A World of Hope

Autism Spectrum Therapies is proud to celebrate more than 20 years of serving the autism community.

Our Story

Our founders brought together two extremely different approaches to ABA and built the basis of our services.

Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST) was founded in 2001 by Dr. Ronit M. Molko and Dr. William Frea on the principles of teaching in the natural environment with a focus on the family and centering on functional skills that foster independence.

Today we continue to integrate the latest ABA research and technology to offer the best options to our clients, and are one of the leading providers of Applied Behavior Analysis in the country. Led by a talented team of clinicians, AST utilizes evidence-based practices with a family-focused approach to ensure the best possible results.

Our team has grown, our families have grown and we continue to go where excellent services are needed. Each new community we become a part of teaches us, and expands how we offer services.

AST is part of LEARN Behavioral, a national organization dedicated to nurturing the unique potential of children with autism—and supporting families from day one. We consider you, as parents and caregivers, your child’s first and most important teacher, and we partner with you to create an environment in which you and your child can thrive.

Meet our team

The LEARN Advantage

Local Services, National Resources

Our team at AST delivers services in 7 states, but we’re also part of LEARN Behavioral, a national organization that specializes in using contemporary applied behavior analysis (ABA) to deliver treatment tailored exclusively to the needs of every child with autism in our care.

As part of LEARN, AST offers your child and family the convenience and familiarity of local services, with the advantages of a progressive and collaborative national organization at the forefront of autism treatment.

And the advantages are real.

Our local and national clinicians arrive at work each day equipped with the latest research, the most extensive support and professional development, and clinical insights from one of the largest and most diverse behavioral health data sets in the country, amassed from treating more than 25,000 children over two decades. Our ability to derive insights from your child’s data, in addition to the aggregated data we’ve accumulated over time and across the country, gives us what we need to make evidence-based treatment decisions—and ultimately deliver personalized, effective care.

With more than 30 doctoral-level clinicians, 450 behavior analysts, and 3,700 behavior technicians, our organization treats more than 5,000 children across 15 states—and counting. Our clinical team, led by Hanna Rue, PhD, BCBA-D, makes up a concentration of ABA professionals unmatched by any other provider. Likewise, our clinical practice has been built over time by the collective inputs of leading minds and founding luminaries in the autism field, including Ivar Lovaas, Connie Kasari, Carl Sundberg, Bill Frea, Marjorie Charlop, Ronit Molko, Linda LeBlanc, and Laura Schreibman.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

AST knows we’re not all the same.

Recognizing differences and tailoring our approach are at the core of what we do. That’s why we’re committed to fostering a culture that embraces what makes us each unique – be it race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disabilities/abilities or socioeconomic background. AST aims to acknowledge the lived experiences and diversity of perspectives of our staff and the children and families we serve. We pledge to create a community centered around trust, respect, tolerance and empathy. Together, we’re better.

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Get to know our team

Meet The Team


Justin Funches

“I am humbled to work for an organization made up of such talented, dedicated, and passionate professionals who work so hard every day to support families who really need our help.”

Justin Funches is AST’s Head of Operations. He is responsible for providing overall leadership to AST’s clinical services and support teams. Justin received his master’s degree in business administration and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. Previously he held senior leadership positions at Progressus Therapy, a national provider of pediatric therapy services in schools. In addition, Justin has served as the Chairman of the Boston Preparatory School and a Board Member of Maryland Family Network, a leading child advocacy group.


Hanna Rue, PhD, BCBA-D

“I am passionate about research because I know that good information offers insight, hope and the best possible services for families.”

Dr. Hanna C. Rue is the Chief Clinical Officer for LEARN. She oversees Quality Assurance, Training, Data Systems, Professional Development, and Clinical Research across the Autism Division. Dr. Rue is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Massachusetts and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota and completed her pre-doctoral training at May Institute. Her current research includes identification of evidence-based practice for treatment of ASD and skill acquisition procedures.


Robert Haupt, MA, BCBA

"There are so many changes that families face when they have a child with autism. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than helping them navigate these challenges and creating success.”

Rob is AST’s Head of Partnerships and Contracts. His teams work closely with insurance companies, schools, and other funding sources to obtain services for AST’s clients. Rob received his master’s from California State University, Los Angeles in counseling. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and trained in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities across their lifespan.


Sabrina Daneshvar, PhD, BCBA-D

“As a parent myself, I understand how difficult it can be to always be consistent and follow through, especially when you are in the moment. I see one of our most important roles as caregivers to help families through these “ struggles and find positive outcome for the entire family.”

Dr. Daneshvar received her Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology from Claremont Graduate University with a concentration in behavioral treatment of developmental disabilities. Dr. Daneshvar is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences and authored articles for peer-reviewed journals in addition to co-authoring a chapter in Whalen’s Real Life, Real Progress for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2009). Prior to joining AST in 2006, Dr. Daneshvar worked at several organizations in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Daneshvar is an active member in the autism community, having previously served on the Autism Society of America’s San Diego Chapter as a member of the Board of Directors and Director of the Research Committee. In addition she has served as a Guest Grant Reviewer for Autism Speaks and a Guest Reviewer for the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (2014). Dr. Daneshvar has taught graduate level courses at California State University, Fullerton and currently teaches and supervises master’s students at San Diego State University. Dr. Daneshvar is a licensed psychologist in California (PSY #28358).


Jocelyn Thompson, LCSW, BCBA

“Seeing the difference we can make in the life of a family is incredibly rewarding. I am motivated every day to support our staff and families so that they can achieve their goals and create their own success story.”

Jocelyn Thompson is a Vice President of Clinical Services for LEARN Behavioral based out of Sacramento, CA. Jocelyn currently manages services in Northern and Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico and Louisiana. For the last 15 years, Jocelyn has worked with diverse populations in multiple settings as a behavior analyst and a social worker. Jocelyn received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA where she studied under the direction of Dr. Ivar Lovaas and completed an internship at the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention. Jocelyn then received her master’s degree in social work from California State University, Los Angeles, where she also completed graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis. Jocelyn has actively promoted the field of applied behavior analysis through her involvement and work with local, state and national organizations. In 2013, she was selected by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to be part of the workgroup that developed and piloted the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification. She currently serves as the marketing/outreach chair for Autism Speaks-Sacramento Walk, is a committee member of the Autism Intervention Network at the UC Davis MIND Institute and is on the ABA advisory panel for EQ Health Solutions. Jocelyn is also a member of the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) stakeholders advisory committee and was elected to the CalABA Board as their Professional Association Liaison. Jocelyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in California and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

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Regardless of your child’s age or where you are in your journey, we want to help.

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