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What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Quick Facts:​

  • Applied Behavior Analysis is the practical use of human behavioral science in real-world settings to build meaningful skills.

  • Scientifically-validated through decades of peer-reviewed studies.

  • Endorsed as an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association.

  • Learn more about ABA from Autism Speaks

What is ABA?

Skill Acquisition 

“Safety. Fun. Learning. In that order.” That was a teaching credo I learned as a young snowboard instructor and it has stuck with me throughout my career as a behavior analyst. Feeling motivated and supported drastically accelerates the learning process.


By carefully tailoring sessions to fit each individual’s profile, we have the best chance of building functional skills that will endure across all areas of their expanding lives. 

Areas for Acquisition/Expansion of Essential Life Skills

  • Communication
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Executive Functioning
  • Health and Safety
  • Play and Leisure
  • Social Interaction
  • Flexible Thinking
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Social Referencing
  • Adaptive Skills
  • Self-Awareness and Mindfulness
  • School Readiness
  • Community Integration
Skill Acquisition

Behavior Intervention/Functional Skill Replacement

Everyday life is full of significant challenges. What may seem like minor inconveniences for some can be deeply unsettling for those who have not developed the skills to navigate these obstacles. This can result in behavior patterns that interfere with one's ability to pursue meaningful opportunities in their lives. In many cases, these effects can also extend to family members and create a barrier for community involvement.

By designing a behavior intervention plan centered on understanding what is important to the patient, and why unsafe behaviors are occurring, we can move toward helping individuals develop the skills to manage their lives safely and constructively through self-advocacy, emotional awareness, and flexibility. 

Behavior Intervention/Skill Replacemnt
Core Values

Core Values:

  • Choice, Growth, and Independence: These are the values our practice was founded upon. Our mission is to teach the skills needed to navigate a complex world, and to experience the joy that stems from independent choice and personal growth.

  • Individualized Treatment: Therapy is only successful when it is carefully tailored to the patient's unique profile. Each patient has diverse interests, skills, and motivations, which are carefully assessed during the intake process.

  • Collaboration: Individualized treatment requires ongoing teamwork with those who know the patient best. In addition to parent/caregiver collaboration, we also celebrate opportunities to work with other professionals in the patient's life.  

  • Integrity and Excellence: Applied Behavior Analysis is constantly evolving. Our education never stops. When we combine our clinical experience with the most up-to-date treatments, we ensure optimal outcomes.

Meet the Team

David Hughes

Director, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (M.S., BCBA)

I've had the privilege of working with neurodiverse children, adolescents, and adults for over 15 years. As a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), I am passionate about blending the extensive science of human behavior with each person’s interests and abilities to help bring the joys of growth and independence to the patients I serve.

I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 2007, where I studied education. After graduation, I developed a passion for supporting individuals who were not being optimally served by a typical mainstream classroom experience.

As a lover of the great outdoors, I moved to Denver in 2010, where I was fortunate to find a position as a behavior technician at a small center serving autistic children. I vividly recall the happiness and engagement on each child's face during my tour of the center. I could see they were receiving truly individualized and engaging therapy. I immediately knew the direction I wanted to take my career and I've never regretted my decision.

In 2012 I became a board certified assistant behavior (BCaBA) analyst following graduate level coursework through the Florida Institute of Technology. In 2016 I graduated with a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from St. Cloud State University and became a BCBA. 

I had the privilege of working in the greater Washington DC area for three years while my wife pursued her own graduate education. While DC was an incredible experience, we always knew our hearts were in Colorado. We moved to Fort Collins in 2018, and I founded Passport with the vision of bringing highly individualized and effective home and community-based ABA services to Northern Colorado.

In our free time, my wife and I enjoy sharing our love of adventure and the great outdoors with our young son. 

McCaili GiauquE

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (M.S., BCBA)

In my early education, I volunteered as a peer counselor and a teaching assistant for students with disabilities. The best part of the experience was the ability to see each student grow and gain independence from new skills.


I received my bachelor's in psychology from Colorado State University and recently completed a master's degree in psychology with a specialization in ABA through Capella University.


In this position, I am passionate about fostering an environment built on communication, creativity, and overall support. I believe that education and understanding of one another is the best way to foster change, both on an individual level and on a big picture scale.


Outside of work, I like to spend my time with my family and friends, and my wonderful pup. I love being outdoors, usually on a lake, and my favorite activity is going to concerts. 

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