Two children and a teacher sitting in a circle on the ground with markers
Families, Agencies, and Schools Together


Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC logo

The Families, Agencies and Schools Together (FAST) program is a partnership between the Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC and Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute on Disability. FAST@CHOC assists CHOC families, children, agencies and schools within Orange County to develop collaborative relationships to support a positive quality of life for all children and youth from pre-school to 22. FAST@CHOC will provide trainings that allow families and professionals to better navigate the complexities of the education system and provide individual and small group consultations to both families and schools.

Our goals are to educate families, agencies and the medical community about the Special Education process, build collaborative and effective family/school relationships, and increase knowledge and skills of school and community-based service providers. 

Outside of Thompson Autism Center at CHOC

FAST@CHOC Services Offered

  • Families: educational workshops, parent resources, and individualized consultation
  • Schools: personalized consultation and professional development
  • Communities: Individual student-based or general consultations


Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC
170 S. Main Street, Orange, CA 92868

FAST@CHOC Director

photo of Elissa Green Kaustinen, M.A.

Elissa Green Kaustinen, M.A.

Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC
Elissa Green Kaustinen is the newest member to the Thompson Policy Institute as the Families, Agencies, and Schools Together Director @ CHOC. Prior to joining us, Elissa has worked within the public school system the last 17 years, which included 7 years as a school psychologist and 10 years as an administrator within special education. Most recently Elissa served the community of Newport Mesa Unified School district in the role of Special Education Coordinator. As a Special Education Coordinator Elissa has experience in many areas including special education assessments, inclusive practices, developing Individual Education Plans, counseling, developing and implementing behavioral programs, autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Throughout Elissa’s career she has promoted a culture of inclusivity and advocated to support all students.

Inside of Thompson Autism Center at CHOC

FAST@CHOC in the News

Staff at CHOC posing in front of Thompson Autism Center with donated iPadsFAST@CHOC coordinates the donation of seventeen iPads to be given to preschool students who are in the special education program at Orange Unified School District.






Screenshot from CHOC webinarCHOC Webinar Features TPI's Elissa Green Kaustinen: FAST@CHOC Director Expert Panelist on Autism and COVID-19 Webinar. Please click here to read the blog and watch the webinar.




Lobby of Thompson Autism Center at CHOCThompson Policy Institute Hires Director for New FAST@CHOC Program. To read the blog, click here

Inside Thompson Autism Center at CHOC

Webinar for Educators

The Thompson Autism and Neurodevelopmental Center at CHOC in collaboration with Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at UCI presents a webinar for educators on assisting students with autism amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Experts in the field of autism will provide tips and advice for virtually assisting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Speakers include licensed psychologists, BCBA’s, social workers, and resource specialists. The curriculum covers the following topics: Delivering curriculum 'virtually' effectively, Keeping the motivation, Addressing parental stress and burnout, Signs of child abuse during a pandemic, and Resources.