Developed by Jennifer Schoffer Closson (Dept of Communicative Sciences) and Anisa Goforth (Dept of Psychology), Youth Engagement Through Intervention (YETI) is a social skills intervention framework that uses a variety of evidence-based practices and strategies such as video modeling, social narratives, differential reinforcement, role-plays, and visual schedules. During YETI, children learn social and communication skills such as joining in peer groups, maintaining conversation, and coping with frustrations. Children in the group are provided opportunities to learn a new skill, practice the skill in a safe environment, as well try out the skill outside of group (e.g., home or school).
The intervention is implemented as an 8-week (1.5 hours per week) intervention or as an intensive weeklong summer program (6 hours a day) for children ages 6 to 13 years old diagnosed with autism or related disorders.
The DeWit RiteCare Clinic has three payment options.
- Clients who have insurance will be billed for the program (please obtain a prescription from your doctor).
- If a child does not have insurance, you may pay out of pocket, or apply for a scholarship to offset the costs.
YETI programs range from elementary aged children to middle school aged children and are hosted each semester as well as in the summer.
School Year Programs
During the school year, YETI is implemented as an 8-week (1.5 hours per week) intervention. The intervention is designed to cover the primary concerns for the children (e.g., greeting, maintaining a conversation). Each child is assessed during the first session so that child’s individual needs are understood. The child’s progress is monitored throughout the 8 weeks, and a letter is sent home to the child’s parents at the end of the session. For the final session, the child is assessed again to determine whether the child learned the skills taught during YETI.
School year programs require a $20 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot.
- YETI of the Andes Social Skills Group (Elementary School Age)
- YETI of the Rockies Social Skills Group (Middle School Age)
To learn more about fall registration, call the DeWit RiteCare Clinic: (406)243-2405.
During the summer, YETI is implemented for an intensive weeklong intervention. The intervention is designed to cover the primary concerns for the children (e.g., greeting, maintaining a conversation). Given that many children with autism and related disorders have difficulty attending summer camps, this intervention is designed to engage children through a number of summer camp activities while using evidence-based practices. Children are assessed during the first session and the last session of the intervention, as well as throughout the intervention to determine whether they learned the skills.
Summer programs require a $25 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot.
YETI Explorer Camp
June 13-17, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (must bring own lunch)
Graduate student clinicians in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders as well as the Department of Psychology (School Psychology and Clinical Psychology) provide direct intervention services to address a variety of skills associated with social engagement, interaction, and communication. All services are supervised by Professor Schoffer Closson, a Certified Clinically Competent (CCC) and Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and Dr. Goforth, a Licensed Psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist.
Anisa Goforth, PhD, NCSP
Dr. Anisa Goforth is an assistant professor of psychology in the School Psychology Program at the University of Montana. She is a licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Her research focuses on culturally responsive evidence-based practices in school psychology and the implementation of social-emotional interventions for children with autism. Dr. Goforth's research also led her to help develop a treatment protocol for social skills and the creation of the YETI Program with Professor Closson.
Jennifer K. Schoffer Closson, M.S., CCC-SLP
Professor Jennifer Closson is the Director of Clinical Education for the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department. Her interest areas include autism and secondary transition, leading her to develop the YETI and MOSSAIC (Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism Inclusion on Campus). She has worked for the Montana Office of Public Instruction to train people across Montana about evidence based practices for autism.
For more information regarding the YETI program or to apply please contact the RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic.
- Phone: (406)243-2405
- Email: Jennifer.Closson@mso.umt.edu