YETI Social Skills Program

Youth Engagement Through Intervention (YETI)

YETI Camp Photo

About YETI

Developed by Jennifer Schoffer Closson (Department of Communicative Sciences) and Anisa Goforth (Department 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 new skills, practice the skills in a safe environment, as well try out the skills outside of group (e.g., home or school).

Programs

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 Fall and Spring Semesters, Thursdays 3:30-5:00

Children elementary and middle school aged are invited to attend this 8 week program.  Participants complete intake paperwork and a follow-up meeting will occur to determine program candidacy and specific needs.  Each semester we address 6 social skill topics and provide instruction on vocabulary, idioms, and other areas that support our program.  Parents receive a social narrative for each topic in order to generalize the skill and have continuity at home.

Interested in YETI or would like to return?

  • First time participants please call the DeWit RiteCare Clinic at 406-243-2405 and request an intake packet, complete the packet, and return it. The intake must be completed to reserve a spot
  • First time and returning participants ask to be added to the list for the semester and put a $20 non-refundable deposit down to hold your spot

Summer Programs

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. Multiple topics are covered during the week and parents are provided social narratives for each topic in order to generalize the skill and have continuity at home.

Interested in YETI Summer Camp or would like to return?

  • First time participants please call the DeWit RiteCare Clinic at 406-243-2405 and request an intake packet, complete the packet, and return it. The intake must be completed to reserve a spot
  • First time and returning participants ask to be added to the list for each specific summer camp and put a $25 non-refundable deposit down to hold each spot

YETI Belonging Camp

  • Offered each summer (check here for dates), graduate students in School and Clinical Psychology join us to help participants develop their behavior and language skills to support social skill development.  This camp runs for a week Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Participants must bring their own lunch.

YETI Language Camp 

  • Offered each summer (check here for dates), graduate students help participants develop their language skills to support social skill development. This camp runs for a week Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Participants must bring their own lunch.

Graduate Student Clinicians

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. 

About Us

Anisa and Jennifer play with a child during a YETI program

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. 

Contact Us

For more information regarding the YETI program or to apply please contact the RiteCare Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. 

Graphic of a Yeti