A One-of-a-Kind Program

JumpStart is an innovative one-week intensive program where parents and their children are coached 1:1. Parents learn how to help their child overcome behavior that stands in the way of learning, and how to promote expected development.

Who do we help at JumpStart? 


  • Most JumpStart children are newly diagnosed and are about to start early interventions.
  • Many JumpStart families have found that parenting as usual has not been enough, and need a new parenting manual to support their child


  • Research shows that parents who have been trained to understand their child’s learning often achieve the best outcomes. Training allows parents to leverage teachable moments in daily home routines, recognize best-fit services, and learn a vocabulary for effective advocacy.
  • JumpStart is committed to ‘autism family wellness’. This means educating grandparents, caregivers and siblings alongside parents to help the child with autism learn, and the family succeed.

A Typical JSLTL Week

  • Behavior coaching: We use pivotal response methods to increase learning readiness and target barriers to learning, such as tantrumming, inattention and perseveration. (Two days/ 12 hours.)
  • Communication coaching: Our speech and language pathologists focus on initiating communication, working with non-verbal communication, establishing joint attention, and integrating verbal and non-verbal communication. (One day, 6 hours.)
  • Social skills and play coaching: We use child-initiative as a reinforcer (similar to Floortime) to structure play with the child, parents, and peers, and to incorporate sustained social interaction and complex themes. (One day, 6 hours.)
  • Community coaching: We engage the family in half-day trips to a playground to learn to initiate play with peers, and/or visit a mall to navigate a food court, elevators or grocery store.
  • Parent education and treatment planning: Dr. Siegel meets with each family for a week-in-review: what have you learned at JSLTL? How can you apply your new knowledge to individualizing plans for schools, therapists, ABA programs and other services? (Two hours).

JumpStart takes place at the ACNC with one family each week. Families attend with their children, Monday through Friday, 9 AM-3 PM for a series of structured sessions tailored for each child and family. Time and spaces for meals and naps are included each day.

JumpStart s billed as 30 hours of clinical service, considered evidence-based medically necessary intervention under California SB946, and may be covered as parent training, behavioral skills training, an/or communication/language assessment through third party insurance, California regional Center, or private pay.

For more information, on funding or appointments call Shay Harati at 415-391-3417 (sharati@acnc.org).


Lina Fancy, Executive Director

Shay Harati, Program Coordinator

Behavioral Coaches
Lina Fancy & Michelle Hecht, BCBA

Communication Coaches
Kim Christensen, SLP-CCC, Piera Wilner, SLP-CCC, & Patty Tomboni, SLP-CCC

Social Skills and Play Coaches
David Neufeld, PhD & Pierre Brennan, MT-BC, BCBA