What We Do

Social Cognition Program

YVAP Social CognitionYVAP Social Cognition Program

Autism affects the entire family, both emotionally and financially. Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder struggle with social and communication skills whether they are high-functioning or severely affected. This typically separates them socially from their peers, often resulting in bullying, teasing, and isolation. Most children with autism struggle to find friends! They also may have difficulty at home and in school communicating effectively with teachers and authority figures.

The program’s goal is to help individuals in our community learn how their behaviors impact others and how to regulate feelings and actions, and to give them life-long social skills following graduation. They learn how to understand the social expectations and behavior of others, to ask for what he or she wants and needs without negative behaviors, and to find common interests and participate socially.

YVAP collaborates with the Steamboat Springs School District by delivering specialized content directly into the elementary school classrooms, utilizing curriculum specific to social thinking or cognition. 

Community Cultivation

YVAP Community CultivationYVAP Community Cultivation Program

This is a work-ready program using a platform of horticulture, gardening and produce marketing as the teaching tool. The goal is to give students and young adults skill set to live as independently as possible within the parameters of their abilities, and to find employment in the community. Community Cultivation collaborats with Northwest Colorado BOCES and the Steamboat Springs School District to provide Extended School Year programming for both middle school and high school students who qualify. This includes job-shadowing and internships.

Look for us at the Steamboat Farmers Market on Saturdays to buy produce and products.

Purchase our produce anytime at Ag Alliance Coop.

Learn more about the Community Cultivation Program.

STRIDES Transition Program

YVAP Community CultivationYVAP STRIDES Transition Program

(Students Transitioning Reaching Independent Direction Education in Steamboat) YVAP is collaborating with the Steamboat Springs School District to provide the state-mandated year around off-campus Transition Program for individuals 18-21 who meet the needs criteria. This consists of a community inclusive wrap-around program that immerses the student in activities, work experience, and learning to prepare them for independent adult life within the parameters of their ability.

Teen Social Coaching Program

A new YVAP program in collaboration with Steamboat Springs School District, using the PEERS curriculum helps teens and young adults navigate the social expectations and gives them the tools to be successful at school, work and the community.

ABA Therapy

The “gold standard” for behavioral therapy is Applied Behavior Analysis. This intensive behavioral therapy is covered by some insurance companies and is required to be delivered by certified behaviorists (BCBA’s). YVAP includes this therapy in the curriculum for qualifying individuals, and may be able to provide funds to assist with the costs not covered by insurance companies.

On-site Respite

YVAP can now offer on-site respite for special needs students at our new YVAP Center. Call to make a reservation.

Respite Care

This program reimburses our families for ten hours of respite care that they may use to be able to have a few hours away from home. This may be as simple as grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments or other important errands. Since this disorder is '24/7', it is critical for the well-being of the entire family to have this necessary time.

After School Support

YVAP can provide after school support for some students based on needs and funding.

Scholarship Programs

YVAP provides financial resources for evidence-based therapies that insurance does not cover, including grant scholarships to Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Pediatric Therapy Group for “therapy camps”. These camps provide occupational therapy, speech and behavioral therapy, along with socialization skills for younger children. YVAP also provides scholarships to clients in our programs, based on need. 

Education Resources

YVAP sponsors highly-qualified speakers and workshops for current topics relevant to the local autism community, and distributes current relevant articles and webinars to stakeholders. In addition, YVAP’s resource library includes books, DVD’s and assistive technologies and are available for checkout for public use.

Emergency Financial and Family Support

Insurance for autism remains limited in the scope of therapies that are covered, and the strain on families financially can be overwhelming, especially single parent families. YVAP provides emergency assistance based on need for medical treatments, dental work, and travel to specialists, etc.

Public Awareness

An important aspect of YVAP is to promote awareness and disseminate accurate current information about autism. YVAP promotes public awareness through media events, publishes articles in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and shares newsworthy information on the YVAP website and through 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
  • Jack Dysart
  • Rosanne Iversen M.D.
  • Becca Moore
  • Holly Nelson


  • Lisa Lorenz, Executive Director
  • Diane Yazbeck, Social Cognition Director
  • Amanda Anzalone, Program Director
  • Brad Kindred, CC Program Coordinator
  • Emily Schweitzer, STRIDES Program Coordinator
  • Dan Buri
  • Evan Duran
  • Hahn Erickson
  • Hunter Fabian
  • Nick Fettkether
  • Justin Griffith
  • Joanne Hedges
  • Alohi Madrigal
  • Betsy Packer
  • Jessica Reagon
  • Jim Schutt
  • Dani Stack
  • Johnny Walker
  • Jenna Wilson

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 »