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Center for Autism Research Evaluation and Service

Setting the Standard for Thorough Developmental Assessment and Supportive Services for Children and Their Families in San Diego County and Southern California



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CARES Newsletter



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CARES Services

Fred Finch CARES provides comprehensive supportive services for children and families living with autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, mental health concerns, and histories of significant trauma and loss. In addition to autism testing and diagnosis, our programs utilize research-based interventions and best practices, individualized to meet the specific needs of each youth and family we serve. Our staff is compassionate, committed, and innovative in our solutions. At CARES, we value diversity and inclusion and are committed to having a robust workforce that is representative of the cultural and linguistic needs of the communities we serve.​ Please select one of the links below to read about our services in greater detail.

Please select one of the links below to read about our services in greater detail.

Applied Behavioral Analysis 
School District Training and Services Early Intervention Services
Social Skills Groups  + Parent Education Workshops 

Applied Behavioral Analysis

CARES provides high quality trauma-informed Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children and youth ages 0-21 years old. Services are designed to increase positive behaviors and reduce those that may cause harm or interfere with daily functioning and learning. The use of ABA principles brings about meaningful and positive change and improves the quality of life for children and their families. Services are provided in the home or other settings by trained professionals, that: ​

  • Foster self-reliance and independence

  • Improve social skills

  • Build healthy relationships

  • Understand emotions and emotional regulation

  • Develop skills to improve academic performance

  • Teach self-awareness


Early Intervention Services

Services are provided to children ages 0-3 years old, and are aimed at increasing a child's communication skills, attention, play skills, and natural exploration of their environments. In addition, CARES places a focus and high importance on parent education, training, and support to teach families how to assess and meet their child’s developmental needs. Fun and naturalistic therapeutic interventions are tailored to meet the family’s life and incorporated into daily routines. 

Early Intervention Services

Social Skills Groups

Friendships are important to helping children thrive and live a fulfilling life. Our social skills groups are led by experienced and trained staff to facilitate healthy peer relationships, teach coping mechanisms and healthy choices for emotional expression, and provide tools to cope with social changes. Some services involve intensive direct teaching within the child’s home environment. Parental involvement is crucial to the generalization and maintenance of skills children will learn. Parents are trained in using techniques that are demonstrated in social skills groups. Some services are available in home and community-based settings. Services include:

  • Little Builders – Ages 3-7

  • Social Skill Builders – Ages 7-17

  • Children’s Friendship Training - Ages 8-13

  • Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) - Ages 13-17

Children’s Friendship Training and PEERS groups are designed for motivated elementary, middle, and high school aged children who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. The skills groups are parent-assisted and aimed at improving social adaptive skills and friendship quality among children and adolescents with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s disorder.

Social Skills Group

School District Services

We understand that students have diverse needs and abilities. CARES provides assistance to school district personnel in understanding neurodevelopmental disorders and how research-based interventions can be utilized to decrease problematic behaviors, increase communication and socialization, and improve academic performance. Our training and services are tailored to meet the needs of both families and school districts.

School District & Services
Psychological out pat