Firefly Autism

Firefly Autism is changing can't to can for hundreds - and with your help - thousands of kids in the Rocky Mountain Region. Our intensive, one-of-its-kind program allows us to dramatically grow a child's "can" list. So it's possible for our kiddos to make improvements that can be charted and proven, not in years, but in weeks and months. The impact on the families is far reaching and changing their lives to break the cycle of hopelessness! Please, put, "I can donate to Firefly Autism" on your can list. And thank you so much.

Organizational Overview

Firefly Autism
2695 S. Jersey Street
Denver, CO 80222
(2007)The Aspen Center for Autism
Our mission is to transform the lives of children with Autism. Partnering with families, we create lifelong relationships through thoughtful, innovative, empirical learning programs. Our vision is to have a world where the lives of children with Autism, their families and communities are transformed through learning.


It was a little over a year ago that the Board of Directors and Jason Romero announced not only the new leadership of Firefly, but also our vision to go beyond our many walls here and serve the underserved children and families throughout Colorado. To do this we knew we'd have to build and create many partnerships with sister and brother organizations who are also doing amazing work to provide services to our community impacted by Autism. We knew that we'd have to build a foundation of development to ensure that families who are in need can access the critical services for their children. We knew that we had to work hard to raise the awareness around Autism like never before and we're proud to say that in just one year we have accomplished and surpassed all our intial goals. But there is still much work that needs to be done.

We have a vision that we CAN dramatically impact the two significant barriers that keep 85% of our population living with Autism, from accessing life changing services. They are geographical and financial barriers. Firefly is demonstrating that we CAN! With the success of our expansion into Grand Junction, we are now working to help children and families up and down the Grand Valley. We have been able to prove that not only CAN we do this, but there is such an incredible need.

Firefly is able to do all this amazing work because of the incredible talent that we have on our team! We recently had the privilege to aquire Dr. Camille Kolu as Clinical Director for Firefly and she along with Jenny Blankenship and the amazing team of teachers/clinicians are focusing on changing lives and are dedicated to do all we CAN to serve the underserved!

We are grateful for all of you who continue to believe, support and help us raise the awareness on those devastating four words, "Your Child Has Autism"! It's with your help and support that Firefly will be able to continue this critical work and change the lives of literally thousands in our state. Whether it's 1 in 88 or 1 in 50 school aged children (CDC most recent statistics) being diagnosed, we have an impending epidemic and financial crisis on our hands.

We know that early intervention is truly the key for our children, and if we CAN get them early, they CAN be set on a path of lifelong learning. Please help us in our efforts by donating to Firefly Autism this year on Colorado Gives Day!

Needs Statement

Our most pressing need is funding which allows us to have the biggest impact on the lives of children and families living with Autism. Such funding allows us to incorporate technology to support our students and staff, provide training to staff, families and community and allows us to fairly compensate our employees. Technology can enrich the lives for all, but for students with Autism, technology is essential. Funding invested in educational technology for Autistic learners, is some of the best money spent today for our children and their families. For many of our students, technology is their only access point to the world.
To learn more about our needs visit

Background Statement

Prior to Firefly, creating a one stop shop concept where families could find ABA treatment, occupational/physical therapy, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, and home tutors all under one roof was not found. The process for families prior was daunting and sometimes overwhelming as they would drive from one location to another in search of these needed services. In June of 2003, the doors of what was then called the Aspen Center for Autism opened with 12 children, 5 therapists and one program. For the first time, children would be able to have their academic, physical, speech, occupational, behavioral learning and trainings all in one place. Because of Firefly Autism, parents have the option to access learning programs, therapy, consultation and other life changing services all in one place. Not surprisingly, this holistic environment where learning and treatments are well coordinated, improves the child's ability to learn.
We offer a variety of services to meet the dynamic needs of the Autism community, which we know is an incredibly diverse group. What all our services have in common is their focus on transforming the lives of children with Autism. By partnering with families, we are able to create life-long relationships through our thoughtful, innovative and empirical learning programs.

Impact Statement

Firefly is the premier provider of Autism treatment services in the Rocky Mountain Region and we are dedicated to breaking down the barriers that make it difficult for our underserved children and families to access these life changing services. Firefly Autism offers comprehensive services including Early Childhood, two School-Age Programs, Outreach, Social Skills Classes, Parent Seminars, Parent/Family Mini-Camps and now have added Sibling Services. Serving children ages 18 months to 18 years, we have worked with over 600 families throughout Colorado since our inception in 2003. Our purpose is to transform lives by changing Can't to Can for children and their families. Our Dream is Big, Our Work is Intense but the Reward is Priceless.

Executive Director Statement

Imagine a life with Autism
Imagine your child not smiling . . . then, one day he looks at you and smiles.
Imagine your child not playing with his sister . . . then, one day he plays with his sister.
Imagine that your child cannot ride a school bus . . . then, one day she does.
Imagine your child not learning academics . . . then, one day she is learning and excited to learn.
Imagine that your child cannot communicate . . . then, one day he says "I love you".
Imagine that you can turn Can't to Can . . . your support of Firefly Autism can do just that!

Autism is an epidemic for which there is no known cause or cure. The latest statistics on incidence of occurrence indicate that 1 in 50 children are being born with Autism. We at Firefly Autism use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to educate and treat our kiddos. ABA is the best evidentiary based treatment for Autism which has been widely researched and published.
Our success rate in positively affecting the kiddos we serve is second to none. We offer a wide array of programs for children from 18 months to 18 years of age in school, social and home settings. Our staff is a committed, passionate, relentless team that uses all of their skill, intellect and wit to effect positive change for our children. We have used good tools for our treatment and education strategies; however, we have developed an improved strategy to invest in and leverage technology to accelerate the positive effect of the treatment and education we provide. Technology helps every student have access to an appropriate and individualized learning environment technology can enrich the lives for all, but for students with Autism technology is essential. We are evolving our technology platforms to include iPads, smart interactive boards used in our classrooms, touch screen monitors, computers and software which will enhance our student's learning and staff effectiveness. By making this investment we Can support our three core objectives to 1. Continuously improve our Quality of Service; 2. Be the employer of choice; and 3. Serve the Underserved.
Thank you for your support of Firefly Autism . . . and Imagine a world where Autism does not restrict a person's ability to access life.

Jason Romero
Executive Director

Board Chair/President Statement

As a Firefly Autism Board member, it has been exciting to help our staff serve a growing number of kids on the spectrum...and their families.
The really exciting thing has been that Firefly creates results ... kids that can communicate, interface with parents, function ... where they couldn't before.
Recent Firefly focus has been on adopting the latest technologies to help our professional staff be even more effective. With our recent expansion of services to Grand Junction and the Western Slope area, our future focus will include using this as a pattern to expand services to more under served kids, families and areas of Colorado.

Gary Moore
Firefly Autism Board of Directors

A family recently shared that their child has made more progress in just two months at Firefly then he did in a full year at his last treatment center. Not only is he making great strides in potty training but for the first time he wants to play and interact with his family rather than watch TV.

One of our families returned to Denver after a move to the east coast in order for their child to return to Firefly because they were highly disappointed in the treatment they received there. We're proud to say that after 2 1/2 years not only has the child graduated, but is now attending Kindegarden with little support!

One of our young Firefly's came to us unable to walk and talk. He started out with a walker and he is now not only walking, but running down the halls! He is talking and has almost said the name Charlene whose one of his favorites! All of this amazing progress in 11 months!

"I am writing to let your team know how grateful my wife and I are for all the fantastic work you have done with our child. After struggling with nannies and therapists we decided he would be best served by having daily one-on-one therapy for several hours. His speech, cognition, socialization and health have greatly improved. In addition, the symptoms associated with each category have improved by at least 50% during his time with Firefly. Firefly was also instrumental in potty training him - something we cannot thank them enough for. Not only has he reached this important milestone but Firefly has also worked hard at reducing some of the problematic behaviors he occasionally displays. Firefly's team is great at what they do and we are so thankful our son has been able to attend Firefly. Teaching children with autism is not an easy task but it seems that each teacher was hired to do just that. We have been amazed at the quality and professionalism they possess as well as their energetic, positive attitudes. Thank you to Firefly for the great work you do daily, you are making a difference in each of these children's lives."
~ A Firefly Parent