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Providing fun and enjoyable therapy sessions.

Taking a positive approach to problem behaviors.

Valuing your child and their individuality.

Relying on evidence based interventions and analysis.

Our Mission

Providing compassionate and

individualized therapy for young

children diagnosed with autism

by incorporating the positive

approaches of Applied

Behavior Analysis (ABA) and by

empowering parents and

caregivers every step of the way!

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Mother and Young Son Playing

Only Experts Here

All of our services, including direct treatments, are ​delivered by experienced BCBAs. Each day, our ​BCBAs foster an environment where three key ​elements come together:

Effective Teaching, Supported Parents, and Happy ​Kiddos.

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Meet Our BCBAs

Dedicated to helping children thrive

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Kristen Gainer


Kristen Gainer, founder of Thrive ABA Therapy, is a dedicated educator ​and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Since 2005, she has ​contributed significantly to education, specializing in special education, ​early intervention, and autism support.

Kristen has served on Highline College's Professional Education ​Advisory Board and holds teaching certificates in special and ​elementary education. She is proficient in evidence-based ​interventions like prompting, reinforcement schedules, antecedent and ​consequence strategies, visual supports, shaping, and Picture ​Exchange (PECS).

In her free time, she immerses herself in the natural beauty of the ​Pacific Northwest. Whether walking, hiking, camping, or spending time ​at the beach, Kristen enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family, ​finding inspiration and rejuvenation in nature.

Heather M​itchell


Heather Mitchell is a dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analyst ​(BCBA) with over 10 years of experience in special education. She has ​worked with individuals from birth up to age 22, demonstrating her ​extensive expertise across a wide age range.

Heather is also a mother of five children, including one child on the ​autism spectrum. This personal experience enriches her professional ​practice, providing her with unique insights and a deep understanding ​of the challenges faced by families.

In her free time, Heather loves adventuring with her family, taking day ​trips, and indulging in her passion for crocheting.

Allison Pfersich


Allison Pfersich is a highly experienced Board Certified Behavior ​Analyst (BCBA) with a rich background in special education. She began ​her career as a special educator in Boston, working with the renowned ​May Institute in early intervention.

In addition to her professional achievements, Allison is deeply ​committed to her field through extensive volunteer work. She currently ​serves as the co-chair of the ABA in Schools Committee for Washington ​Behavior Analysis, where she plays a pivotal role in advancing the ​application of ABA in educational settings.

When she's not working, Allison enjoys an active and creative lifestyle. ​You can often find her practicing aerial yoga, scaling mountains, or at ​her sewing machine.


Cl​aire Hardy


Claire Hardy is a compassionate and dedicated Board Certified ​Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a strong background in providing family ​support. As a former family support specialist, Claire provided in-home ​coaching to parents of autistic children, equipping them with the tools ​and strategies needed to support their children's development.

Claire earned her master’s degree in education from the University of ​Washington and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from ​Boston University. She is deeply passionate about Dr. Hanley's HRE ​(Happy, Relaxed, and Engaged) approach, believing that children learn ​best when they are in a positive and supportive environment.

Thriving in her direct work with autistic children, Claire is committed to ​making a meaningful impact in their lives and helping them achieve ​their full potential.

Va​nce Hunter


Vance Hunter is a skilled Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and ​Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). He joined our team to offer summer ​services to families, bringing his fresh expertise and enthusiastic ​approaches to our programs.

Vance excels at building positive relationships with families and has ​experience working with children aged 3 to 18. He holds a bachelor’s ​degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education, equipping ​him with a strong foundation to support and guide his clients ​effectively.

Vance is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of the ​children and families he works with, fostering growth and development ​through his compassionate and engaging approach.


House with a Heart

In-Home Therapy

In-Home ABA therapy for children ages 2 to 9 years with a diagnosis of autism. By offering services in the home, it eliminates the need for additional teaching to generalize skills to the child's natural surroundings. The goal is to make learning and progress seamless in the places that matter most to your child's development.

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School Setting

Support your child's academic progress with ABA therapy in an educational setting. In-school ABA therapy offers customized support to help your child succeed, while also promoting participation in whole group instruction and peer interactions. This approach facilitates their access to more inclusive environments.

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Parent Coaching

Parent coaching equips caregivers with tools and strategies to manage their child's behavior outside of therapy. Collaboration with parents is essential to identify their child's needs and create a tailored plan, guiding them on reinforcing positive behaviors, managing challenges, and promoting skill generalization.

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Active collaboration with a variety of professionals including teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and all those who play a pivotal role in a child's treatment plan. By forging these connections and maintaining consistency across settings, we create an environment where all aspects of their growth are addressed.


Workshops and Group Trainings

Virtual workshops covering various ABA principles, such as the A-B-C Model, reinforcement, antecedent strategies, behavior management, and communication are offered. These workshops are informative, engaging, and practical, offering teachers and parents real-life tools and strategies.

We thrive by...

  • Creating Consistent and Positive Environments: We believe in routines and environments that are not only predictable but also nurturing and positive.
  • Writing Feasible Plans with Collaboration: Our plans are practical and designed for everyone involved—staff, parents, and caregivers. We work hand in hand with parents to plan behavior interventions.
  • Fun and Enjoyable Therapy Sessions: We don't just focus on the effectiveness of our therapy sessions; it's equally important to us that they are fun and enjoyable for the children we work with.
  • Prioritizing Quality of Life: We aim to improve the quality of life for the children we serve by targeting functional skills that promote independence and communication.
  • Positive Approach to Problem Behaviors: We believe in proactive, preventable approaches to problem behaviors, focusing on teaching new skills and providing attainable reinforcement.
  • Evidence-Based Interventions: Our interventions are based on the latest research and include systematic, step-by-step approaches to meeting goals.
  • Understanding Why Behaviors Occur: We use functional behavior assessment to understand the reasons behind behaviors and teach replacement behaviors to reduce recurrence.
  • Valuing Individuality and Cultural Sensitivity: We respect each child's individuality and cultural background, and we develop goals collaboratively with caregivers. We use language that affirms neurodivergent identities and condemn ableism.
  • Strengths-Based Teaching: We believe in every child's ability to learn and take a strengths-based approach to teaching.
  • Emphasizing Natural Environments and Reinforcers: We teach using items and in environments familiar to the child, making learning relevant and enjoyable. This approach promotes easier skill generalization, as children learn in the environments they access daily.

Payment Options


Let's Work



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We warmly welcome children ages 2 - 9 years, diagnosed with autism


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