About Us

A home away from home to learn and play.

Our Mission & Vision

The Hangout Spot is a behavior analytic social skills development center where we believe that all children have a right to meaningful relationships with others. We strive to eliminate barriers to friendship and empower children to be socially successful across the lifespan using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Everything we do is rooted in research, empirically validated, and proven to work. We conceptualize critical, previously considered “tricky to teach” skills through a scientific framework. In doing so, we achieve socially-significant change for our clients by providing the support they need to develop real connections with other people beyond our walls.

Why is The Hangout Spot the Place 2B?

Children don’t learn calculus in one lesson without repeated, hands-on practice, so we don’t expect them to learn something as complex as social skills by memorizing rules in one sitting either. We provide continued instruction on targeted skills in real-life contexts until true mastery is achieved.

Our job isn’t done until a child is able to apply skills consistently across people, places, and time. That is the true definition of mastery.

Most importantly, doing right by our clients is in our DNA. We aim for excellence by striving to always provide industry-leading,  ethical, quality care.

Teaching Social Smarts with 3 FUNdamentals of Science

  1. Everything we do is rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis, the science of learning and behavior.  ABA is the leading empirically-validated intervention used to improve lives in socially significant ways.
  2. We are unique in our use of Precision Teaching to promote social learning. Using the Standard Celeration Chart, we make data-driven decisions with in-the-moment certainty.  This system has been proven to not only transform but accelerate developmental trajectories.
  3. We embrace Natural Environment Teaching (NET). Learning environments are designed to mirror “the real world” and contrive authentic practice opportunities. NET fosters flexible, problem-solving social partners who generalize skills beyond the walls of our center.

Our Founding Team

Meghan Cave, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT)

Meghan Cave, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT)
Co-Founder & CEO

Meghan brings passion and over fourteen years of experience to The Hangout Spot. She has provided special education and behavior analytic services in both home and public school settings throughout Fairfield County. Meghan has co-authored publications in Autism Parenting Magazine and Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog, and serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saint Joseph.  She is a five-time prize recipient of awards honoring excellence and leadership in working with children with disabilities. Meghan earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Severe Special Needs and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development from Boston College. She later completed her Post-Master BCBA Certificate at Endicott College.

Justyna Balzar, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT)

Justyna Balzar, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT)
Co-Founder & CEO

Justyna Balzar has over 15 years experience with learners of varying profiles between the ages of 3 to 18 across multiple settings. She received her Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification in 2014 from Florida Institute of Technology, her Master in Curriculum and Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University, followed by her BCBA certification in 2016. She has authored and co-authored publications in Behavior Science of the 21st Century blog and Autism Parenting Magazine.  Driven by a passion for educating others about the wide-reaching applications of ABA, Justyna founded @Behaviorchik, an online persona intended to disseminate behavior analytic resources, and the @Theabaadvocacyproject, an initiative spearheaded by The Hangout Spot founders and a fellow BCBA that unifies the advocacy practices of parents and professionals using ABA.

Advisory Board
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of communication is delivered by tone of voice
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of human interaction must be interpreted using social skills