STAR Autism Support Program

STAR Autism Support Program

The STAR Program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) is a school-based system that teaches children with ASD the critical skills needed to succeed in school and the community through the implementation of evidence-based practices in the classrooms.

Research has suggested that autism classrooms that utilize STAR have had more promising outcomes for students with autism when compared to programs that rely on their independently-created curriculum.  AHRC New York City has partnered with STAR for a two-year collaboration in which STAR consultants work in our preschool autism-specific classrooms to provide more consistent, intensive, empirically-validated support for our children with ASD, and based on the student outcomes, has continued to use the program in the classrooms.  The goal will be to create local resources (STAR coaches and training sites) that facilitate children’s development of the functional skills needed to be active participants in the school, home, and community.  This infrastructure will support the implementation of uniform assessment strategies, instructional techniques, and skill development through the use of evidence-based practices by highly-trained teachers and school administrators.

The strategies included in STAR are:

  • STAR programPrompting
  • Antecedent-Based Interventions
  • Time delay
  • Reinforcement
  • Task analysis
  • Discrete Trial Training
  • Functional Behavior Analysis
  • Functional Communication Training
  • Response Interruption/Redirection
  • Differential Reinforcement
  • Social Narratives
  • Video Modeling
  • Naturalistic Interventions
  • Peer Mediated Intervention
  • Pivotal Response Training
  • Visual Supports
  • Structured Work Systems
  • Self-Management
  • Social Skills Training Groups
  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems
  • Extinction

Years of research on effective programming for children with autism support the use of these interventions in classrooms and help children acquire the skills for independence, learning, and socialization.

STAR trainers will utilize a five-phase plan at three of our preschool sites (two classrooms per site):

The 5 Phases of the STAR Program

Phase 1 consists of two days of initial training for classroom staff and key building personnel.

Phase 2 consists of STAR trainers working in the classrooms on the initial implementation of best practices

Phase 3 consists of continued on-site work in the selected classrooms at each preschool site

Phase 4 consists of the fidelity of implementation checks

Phase 5 consists of future STAR classrooms starting to work with initially-trained classrooms to prepare for the ensuing roll-out to classrooms addressed in year two.