What Are Autism Therapy Services?

Easterseals' focus is on therapies that are proven to be effective in increasing skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and similar disabilities.

Easterseals offers services based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum as well as Speech, Occupational and Physical therapy services.

We are recognized for our extensive experience and we are leading the way to 100% equity, inclusion, and access for people with disabilities, their families and communities.

How Are Services Provided?

Easterseals offers Behavior Analysis, Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy Services that encourage a person-centered approachwhich champions personal preferences, interests and needs. 

All services at Easterseals are provided by qualified professionals who specialize in the treatment of autism.

Our team will work closely with the individual and family, the individual’s physician, and other team members to set treatment goals that are realistic and consistent with the individual’s needs.

Our services involve both direct treatment and home programming with family involvement -- a critical component of this process.

Therapy focuses on ensuring that all people have equitable access to resources to prevent health disparities that often impact socio-economic, racial, and other demographic groups.

Where Are Services Available?

Therapy services are available throughout all the counties served by Easterseals Southern California. That includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

*In Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Diego County, Occupational, Speech and Physical Therapies are also available for individuals who do not have an autism spectrum disorder.

How Can I Get Services?

Services are by referral only. Individuals must speak with their medical insurance provider to determine eligibility to receive services specifically from Easterseals. 

CARF Gold Seal ImageEasterseals Southern California's Autism Therapy Services are CARF accredited. CARF is an independent nonprofit focused on advancing the quality of health and human services. They accredit organizations worldwide so that people can better identify organizations offering high-quality services, such as Easterseals Southern California.

Autism Advisory Board

The purpose of the Autism Therapy Services Advisory Board is to validate that the current practices across ESSC Autism Services are consistent with the needs of the communities served and that community members have a place and a voice in the process.

Career Opportunities

Discover job openings at Easterseals Southern California so you can join our team!


Diagnostic Services

Enhanced Care Management

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA)

Severe Behavior Services (SBS)

Occupational Therapy (OT)

START Crisis Support Services

Physical Therapy (PT)

Current Client Payment Portal and Financial Information

Speech and Language Therapy

Customer Success

Social Skills Groups

Research Division Community Support Resources

Diagnostic Services

We are now offering evaluations to help determine if you or your family member may have a diagnosis of autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA)

ABA therapy is an effective treatment that works to increase quality of life as determined by clients and their families. The focus is on building new skills and expanding social, communication, and learning skills. Easterseals ABA clinicians provide assessment and ongoing treatment services in the home and community environments. 

Occupational Therapy (OT)*

Easterseals Occupational Therapists provide evaluations and ongoing therapy. Therapists assist participants in becoming more independent with their self-help, fine-motor, visual-motor, motor planning, neuromuscular, feeding and oral-motor skills. The may also assist children with appropriate play in order to acquire developmentally appropriate skills.

Physical Therapy (PT)*

Physical Therapists are movement experts who provide evaluations and ongoing therapy to improve and restore function and mobility. Therapy and home programming focuses on strength, balance, coordination, mobility, and range-of-motion activities.  Physical therapy promotes independence and improves quality of life.

Speech and Language Therapy*

Easterseals Speech Therapists provide evaluations and ongoing therapy to enhance communication skills and abilities. Speech therapy focuses on expressive and receptive language development. Within therapeutic sessions, supplemental communication modalities may be used, including sign language, modified gestures, picture communication systems and devices.

*In Ventura County, Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Diego County, Occupational, Speech and Physical Therapies are also available for individuals who do not have an autism spectrum disorder.

Social Skills Groups

Easterseals Social Skills Groups use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to address the needs of individuals of various ages who require additional support with their socialization.

An initial assessment of the participant’s communication and social skills helps us identify their treatment goals so that we can determine and implement an initial six-month treatment plan.

Evidenced-based practices are used to identify and master skills, with an emphasis on group responding, perspective taking and social language.

Participants attend one to two 90-minute group sessions per week, depending on the outcome of their assessment. The groups have a 1:4 staff-to-participant ratio and range in size from four to 12 participants, depending on the age range of the individuals. The intention is for participants to be prepared to transition out of the group in a year or less.

A separate group training also takes place at the same time as the participant sessions for any caregivers who wish to learn how to create opportunities for social interaction outside of therapy.

The groups are currently taking place via Teleservices, with technology support provided by Easterseals as needed. When it is safe to return to in-person services, groups will transition back to various Easterseals offices around Southern California.

For additional questions, contact:

Jennie Myhra, VP,
Behavioral Services


Enhanced Care Management

Enhanced Care Management (ECM) brings together Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) as case managers to provide a more streamlined and efficient coordination of care for at-risk individuals. People who receive Enhanced Care Management include, but are not limited to individuals who have:

  • Complex behavioral or medical needs
  • History of trauma
  • History of repeated visits to the ER or hospitalizations
  • Involvement with law enforcement
  • A risk of losing their living environment or support services

Working with the individual’s current service-and-support providers, Easterseals BCBAs' help the full team develop a common goal and coordinate an approach. During this process they assist with securing needed resources, overcoming barriers, and speeding up treatments that can address the individual's unique needs. This includes issues related to housing, transportation, and other areas addressed through referral and outreach.

START Crisis Support Services

Easterseals Southern California START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resource, Treatment) Services offer resources and support to individuals experiencing crisis and who have a history of a developmental disability and mental health concerns.

START works closely with an individual’s physicians, mental health professionals, and occupational and speech therapists to coordinate a system of support.

These services are available to people in the East Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) service area.

This collaborative planning approach has proven to be successful for crisis prevention, reducing emergency events, and managing mental health challenges.

Severe Behavioral Services (SBS)

Our SBS Therapy Centers, featuring unique safety features and highly trained staff, provide expert services for children, teens and young adults in Southern California with intensive behavioral challenges, and their families.


Headshot of Paula Pompa-Craven

Paula Pompa Craven, Psy.D
Chief Clinical Officer

 Headshot of Rick Gutierrez

Rick Gutierrez, Ph.D, VP,
Clinical Strategy &

 Headshot of Alyssa Kavner

Alyssa Kavner, VP,
Clinical Training &


 Amin Duff Lotfizadeh headshot

Amin “Duff” Lotfizadeh,
Ph.D., BCBA-D,
VP, Research

 Headshot of Jessica Miller

Jessica B. Miller, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
Therapy Services

 Headshot of Jennie Myhra

Jennie Myhra, VP,
Behavioral Services

 Headshot of Joyce Tu

Joyce Tu, Ed.D., BCBA-D,
VP, Clinical Transformation

Current Clients

Customer Success

Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) has a customer service team available to help our clients and caregivers. We can connect you to ESSC's resources and assist you with: 

  • Help with accessing services
  • Types and locations of services
  • Status updates
  • General Information
  • Sharing positive experiences

We create tailored solutions to help our clients and caregivers achieve their goals.

Email:   customersuccess@essc.org
Phone: 1-855-ESSC-411 (1-855-377-2411)