The Science Behind ABA Therapy and Its Benefits for Autism Treatment

Autism Treatment
Autism Treatment

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a scientifically proven method for treating individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This method of therapy focuses on analyzing and modifying behavior patterns in order to improve social, communication, and learning skills. In this blog, we will explore the science behind ABA therapy and its benefits for autism treatment.

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is a behavioral intervention that seeks to modify behavior through a systematic and data-driven approach. It is a highly individualized form of therapy that is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual. ABA therapy is based on the principles of behaviorism, which emphasizes the importance of observable and measurable behavior.

Typically, ABA therapy is provided in one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist to teach new skills and modify behavior. ABA therapy also involves the use of data collection and analysis to track progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan.

The Science Behind ABA Therapy

The effectiveness of ABA therapy for autism treatment has been supported by numerous scientific studies. One of the key components of ABA therapy is positive reinforcement, which rewards desired behavior to increase the future recurrence of that behavior. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be a highly effective technique for teaching new skills and modifying behavior in children with autism.

Another important aspect of ABA therapy is the use of prompting, which provides cues or assistance to help an individual perform a desired behavior. This tactic can be used to help individuals learn new skills or to modify existing behavior patterns. 

Benefits of ABA Therapy

Some of the specific benefits of ABA therapy for children with autism include:

  • Improved social skills: ABA therapy can help individuals with autism improve their social skills, such as initiating and maintaining conversations, making eye contact, and responding appropriately to social cues.
  • Enhanced communication skills: ABA therapy improves communication skills for individuals with autism, such as using language to express their needs and desires.
  • Increased independence: ABA therapy helps individuals with autism develop the skills they need to become more independent, such as self-care skills and the ability to complete tasks independently.
  • Better academic performance: ABA therapy allows individuals with autism to improve their academic performance by teaching them new skills and modifying behavior patterns that may be interfering with their ability to learn.

While most ABA providers focus on servicing children from 2-7 years old, Healing Haven serves clients up to 16 years old because some individuals need continued support as they age. Contact us today to get started and discuss your child’s needs and possible solutions!

Healing Haven Open House 2019


Get an Inside Look at Our Innovative ABA Therapy Clinics

Whether you’re a parent of a child with autism, a professional working with the autism community, or are interested in a career in ABA therapy, we invite you to tour our innovative clinics in Madison Heights. Join us at our Open House Friday, February 1, from 7-8:30 PM. You’ll experience firsthand the well-appointed therapy rooms that are the backdrop for the depth of the services we offer.

What sets Healing Haven apart among ABA therapy providers?

We’ve been providing ABA therapy for 8 years. And we continue to expand our services as the needs of our clients change. In addition to ABA therapy, we also provide Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Counseling, Stress Management, and Parent Training. We also just launched our Academic Instruction Program that supports students who are struggling in their current learning environments.

In May 2018 we opened our second clinic designed to serve individuals up to 16 years old. In addition to building social & communication skills through one-on-one and group therapy, we also provide pre-vocational skill development.

Additionally, in December 2018 we expanded our Speech Therapy rooms to better service our clients and the demand for speech therapy services.

As the need grows for autism therapy services, we are committed to helping families impacted through our high-quality services – all in one location.

Careers that make a difference every day

If you are considering a career working with individuals with autism, this Open House is a great opportunity for you. Come learn about our current open positions, tour our work environment, learn about the one-on-one training we provide, and meet members of our leadership team.

We’d love for you to join us Friday, February 1! Enjoy some refreshments, take a tour and meet members of our team. We’ll also have a special guest sharing her journey living with autism. Katie was our founder Jamie McGillivary’s first client she ever worked with. Jamie’s experience with Katie is what set the path for her academic studies and her career in ABA Therapy. Katie’s story will inspire guests to not underestimate individuals with autism and realize the part we all play in helping them achieve their dreams!

This may be the night that changes the direction of your child’s life…and yours!

On Facebook? Let us know if you plan to attend!

From Roofing Salesman to Board Certified Behavior Analyst


From Roofing Salesman to Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Employee Spotlight: Meet BCBA Stephen

That’s not a typical path for a career as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). But that’s what makes up many people’s career progressions. Often there are chance opportunities and uncovering of gifts and passions to find your calling. No matter how your career starts, the end goal is to land in a place where you are fulfilled and making an impact.

Stephen’s non-typical path to BCBA is a great example. He took a break from school and was selling roofing for a contractor in Oklahoma. One day he realized, “I didn’t want to always be chasing the next storm. I needed to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life.”

Stephen had always had an interest in working with kids with special needs. The seed was planted when he was in middle school and he signed up to be a LINK – a peer mentor to a student with a disability. Stephen worked with a student with autism for an hour a day and realized he loved it! That spark lead to other encounters with children with special needs.

Pursuing A Career In ABA Therapy

That aha moment in Oklahoma led him to reach out to a friend who was a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to talk about her career. He moved back to Michigan and enrolled at Oakland University to pursue a degree in Psychology. Through his one ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) class he met Dr. Lori Warner who co-managed the Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center at Beaumont Children’s with our founder Jamie McGillivary. He applied for the practicum position at the HOPE Center and started his career in ABA in 2013.

Healing Haven started to provide additional services outside of the HOPE Center’s program offerings. As Healing Haven’s programs grew, Jamie needed to focus her attention full-time on providing services to meet the demand. It was a natural transition for Stephen to move with Healing Haven at that time as an ABA therapist.

From Student to Therapist

Shortly after Healing Haven launched Stephen moved from ABA Therapist to Room Monitor. This position provides support and oversight to the ABA Therapists working one-on-one with the kids. Then he quickly moved into the Parent Training program, educating parents on ABA therapy techniques to use at home and out in the community.

While working here the past four years Stephen earned a Masters in Psychology and passed the exam becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in August 2017. (He did this while also becoming a Dad to two wonderful kids!) He describes Healing Haven as “a community of supportive staff who are invested and passionate about what they do.” Stephen added, “I have a Director who is both a mentor and who has a vision that she wants me to be a part of.”

A memorable moment from the past four years was when Stephen ran the Parent Training program. During the last session of training with a Mom and her child, Stephen was doing the final assessment to document any changes. The child pointed to a ball and said “ball” – it was his first word ever spoken! “To have a front row seat to moments like that is such a gift,” exclaimed Stephen.

When asked what his dream career is, Stephen responded, “I’m living it right now, and it continues to grow as the dream of this place grows.” He doesn’t feel like he just comes to work and punches a clock. “I love that I get to be part of a community that is so dedicated in what they do. They see the kids they serve as spectacular, even on tough days.”

ABA Career Advice

Stephen’s advice for someone considering a career in ABA therapy or as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst is to do your research. “Research where you want to learn and work. Make sure it’s at a company that has values in alignment with your own so your passion isn’t diminished. If you find the right environment this work is so incredibly rewarding!”

A bit more about Stephen:

  • Favorite food: BBQ
  • What radio station is on in your car? NPR never leaves my dial!
  • Favorite movie: Any kind of horror movie
  • How do you relax / de-stress outside of work? Spend time with my children
  • Coffee, tea or soda? Coffee
  • Favorite book (either fiction or non-fiction): The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Does Stephen’s story inspire you in your own career ambitions? Take a look at the Join Our Team page for more details on what it’s like to work here and get in touch with us about current opportunities.