Providing evidenced-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Our Behavioral Programming and Support (BPS) department provides comprehensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA is the science of looking at the circumstances surrounding behaviors. By identifying what happens right before and immediately after the behavior, behavior analysts can alter the events to shape or teach replacement behaviors to improve the lives of those being served.

We have an accredited program that utilizes current best practices in the field of behavior analysis.


A BHCOE Accredited ® Organization is an applied behavior analysis provider that has demonstrated it has met and continues to meet an assortment of clinical and administrative standards as determined by an independent third-party evaluator.

Who provides accreditation? 

BHCOE Accreditation is a trusted source that recognizes behavioral health organizations committed to continuous quality improvement. Please visit

Can Anyone become BHCOE Accredited? 

No, providers are not given the accreditation, it is earned. Providers are evaluated on a number of measures related to clinical quality.

What does accreditation mean for the organization’s clients? 

The BHCOE Accreditation serves as a consumer protection mechanism that indicates the organization adheres to quality improvement, transparency, and accountability. Collectively, BHCOE’s lead a growing movement of behavioral health providers that aim to increase the collective quality of services across the United States. The BHCOE Accreditation requires that the company continue to meet the Code of Effective Behavioral Organizations.

What does accreditation mean for the organization’s employees? 

The BHCOE distinction demonstrates to employees that their company cares about their feedback, is able to look internally, and can set goals for continuous improvement. The BHCOE distinction demonstrates a company’s commitment to complaint resolution. Accredited providers are required to respond to compliance concerns brought forth to BHCOE regarding best practices. Many organizations utilize the compliance process to ensure that consumers and staff have a voice to file compliance concerns and resolve any areas of improvement internally. Think of the compliance review process as a mechanism to create a complaint resolution process that relies on independent third-party evaluation.


We have multiple engaging specialized environments where ABA therapy can be provided to best support each unique consumer. We offer varying intensities of 1:1 and group support that includes attending group learning environments in different capacities and/or individual clinic sessions. We support individuals that attend L.I.F.E. for our wide variety of services and those that attend exclusively for ABA clinic sessions outside of their typical school day.


Our BPS clinical team supports consumers who have coverage for ABA therapy through commercial insurance, Medicaid plans (Mercy Care and United Healthcare Community Plan), and private pay consultation services. Our ABA therapy is dependent on individual insurance plans’ coverage for autism services. It requires a prescription from a doctor for ABA services and a recent diagnostic evaluation report for preapproval.

For more information about obtaining funding for ABA therapy, please contact our Consumer Resource Administrator.

SARA KLEINMANConsumer Resource Administrator
[email protected]
480-621-8361 EXT 104


We utilize a number of different behavioral strategies tailored to each individual consumer (AKA client).

DTT is a foundational teaching strategy in ABA.  During DTT the skills are broken down into small components, so they are easier to teach.  The BT/RBT provides the instruction and delivers an immediate reward (i.e. toy, tickles, break) to the client when given a correct independent response. This reward acts as reinforcement for the expected behavior so that it is more likely to happen again in the future.  If the consumer produces an incorrect response the BT/RBT will then provide consequences such as a prompt or error correction procedure.

In ABA, a request is defined as a “mand.”  It is essential that we teach consumers how to get their needs met and how to ask for information.  During Mand Training we first identify strong motivators so that the consumer may be more inclined to indicate their interest in those items.  Next, we then determine what the desired response will be.  This could be a vocal word or approximation, a sign, and/or a communication device.  Immediately after the consumer mands for an item the instructor will deliver the item.  Over time, and with consistency, the consumer will learn that the items they desire will be available to them when they request the item with instructor present.

NET focuses on the interest of the learner.  During NET the BT/RBT focuses on what the learner gravitates to during their daily routines and utilizes that opportunity to capture the learner’s motivation within the environment so that they can focus on specific targeted skills and tasks.  This allows the learner to have some control of the learning environment which minimizes problematic behaviors.  NET is a great model for family members because it is easily implemented.

PRT is much like NET, except that it is much more contrived and focuses on specific core skills.  These skills may include socialization, responding to more than one cue, self-regulation, and increasing motivation.  Research has demonstrated that by focusing on these core skills learners will typically increase their success in other domains as well.

FBA helps to identify why a behavior is happening and provides insight on how to shape that behavior or replace it with a more appropriate behavior.  The BCBA will identify the targeted behavior(s) and observe those behaviors to determine what events and situations may be triggering and/or maintaining them.  Once the data has been collected the BCBA will determine what functions the behaviors appear to serve. A behavior plan is then developed to teach the alternative behavior.


ABA is a scientific field that utilizes evidence-based research supported practices to change socially significant behavior. Below are a few peer-reviewed research articles we have referenced and a few key articles in the field.

Also, check out our recorded family trainings.


Our staff consists of our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Program Managers (PM), supervisees, and our amazing team of Behavior Technicians (BT) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT).

Our BCBAs and PMs are required to have a graduate level degree or above from a qualified institution in one of the following fields of study: education, behavior analysis, or psychology.

Both BCBAs and PMs are responsible for skill and behavioral assessments, creating individual treatment plans, directing the BT/RBTs program implementation, and family training. They work closely with the BTs and RBTs to assist them in gaining the skills necessary to increase their fluency in implementing treatment plans as they are designed.

The Director of ABA Clinical Services oversees the BCBAs and PMs clinical training, monitors and advises on their programming for each client, and requires them to meet departmental standards of quality ABA services.

Our Supervisees must complete 2000 hours of fieldwork experience to sit for the National Board Certification exam by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Once passing this certification, they can become licensed in the state of Arizona to provide ABA services.

L.I.F.E. has made a commitment to excellence by hiring Behavior Technicians (BTs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) who demonstrate a passion to teach through play and creativity. Their core values and heart to serve align with the mission of our organization. All staff are trained to meet the departmental requirements to provide ABA therapy.

BTs/RBTs are responsible for the implementation of the treatment package as designed by the BCBA/Program Manager. They are the direct staff that provide 1:1 ABA therapy with clients. The BTs/RBTs take data on skill acquisition targets and navigate behavioral situations by assessing the function of behavior and responding accordingly.


DANIELLE CANNIZZARO, MADirector of BPS Administration and Support


I support the BPS department with the development of management systems and seeking out best practices to support staff and the families served within the department. I also directly supervise all the 1:1 behavior technicians (RBT/BT).

Education and Special Certifications:

  • M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis with an Emphasis on Autism, Ball State University, 2014
  • M.A. in Human Resources Management, Ottawa University, 1999
  • B.A in Psychology, St. Mary’s College, 1993

Career History:

I have been a dedicated L.I.F.E. team member since the organization opened in 2007.

Prior to L.I.F.E. I have always had a passion for helping children. I started off my career in the day- care setting and eventually became a pre-school teacher. During this time, I also volunteered as a family service advocate in which I facilitated family supervised visits, in hopes of fostering positive relationships between children and their parents.

I became intrigued with the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in 2005, when I participated in the Jump Start Program at SARRC, after my own child was diagnosed with autism. Using the methods I was taught in the program, I was able to see the great impact of utilizing the ABA principles in teaching new skills and managing behavior.

When L.I.F.E. opened in 2007, I became an ABA habilitation provider. I had a strong desire to assist children with special needs develop their skill repertoire using ABA principles. Over the years, I have supported the organization in various roles. When the BPS department was initially formed, I was an integral part of developing departmental processes and continue with helping to manage the department today.

Management Philosophy:

I strive to develop a positive culture within the department in order to shape expectations for staff that align with L.I.F.E.’s mission, vision, and values.

TAMI JURSICH, M.S. BCBA/LBADirector of BPS Community Outreach Services


As the Director of BPS Community Outreach Services, I manage many of our community and academic partnerships as well as provide consultation services for other organizations.  I also continue to assist in the BPS department by providing training to staff.

Education and Special Certifications:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), 2015
  • BCBA Certification Coursework, Florida Institute of Technology, 2015
  • M.A. in Psychology, University of Phoenix, 2009

Career History:

I have been working with children diagnosed with Autism and related disorders since 2009. Prior to that I worked in a behavioral health hospital with adults and geriatric patients diagnosed with mental health disorders including Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, and Borderline Personality disorder, to name a few. I graduated with my master’s degree in 2009 and completed my Board- Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification in 2015. During that time, I moved from Chicago- my home town- to Minneapolis. I began working with preschoolers diagnosed with Autism providing in-home support. I moved to a clinic-based setting which allowed me to work with clients from 2-17 years of age. I then moved to Phoenix in 2016 and began working for L.I.F.E. as a BCBA.

Personal Teaching or Management Philosophy:

I believe that all people learn and that all opportunities teach something. My goal is to make sure that we capitalize on teaching to those opportunities as naturally and functionally as possible.


I currently live in the East Valley and have two boys of my own, aged 6 and 2. I love to travel and try new foods but spend most of my time chasing my boys around dressed as a super hero (and loving every minute of it). Although not formally trained, I really enjoy cooking for large groups. I regularly host dinners with ten or more people at my home. I love to try new recipes and then enjoy the delicious outcome.

KAITLYN WITTIG, M.Ed. BCBA/LBADirector of ABA Clinical Services


I support the Behavioral Programming and Support (BPS) department by ensuring quality of care of state funded services. In addition to quality assurance, I assist in providing supervision to behavior technicians/registered behavior technicians and those on the professional track to becoming Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).


  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis, Arizona State University, May 2017
  • B.S. in Psychology, Arizona State University, May 2015 Special Certifications:
  • Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners, Licensed Behavior Analyst, May 2018
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), February 2018

Career History:

I began working at L.I.F.E. in February of 2014 with the BPS department as a 1:1 provider. I transitioned into the role of a program manager in May of 2017. After receiving my master’s, I sat for the board certification exam, passed, and then received my license. Prior to working at L.I.F.E., I provided respite and habilitation for clients with disabilities in my community.

Training Philosophy:

As a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, I believe in serving the whole child by looking at each individual behavior they engage in. By figuring out the purpose that behavior serves, I can work to teach appropriate behaviors to assist the child in their daily life. My biggest aspirations are providing quality services, supporting families in their journey, and creating an environment of understanding and acceptance one child at a time.


I am an Arizona native, born and raised. I have been married for 3 years and have a 10-year-old poodle named Bugsey. When I’m not at work, I enjoy going to Flagstaff with my family to escape the heat. I also love attending any sporting event for an Arizona team and going to NASCAR in November.

TERRA MCMANUS, M.A. Program Manager

Role: I am a program manager within the Behavioral Programming and Support (BPS) department. I have a caseload of students and families that I support. I write programs based on assessments, maintain up-to-date programming, and monitor behavior reduction goals. I observe staff and manage support calls while also completing ongoing parent training and daily staff training.

Education and Special Certifications: I received my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UT Tyler in 2013. I received my master’s degree in art and applied Behavior Analysis from ASU in 2020.

Career History: I was on my way to being a juvenile probation and parole officer. However, I found applied behavior analysis when looking for a job to meet my requirements to continue my criminal justice journey. I worked for a company in Tyler, Texas, Treatment Learning Center for Autism (TLC) from 2013-2016. I came to Lauren’s Institute for Education (LIFE)  in 2016 to current. Since starting in 2013, I have not looked back and cannot see myself doing anything but working with kids and teaching.

Personal Treatment or Management Philosophy:  Every student that I have the fantastic opportunity to work with teaches me something new each day. I believe that each student has a story to tell, and as a program manager, it’s my responsibility to listen and assist in helping them better communicate their wants and needs. I work daily to teach appropriate behaviors to navigate their lives. I strive to be a safe place not only for my staff but for my students and their families, and I work to better the lives of every amazing individual I come in contact with.

Personal: I’m originally from Dallas, Texas; I moved to Arizona in 2016. My wife and I have been married since July 2016. We have a beautiful daughter and a zoo at our house. We have three small pups: Meeko, Phoebe, and Emmie. We also have five cats and a Russian tortoise. When I’m not at work, I enjoy being outside in the cooler months, hiking and camping. I also enjoy reading and watching true crime documentaries.

MEGAN PALOMAREZ, M.Ed. Program Manager

 Role: I support the Behavioral Programming and Support (BPS) department as a program manager. I have a caseload of clients I support and their team. I do assessments, create treatment plans, maintain their programming, observe and manage any maladaptive behaviors, and train staff and parents.

Education and Special Certifications: I graduated in 2008 from ASU with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. I completed my Master’s degree from NAU in 2013 with a Master’s in special education and received the Positive Behavior Support certificate.

Career History:  I have been working in this field for over fifteen years now. I began working at LIFE in 2008. I started my Master’s program through Northern Arizona University shortly after that. In 2013 I graduated with a Master’s degree in Special Education and completed Positive Behavior Support classes as part of my program towards becoming board certified in behavior analysis. I left LIFE in 2012 to explore what in home services were like. Great experience, but missed my LIFE family and came back in 2015 to continue my journey here. I am currently on the professional track to becoming board certified in behavior analysis(BCBA). It is honestly a true passion of mine working with children and families to help make a difference in their quality of life.

Personal Treatment or Management Philosophy: As a program manager in this field, I believe in the whole treatment approach. All behaviors serve a purpose. When the behaviors are identified and treated based on what research shows as effective treatment methods and all individuals of the child’s life participate and consistently teach their child, their quality of life and progress will only enhance. Looking at each individual child and their own needs, a plan can be put into place and goals are created to work on these items with the family and behavior technicians. I believe that each child and individual is created as their own and deserve quality services to enhance their quality of life.

Personal: I was born and raised in Arizona. I have a beautiful 8 year old daughter and currently engaged to a wonderful man. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family, planning adventures to explore new things and traveling. Football is my favorite season!

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 136 or complete this form

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