Autism Spectrum Disorder Program

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ASD Program was created in 2004 by Imagine!, in cooperation with the Autism Society of Boulder County. The purpose of this program is to provide services to address the challenges of local children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder but who do not meet the state criteria for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In Colorado, criteria for an intellectual and developmental disability are based on cognitive and adaptive skills test scores. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the diagnoses considered, but the diagnosis alone is not sufficient to meet criteria for state-funded services.

If you are not sure whether your family member is eligible for this program, please see the Eligibility section below or contact the Intake Navigator at 303-926-6475.

Families who are already enrolled in the ASD Program and need assistance may contact the ASD Program Coordinator at or 303-926-6444. For general information about Autism call the Autism Society of Boulder County at 720-272-8231, or e-mail them here.

ASD Program Goals

The goal of this program is to provide families a method of selecting services that promotes the most cost-effective means to address the significant challenges to their child’s participating in family and community activities. This includes:

  • Offering innovative supports to local children and adolescents who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who do not meet state criteria for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities so they may live fulfilling lives of independence and quality in their homes and communities.
  • Reducing the added stress on families that results from supporting a family member who has ASD.
  • Making beneficial services available to address the challenges of persons who have ASD.


The individual must have a diagnosis, defined in DSM-V as Autism Spectrum Disorder (OR have been previously diagnosed under DSM-IV with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Rett Syndrome, or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder), as determined and signed by a licensed psychiatrist, physician, or psychologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorders.

  • The person must live in Boulder County (there is currently a small Broomfield County Pilot Project with a waiting list)
  • The person is over 5 years old and under 26 years old.
  • The person must live at home with his or her parents or guardian (those over 18 living independently may request an exemption to this requirement)
  • The person is not eligible for or receiving other services funded by the Colorado Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through Imagine! (Individuals with Autism who have intellectual deficits or adaptive skills deficits are often already eligible for Imagine! services funded by the State of Colorado).

Registration and Enrollment in Services

Once a registration form is completed online, individuals are placed on the ASD Program waitlist until eligibility is determined. A confirmation of registration receipt will be emailed to the family. A current email address, phone number and mailing address will be kept on record with the Imagine! ASD Program Coordinator.

Supporting documentation of medical diagnosis and current IEP or 504 Plan should be emailed, mailed or faxed within 8 weeks of the registration date to the ASD Program Coordinator in order to remain on the waiting list. Registrants may download an Intake Application here.

Please complete and return the Intake Application to the Intake Navigator. If you have questions in regards to completing the intake application, you may contact the Intake Navigator. Eligibility is determined by Imagine! based upon the information submitted. Any registrant who has previously received a letter of denial of eligibility from Imagine! or another community centered board should send a copy of that letter to the Intake Navigator.

Families who have met the intake requirements are notified when enrollment will take place. Currently, 15 individuals are enrolled beginning July 1st of each year and continuing until the target is met. Enrollment in the ASD Program is for a maximum of three years. The first year allocation is $5,000. The second year allocation is also $5,000. The third year and final allocation is $4,000. An ASD Program Manual is sent to each family to familiarize them with the procedures and requirements of the program including the information discussed below.

  • Identify needs that are related to ASD and exist because of ASD.
  • Seek assessment of target needs as necessary.
  • Develop a 3 Year Plan of service and support with goals and budgets to address those needs.

Upon approval of their Plan, families are then given access to their personal online Consumer Center and are able to direct their allocated funds. The families will:

  • Select from a list of qualified providers to fulfill the services budgeted in the plan.
  • Together with the providers’ input, submit progress updates twice annually as to how goals are being met.

Please keep in mind that the yearly allocations are not a cash grant to the family. Imagine! will use each family’s funding allocation to pay service providers directly according to the family’s plan. Assessments, plan building, and initial interventions are considered critical to achieving the outcomes desired.

Available Services

  • Audiology to address Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Behavior therapy, evaluation and intervention for social and emotional support
  • Complementary and Alternative Therapies. * At its discretion, Imagine! may agree to fund a professional service or program for alternative therapies, but does not endorse, verify, recommend or vouch for the safety, quality or efficacy of a particular provider, program, or treatment.
  • Equipment and Supplies recommended by professionals
  • Family-Recruited Providers who follow social integration or behavior support plans or provide remedial tutoring
  • Medical Services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological, psychiatric and other services from licensed professionals
  • Social integration activities such as summer camps and social skills groups
  • Speech therapy
  • Therapeutic Recreation and Fitness
  • Vision therapy

Services do not include:

  • Reimbursement to a family for services or supports purchased by the family
  • Support from a family member that is typically thought of as support that a child without ASD would receive
  • The cost of nutritional supplements, food, or medications
  • Any services that occur outside of Colorado

The ASD Program has a directory of service providers who maintain a current written contract and meet a set of standard qualifications. The family views these lists of providers and services via the web store and submit Sales Orders for the specific types and quantity of services desired. The ASD Program Coordinator approves and processes the Sales Orders and emails each service provider a Service Authorization. The providers then bill Imagine! for services rendered.

Adding a Service Provider

If a family is working with a provider that is not part of the ASD Program’s list of approved providers, it is possible to add them as long as they are willing to go through the application and contract process. Only service providers who are requested by a family enrolled in the ASD program will be considered a candidate for the contract process. The provider must complete the Provider Application to initiate the contract process.