About Us

Our mission is to improve the lives of families and individuals by providing the highest quality services to target the most socially significant behavior(s) using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a fun, positive, and welcoming environment. Centrally located along the Emerald Coast, Great Gains Behavioral Solutions, LLC services a wide region of the Florida panhandle including Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington counties as well as lower Alabama.

For example, in an ABA session, a behavior therapist will reinforce desired behaviors or functional skills by providing desired outcomes, such as candy, toys, games, praise, etc., when a desired behavior is exhibited.  Behavior therapists will withhold reinforcement when undesired behaviors, such as tantrums and aggression, are displayed. Individuals quickly learn that desired behaviors will easily and quickly bring them desired results, whereas undesired behaviors will not bring about desired outcomes.  Over time, prompts and rewards are gradually removed to help the client learn to integrate desirable behavior in natural environments.

Research has shown that ABA is an effective treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental or behavioral delays.

At Great Gains we have highly qualified Board Certified Behavior Analysts who are very involved with each of our clients and their progress.  As a close knit team, we work together to make sure the highest level of success is achieved for each of our clients.  Each member of our staff is highly trained in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and on each individual client’s case they serve.  We approach each client with a “whole therapy” approach.  We do this by starting services within our clinic, but we don’t want the child to only progress with us and within our clinic.  We want their significant changes to transfer to the home, school, and community settings.  This whole approach requires parental/guardian involvement as a necessary component to the most success a client can achieve.  Parent training is offered as well as teacher training to ensure consistency in all environments.  We believe the more involved the family is the more significant progress each client will make.

Our Staff

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

Heather’s family was forever changed by the successes achieved through the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.  It became her life’s mission to provide these life-changing services to other families within her community. Her journey began at The Florida State University where she received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Heather has had extensive experience working in many different settings where she was able to apply the principles of behavior analysis to make significant changes to individuals, families, staff, caregivers, and teachers within the community.  Heather has had the opportunity to work with a range of clientele.  She has worked with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities including autism and other related disabilities, behavior problem, learning issues, and language deficits.  She has also had experience working with staff members within businesses and elderly clients with dementia.  

Heather’s passion is to help children and adolescents live the best life they can achieve no matter what obstacles are in their way.  She strives to provide the highest quality services while offering a fun, friendly, and inviting environment.  Heather strives to provide services to every family in need and disseminate behavior analysis to as many people as she can reach especially those within her community.  To Heather there is nothing better in this world than helping someone accomplish a goal they never dreamed they could achieve!  

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

Sam received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. After moving to Florida she stumbled upon a job as a therapist at an ABA Verbal Behavior Clinic. She quickly fell in love with the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and a year later entered into the master’s program at The Florida State University. She received her Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2013. She has experience working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, clients with severe problem behaviors, and adults with traumatic brain injuries. She has experience within clinic, home, and community settings while implementing one-on-one individualized therapy, as well as trainings for parents, teachers, and staff. Her passion is in early intervention implementing skill acquisition and behavior reduction plans, specifically targeting Verbal Behavior. Hearing a client say their first word is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job!