Our promise is in our name

An autism diagnosis changes many lives. It can define not only the child’s life but also the parents and their marriage, the sibling’s experience of growing up, and the grandparent’s role in caretaking. In STEPPS was founded to help a family on the autism journey and help a child meet their potential. When you join In STEPPS you become part of our family that provides the best Support, Treatment, and Education for everyone involved — including Parents, Professionals, and Students with autism.

More than a decade ago, In STEPPS started with just a couple of clients and a dream. We could not afford office space and met in the back of our founder’s home. We grew our team as she cooked us fried eggs in her kitchen at every meeting.  We adapted to many funding changes and nurtured our clinical staff. Over the years we touched the lives of hundreds of families and expanded our locations. We now serve most of Southern California and help hundreds of families cope with autism on a daily basis. 

We still focus on the whole family system, providing support for everyone affected by a child’s diagnosis. We emphasize the parent-child connection and help kids learn to talk, play and learn. We concentrate on increasing social motivation and make learning fun. We change a child’s developmental trajectory and make a difference every day. We don’t let autism change us, we change autism.

Core values

Together, our core values spell REFLECT. That is not an accident. Reflection is essential for growth and progress. Just as we continually track your family’s progress in therapy, we reflect on our commitment to you based on the following principles.

Together we can overcome any obstacle

You’ll only get the truth from us

Goal of every interaction is to strengthen family bonds

Dedicated to researching the best in care

Play is more than a tool, it’s a lifestyle

All needs and ideas are heard

Every staff and family member are part of the team

Meet Our Founder

Yvonne Bruinsma founded In STEPPS in 2010. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field and a deep passion to help families connect with their children using the best in ABA and PRT strategies for autism.

Yvonne Bruinsma, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Founder and CEO

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“My purpose revealed itself to me in grad school while I was teaching a family strategies to enhance communication with their 4-year-old son Justin who had recently been diagnosed with autism. We filmed a normal activity at home to watch their interactions, mom gave Justin a bath.

Mom started out optimistic as she tried using some of the first strategies we discussed. But as bath time continued that hope faded to frustration, guilt, and exhaustion with every question unanswered, a song unsung, and smile not returned by her son. He was busy in his own world, playing with his toys in the tub.

My heart broke for mother and son. It was at that moment that my purpose became clear to me —I had to do all that I could to help this family connect and stay connected. I needed to help more families to connect to their children with autism so that they may reach their fullest potential. 

In STEPPS began in 2010 with an amazing team of clinicians that share that same deep desire to help families. We have helped over 3,000 families, and continue to expand to reach more. We thrive on connections with families, children, and each other to achieve the best possible outcomes. Since that first day with Justin and mom, this is my mission and it is at the heart of everything we do at In STEPPS.”

Meet the Clinical Leadership Team

We’re a passionate bunch. We love to learn, play and collaborate to provide the best experience possible for your family. Every team member is highly trained in ABA and PRT to build meaningful relationships with your family and child.

Rachel Zetino, M.S., BCBA
Director of Training

“I’m passionate about training and supporting those who wish to become proficient and ethical behavior analysts.”


Nicole Horton, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Director of San Diego

“I love the opportunity to truly help people — whether a therapist, case manager, supervisor, child, or family — and see the progress they make.”


Nicole Floyd, M.S., BCBA
Regional Director of Los Angeles

“I love seeing the progress our clients make, in addition to the impact, it has on their families. Their parents, siblings, and extended family members can enjoy a better quality of life as their child progresses.”


Lindsey Lewis, M.A., BCBA
Regional Director of Orange County

“It is amazing to see the children’s progress achieved through ABA and the effect on their families.”


Take your first step with In STEPPS today

In STEPPS currently serves Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sonoma Counties.

Contact us today for a consultation.