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Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC

When your child has a neurodevelopmental condition, you want access to every resource available. The Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC is dedicated to bringing the latest treatments and resources to the autism community in Orange County. Through our unique programs, children have a centralized place where they can receive early diagnosis, advanced therapy and the possibility to reach their true potential.

A place for families to thrive

Our goal is to help children reach their maximum potential, no matter what that looks like for each child, in a supportive environment that cares for the whole family.

  • We offer a true family-centered approach. Support groups for parents, grandparents and siblings offer a place for families to support each other and learn everyday tips on how to juggle doctors, school, work and family life. Everything is available under one roof, providing a medical home for your child.
  • Our highly trained clinical team includes pediatric neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, developmental behavior pediatricians, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists, child life specialists, social workers, nurses and more.
  • Personal service coordinators are here to help you every step of the way. They will connect you with resources and community programs, and work with you on a transition plan as your child nears adulthood, including education, work plans, college or secondary school, and legal consultations.
  • Our customized evidence-based treatment plans include behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. We also provide toilet training and parent training, to help parents with skills to support their child’s behavior at home and in the community.
  • Our research studies and clinical trials look to transform the future of ASD, provide a better understanding of ASD and other neurodevelopmental differences, and bring the newest findings to families in the region.
  • Education assistance is available, including the Families and Schools Together (FAST) at CHOC Program, in partnership with Chapman University, to assist with IEPs in coordination with your clinical team, connect you with resources within your child’s school system and maximize their educational opportunities.

Diagnosis and treatment at the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center

toddler boy hugging mom
Comprehensive assessments are available for children ages 1-6, with a coordinated treatment plan provided soon after. The earlier that a child is a diagnosed with ASD, the greater their chances for effective treatment and reaching their full potential.

teen boy receiving therapy from female doctor
For some children and their families, challenging behaviors may impact quality of life and delay developmental milestones. Our Behavior Program addresses challenging behaviors through evidence-based therapies and compassionate care.

male doctor listening to teen girl chest with stethoscope
It is common for a child diagnosed with ASD to have other conditions such as ADHD, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, epilepsy or other similar issues. Our Co-Occurring Conditions Program will enable children to get treatment for all conditions under one roof.

Design that makes a difference

From the very beginning, every aspect of the center was considered through the eyes of a child with ASD and the experience of their family. Here are some of the design details that create a safe and comforting building for your child:

  • Soft color themes have a calming effect for children with ASD, rather than the traditional bright colors seen at pediatric healthcare centers.
  • Rounded corners and shapes ensure a safe and welcoming environment.
  • Artwork features animals and bubbles, uses minimal dramatic effect and shows a theme of togetherness to ease fears of isolation.
  • Special alcoves in the walls give children a small, quiet place to hide out for a bit if they are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Exam rooms with two doors allow all of your child’s team members to rotate throughout your visit while you stay in one place, limiting the amount of transitions for your child.
  • An area just for toilet-training lets your child play and relax but have access to a toilet quickly.
  • A special calm room gives children who are overstimulated a safe spot to calm their nerves.
  • Two large classrooms can be used for family support programs, social skills programs, group therapy and occupational therapy.

CHOC’s Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center Wish List

The Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center is a multidisciplinary clinic that provides diagnostic evaluations, behavioral consultations, therapy, & medical management for children & families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. Donations will be used throughout the year to gift to children on special occasions, assist families that may be in need, & equip the center with resources for programs & initiatives.