People at computers.

Thompson Policy Institute

» Action

The Thompson Policy Institute is dedicated to providing independent training on significant topics related to disability and facilitating action in areas that require community change. 

  • Families and Schools Together
  • ADOS-2
  • OCTI
  • Technical Assistance Network
  • The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders collaborates with Chapman University's Attallah College of Educational Studies for the Family and School Together (FAST) program. This program helps families, schools, and community service providers to collaborate with one another in order to build an effective, high-quality learning plan for each individual child.

    Group of FAST members at a meeting in a conference room

    The FAST team offers a variety of services including:

    • Reviewing records such as educational/psychological assessments and evaluations and providing feedback on ways to enhance the child’s school experience
    • Sharing resources and information on services that may be appropriate and available for youth with exceptional needs
    • Assisting caregivers in preparing for an upcoming IEP or school-related meeting
    • Offering evidence-based educational opportunities for parents and professionals supporting children with Autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Related Disorders
    • Empowering parents and bridging the gap between multi-disciplinary organizations/services. For example, helping parents understand the differences between the medical diagnosis and educational eligibility.

    For more information on FAST, please contact Jeanne Ann Carriere at .

  • During this week of training, the professional participants learn to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation System (ADOS-2). The ADOS-2 is a set of toys and activities that professionals use to engage with children. Information gathered through these activities is often used in diagnosing children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our trainings have a very strong reputation in the professional community and we have people from all over California attend. Part of our success is that we use children and family volunteers to demonstrate how to use the ADOS-2 and the participants get to practice with actual children.

    Adult interacting with a little girl

    For more information please contact Jeanne Ann Carriere at .

  • The Orange County Transition Initiative (OCTI), is a collaboration between Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute, Orange County Department of Education, The Regional Center of Orange County, and The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. OCTI strives to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, families, educators, and local and state agency representatives in areas critical to the successful transition of individuals with disabilities into the adult world. 

    Two people sitting at a table looking at a laptop

    Learn more about Orange County Transition Initiative here.

  • Some programs want assistance to better reach their inclusive goals and others want to learn how to be inclusive. Through a team of inclusion specialists, the Technical Assistance Network provides practical information and training for those programs to more effectively include people with disabilities.


    To learn more, please contact Audri Gomez – or Meghan Cosier –