Support Yampa Valley Autism

We think differently about disABILITIES.  We are provding therapy, tools, resources, and community guidance to help children with developmental disabilities reach their full potential –cultivating their abilities and maximizing their quality of life.

Private donations, including those from Donor Advised Funds, are the primary source of funding for our special activity support program that allows kids to participate with their peers in group activities like Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, City Camp, Hayden’s Totally Kids, and more.

Please donate today to support this valuable program.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Yampa Valley Autism Program provides resources and direct services to individuals and families living with autism or other disorders to cultivate their abilities and maximize quality of life.

Our Vision

Our Vision

Healthy communities in the Yampa Valley where all people are valued and accepted.

Our Commitment

Our Commitment

To provide specialized therapies, family support services, training, education, public awareness, collaboration, and advocacy.

Our Values

Our Values

Yampa Valley Autism Program upholds the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility for our employees and the individuals we serve.

Our Plans for the Future

Learn more about Yampa Valley Autism’s plans for the future.  Read our 3-Year Strategic Plan >>

Our Story

Originally called Autism and Asperger’s Awareness of Steamboat, this program began in 2002 as a grassroots support group led by a small group of parents who had children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Their goal was to obtain high quality, up-to-date services for their children with autism in a small rural community. The group became a formal organization with board governance and was renamed the Yampa Valley Autism Program (YVAP) in 2004 and operated under the umbrella of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF). Initially, YVAP provided respite, fund reimbursement for certain services, emergency support, and educational support for families of children with autism. However, as more children were diagnosed and the need for critical services increased, in 2007 the program grew forming our own 501(c)3. In January 2010, YVAP acquired Community Cultivation, a horticultural work-ready program and began to provide direct programming to youths with an ASD. This merger was valuable to both entities with less duplication of services, and by expanding the population we serve to include other youth at risk with developmental disabilities with similar needs. As the services have diversified, in 2015 YVAP is now a more comprehensive service and educational programming provider from early childhood into young adulthood.


Our Staff and Executive Board work closely to create a harmonious relationship with client needs. Staff and families are encouraged to attend board meetings and provide input and feedback. All staff are included in the annual Board Planning Session meetings to best plan the direction each year. Board and Staff are expected to be present and volunteer for at fundraising events and public awareness events. All Executive Board members are required to contribute financially, and all staff have personally elected to contribute financially. YVAP also believes in representation of our client base within our board and staff, and have at a minimum of one person with autism contributing as a board member, and as well as a minimum of one paid staff.

Transforming Lives


We are more than Autism! About half of our children have special needs other than ASD

Nearly 70 kids and families are receiving direct services

YVAP staff has grown from 7 to over 30 in just a few years

Our programs and outreach have quadrupled

We provide public school education, including 18-21 transition education, summer programming, in-classroom education, and on-campus therapy

YVAP provides direct job coaching and vocational support for students ages 15-21

YVAP subsidizes and provides critical therapies to give the opportunity for the very best possible outcomes for children with ASD

We are a Medicaid Approved Provider for some therapies

YVAP provides one-on-one support for our kids to be able to participate with their peers in Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Hayden Totally Kids Program, after school programs, summer camps, and more

YVAP is unique in its origin, function, and funding and we have presented at conferences and been held up as a model currently being replicated in other rural regions of the US.

YVAP provides vocational training for individuals helping to prepare them for employment in a variety of work settings.

What is Autism?

  • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction.
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
  • Must be present in the early developmental.
  • Causes impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability.

People with ASD tend to have communication deficits, such as responding inappropriately in conversations, misreading nonverbal interactions, or having difficulty building friendships appropriate to their age. In addition, people with ASD may be overly dependent on routines, highly sensitive to changes in their environment, or intensely focused on inappropriate items. Again, the symptoms of people with ASD will fall on a continuum, with some individuals showing mild symptoms and others having much more severe symptoms. This spectrum accounts for the variations in symptoms and behaviors from person to person.

For more details, see the DSM V Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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