The Ed Asner Family Center offers various approaches to therapy:

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, worry, grief, need help with anger management or self-esteem. You are not alone. These are some of the issues that our clients experience. Individuals, families and couples often face challenges in their daily lives and find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships.  These issues are much more prevalent with the addition of a special needs family member.  Therapy is offered by a licensed clinician such as a Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT), Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or an Associate Marriage Family (AMFT or Trainee.) These clinicians are trained to assess and offer professional help when challenges like these arise.  Our clinicians meet weekly with couples, families or individuals to address their ongoing needs. Clinicians explore with the client productive ways to get back on track and encourage positive change.

Therapy is conducted by a Marriage and Family Therapists trainee. Our trainees are under the supervision of a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Autism. Therapy is currently conducted in English and Spanish.

TEAFC and CSUN have partnered to provide access to mental health services.


Based on our own experiences as parents of children with special needs, we know how difficult and cost prohibitive it is to find quality mental health serves with people who are trained to work with individuals with autism. Our partnership with CSUN begins to fulfill a desperate need in our community. Our goal, when we were envisioning The Ed Asner Family Center, was to create a place of excellence for families to thrive in. This exciting partnership with CSUN is a huge step in the mission of realizing that vision.

- Matthew and Navah Paskowitz-Asner


Clinical services are provided by advanced level graduate students enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program, which is under the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling in the College of Education at California State University, Northridge. All students are closely supervised by faculty members who are practicing licensed clinicians.


Dr. Sarita Freedman is a Licensed Psychologist and clinical supervisor at the Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic at CSUN. Dr. Freedman is providing both training and clinical supervision for the MFT trainees providing services at the Ed Asner Family Center.  She is the author of Developing College Skills in Students with Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome.  Dr. Freedman has over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families in both educational and mental health settings.  Her clinical work encompasses both a general clinical psychology practice with adults, children and couples, and a specialty in the area of developmental disabilities, including diagnosis, treatment planning and family support of individuals and couples with autism spectrum disorders and their families.  

Family Therapy: 

This program is designed to help all family members in the special needs household, including grandparents or caregivers. The family will learn how to comfortably express their feelings, find better ways to communicate with each other, to solve problems effectively, identify and understand special needs and to better address struggles in the home, school, workplace or out in the community.  While defining clear goals and ways to support those goals, clinicians work closely with all family members.  Sessions are focused on teaching the skills necessary to encourage the family as a whole to be better communicators and focus on a healthier way of living and a higher quality of life for the entire family.

Individual Therapy/Caregiver:

Focus is placed on supporting the caregiver. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed, overextended, or alone. Often times this is a step parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or extended family member who is unsure how to handle the intense behaviors, sensory difficulties or emotional issues that accompany caring for a special needs child or adult.  The caregiver is supported by peers in a group setting or during private one-on-one counseling sessions. By getting the support you need, depression or anxiety can be reduced and replaced by understanding and self-care.

Sibling Art Group:

We are taking a unique approach in working with siblings through a creative avenue.  This group is run by our mental health director, Chrisa Sadd, LMFT along with Avivah Paskowitz, the daughter of the founders.  Ms. Paskowitz is a very talented and creative sibling in a special needs family.  She knows first-hand how to navigate this world. This program offers support for the sibling of a special needs child/adult.  Often the sibling wonders why everything is focused on their brother or sister and not on them.  They might feel that they don’t get enough time to do the things they want to do. Siblings may feel guilt or anger towards their brother or sister for always being the center of the parent’s attention. The participant will be able to express feelings through games and activities while attending group sessions, as well as finding comfort and support with a community of likeminded peers.

Coming of Age: Sex and Social Awareness (Male and Female Groups)

21+ Social Club

Come join us for the you'd adult social club. The goal of the Social Club is to enrich the social opportunities and assist in developing friendship circles for young adults with Asperger's Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Activities include dinner, karaoke, game night, cooking, movies and more. The activities are held at TEAFC once a month.

Chrisa Sadd, LMFT

Chrisa Sadd, LMFT has been working with the special needs community since 2003.  She has extensive experience working with families, siblings, caregivers, children and young adults.  For many years she worked as a behavior analyst, social skills teacher, including working at VISTA DEL MAR. Providing psychotherapy services for the special needs community and others.  “I love the work that I do.  Helping others is a part of my heart and soul.  It is truly rewarding when you can see another's persons life change for the better."