: (530) 892-1112; firstname.lastname@example.org