What We Do

YVA Therapy

YVAP TherapyYVAP Social Cognition Program

Social Cognition Therapy: The goal of this individual and small group therapy is to help children with ASD and related disabilities who struggle with social understanding learn and retain life-long skills. This allows them to gain the ability to identify their own behavior deficits, address confusion in social situations, and to help them function successfully with family members, school, in the community, and participate with friends…perhaps for the first time ever!

SuperFlex© Social Thinking: YVA works as part of the Steamboat Springs School District to deliver Superflex© directly into elementary school classrooms and train educators. This not only supports children receiving Social Cognition Therapy, but also teaches the general student population strategies to understand the functions of behavior, identify negative behaviors, learn positive replacement behaviors, effectively avoid and resolve conflict, and learn to work as part of a diverse group. It has proven to be effective as an anti-bullying curriculum for the district.

ABA Therapy: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the Gold Standard of intensive life-changing behavioral therapy. YVA has a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) on staff to provide ABA therapy and may be able to provide support funds, and services to assist with the costs not covered by insurance companies based on need.

Teen Social Coaching: This is a 16-week curriculum from UCLA called PEERS which teaches teens with ASD and other special needs social rules and expectations to gain success in the complex social world. The curriculum is followed up with individual sessions as needed.

Community Cultivation Program

YVAP Community CultivationYVAP Community Cultivation Program

Community Cultivation is a work-ready, educational program using a platform of gardening, craft making, and marketing as the teaching tool to give students and young adults skill set to be successful employees. Community Cultivation collaborates with Northwest Colorado BOCES and the local schools to provide Extended School Year programming for both middle school, high school, and transition-aged students who qualify. Collaborations with DVR include job-shadowing, job coaching, and internships.

STRIDES Transition Program


(Students Transitioning Reaching Independent Direction Education in Steamboat): YVA works with the local school districts to be the provider for transition education to 18-21 year-old qualifying students. The federally required public education includes vocational development and work insertion, health management, adult life-skills, social needs, transportation skills, and community connections to prepare for adult life.

YVA Support Services

YVAP Support

Special Activity Support: YVA provides one-on-one support to provide the opportunity for our kids participate in outside of school activities with their peers. These include After-School programs, School Days Off, Winter Sports Club, Tennis, 4-H, summer camps, and more.

Respite Care: YVA provides families with respite care at the YVA Center, or reimbursement to allow parents of intensive needs children a few important hours away from home for things as simple as grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc.

Education Resources: YVA presents and sponsors highly qualified speakers and workshops for current topics relevant to the local autism community, and distributes current articles and webinars to stakeholders. YVA has an extensive resource library.

Emergency Financial & Family Support: The financial strain on families with an intensive need child can be overwhelming, and YVA can provide emergency assistance based on need.

Local Autism Support Group meetings: YVA holds Autism Support Group meetings in Routt and Moffat Counties. This helps spread information, provides “Think Tank” discussions, and gives a chance for families to meet and share experiences.

Autism Advocacy: YVA is a resource of referral for local and national services and programs, and also act in an advocacy role when determining the best direction forward for families.

Public Awareness: YVA has an important role to promote awareness and disseminate accurate current information about ASD and special needs. YVA promotes public awareness through educator training, media events, publishes articles, and shares newsworthy information on the YVA website and social media.


YVAP believes very strongly that as a community, we work closely together to meet the needs of our members and make it a better place for all. This cannot be done without each other. Below is a list of various agencies that collaborate with YVAP in a multitude of projects.

Transition Programming and Inclusive Workforce Coalition collaboration

  • NW Colorado BOCES
  • SSSD Steamboat Springs School District
  • Horizons
  • STARS & Humble Ranch
  • DVR - Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • NWCCI – Northwest Colorado Center for Independence
  • Colorado Workforce
  • Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Campus
  • Lift Up of Steamboat

Child Find referral, support, and translation

  • Integrated Community
  • Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat
  • Local pediatric medical providers, CU Medical Center
  • Local child care providers

Community Cultivation scheduling, cross referral, support

  • Yampa River Botanic Park
  • STARS & Humble Ranch
  • YVMC Pediatric Therapy Services
  • Agricultural Alliance
  • Mainstreet Market downtown farmer’s market
  • Rocky Mountain Youth Corp
  • Lift-Up

Therapy collaboration

  • BSOTR Behavioral Services of the Rockies
  • ABC Behavioral Services
  • MindSprings
  • YVMC Pediatric Therapy Services

Community Public Awareness and Outreach

  • Steamboat Springs City Police Department and Routt County Sheriff’s Department
  • Steamboat Pilot and Today
  • Social Media
  • Support Group Outreach
  • Bud Werner Library
  • Natural Grocers of Steamboat

Yampa Valley Spectrum Connections Groups (Routt and Moffat County)

These are informal quarterly public meeting groups organized by YVAP for community members wanting to connect, share, or learn more about local ASD and other disabilities. Anyone is welcome! We often have topics or speakers depending on requests. Child supervision provided upon request. For questions call 970.846.1519

Next meetings:

Routt County YVSCG:
June 7th, 5:30-7:30 pm
Rex’s Family Restaurant outside deck
Steamboat Springs, CO

Moffatt County YVSCG:
June 21st, 5:30-7:30 pm
Village Inn Restaurant
Craig, CO

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Learn more about Community Cultivation »

Helpful Links

  • autism.com
    Up to date information and latest buzz in autism world
  • autismnow.org
    A wonderful resource for webinars, many of them are free!
  • autismspeaks.org
    Offers a broad spectrum of information on autism
  • thinkingautismguide.com
    Daily articles on various topics from individuals on spectrum and experts
  • fhautism.com
    A group that offers conferences, resources and updated information

Board of Directors

  • Tom Gangel, Board Chair
  • Susan Mizen, Board Secretary
  • LuEtta Loeber, Treasurer
  • Beth Davison
  • Jack Dysart
  • Rosanne Iversen M.D.
  • Mary Marovich
  • Holly Nelson
  • Sunny Owens
  • Bill Watkins


  • Lisa Lorenz, Executive Director
  • Diane Yazbeck, Social Cognition Director
  • Emily Schweitzer, Program Director
  • Brad Kindred, CC Program Coordinator
  • Jessica Charpentier, ABA Therapist
  • Lennae Anderson
  • Eric Bahnsen
  • Kristin Bantle
  • James Dickson
  • Evan Duran
  • Hahn Erickson
  • Matt Ferry
  • Nick Fettkether
  • Joanne Hedges
  • Alohi Madrigal
  • Rebecca Nolan
  • Betsy Packer
  • Jessica Reagon
  • Kaitlyn Seitter
  • Johnny Walker
  • Charlene Young

Autism News from Medical News Today

Folic acid may mitigate autism risk from pesticides

Researchers at UC Davis and other institutions have shown that mothers who take recommended amounts of folic acid around conception might reduce their children's pesticide-related autism risk.

Read more »