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The STAR Program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research, Arick, Loos, Falco, Krug, 2015) teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council and uses many of the evidence-based practices identified in the 2009 National Standards Report and 2014 National Professional Development Report.

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Our approach to curriculum makes standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. Academically rigorous, project-based learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service learning inspire students to think and work as professionals, contributing high-quality work to authentic audiences beyond the classroom. She used the curriculum as a starting point but then added in other ideas, a video, and a chart that was unique to her class, using a separate resource to gather ideas that helped her teach it more clearly. She still followed the curriculum's basic structure, but she built on it to make it more fun for her students.

The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism. The STAR Program is the only curriculum that has been validated by multiple independent randomized control trials (including IES and NIH Grants) on the market today.

  • Evidence-Based
  • Research Validated
  • ABA Based
  • Award Winning

The STAR Program includes detailed lesson plans, teaching materials, data systems and a curriculum-based assessment for teaching in the six curricular areas of receptive language, expressive language, spontaneous language, functional routines, academics, and play & social skills.


  • Uses evidence-based instructional practices
  • Is research-validated
  • Is ABA-based
  • Provides a comprehensive curriculum-based assessment and documents progress on IEPs
  • Is aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Is shown to be effective in public school settings
  • Meets the individual needs of students at various developmental levels
  • Comprehensive materials include program manual, lesson plans and ready to use manipulatives, photo cards and other instructional tools
  • Is award winning!

Level 1 Complete Kit

You should select the Level 1 kit if your student shows some difficulty understanding or following simple commands, has no language or very little language, has moderate behavior issues when asked to follow a simple task, and/or may not interact with other children very well. Pollyanna the movie.

With the Level 1 kit, we begin to teach students to:

  • Understand basic language concepts and commands
  • Start to use verbal language to request their needs and desires
  • Understand and follow simple routines such as arrival to an activity area, departure from an activity area, circle time, or snack time.
  • Begin to participate in independent constructive play.
  • And much, much, much more!

Level 2 Complete Kit

Please purchase the Level 2 kit if your student can often follow some simple commands but conversely shows difficulty with 2-step commands or requests that are considered more complex. Additionally, if your student uses only one word (or picture) to request desires, understands only simple nouns, plays only in isolation, and only follows simple routines this level would be considered the most appropriate.

With Level 2, we teach students to:

  • Follow 2-step commands
  • Use multiple words to make more complex requests
  • Use simple verbs such as 'sleeping, eating or crying'
  • Learn the names of other children
  • Play interactively
  • Identify numbers, letters, and a few sight words
  • Answer 'wh' questions
  • And much more!

Level 3 Complete Kit

Select this level if your student can use two or more words (or pictures) to communicate. Additionally, your student should be able to label objects, identify numbers and letters, identify a few words by sight reading, and follow most classroom routines with verbal directions or picture schedule.

With Level 3, teach students to:

  • Expand vocabulary and phrase length
  • Use prepositions and pronouns
  • Read more functional sight words
  • Write with dictation and from memory
  • Read a simple story in a book, identify and use memory
  • Tell time and use this skill with their classroom schedule
  • Add and subtract one-digit numbers
  • Follow more complex routines such as computer use, transitioning between locations and large group activities in and out of the classroom
  • Participate in school routines such as music, PE, lunch, and recess
  • Play interactively with peers
  • And much more!
I wanted to tell you that we have made soooo much progress with our student. She is sitting at the lunch table, asking for “more grapes please,” then waiting while we look for some. Then actually saying “more apples?” when we tell her the grapes are gone! She is playing side by side with others and said, “bye Mom” when her mom dropped her off last Thursday morning. Lots of tears on that one. Autism Specialist Indiana

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I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing program! My son is 6 and has been on the STAR Program for 2 years. It's amazing! He loves learning this way and the penny boards are a great teaching tool. So grateful for your program! Parent
STAR has been a user-friendly, research based, effective resource for teachers. Thank you for partnering with us to bring about better outcomes for the students we teach and for whom we care so deeply. Program Specialist Utah
We continue to use the STAR program at Lighthouse. Although we were already using many of the strategies included in the STAR program, such as visual systems, routines, and behavior plans, the program gave us the framework, structure and consistency we needed. It really pulled it all together for us. Administrator Holland
I came across your STAR curriculum at my previous employer where I worked for 3 years doing ABA therapy with children with autism. It is without a doubt the most thorough and effective autism curriculum I have come across. Peace Corp Volunteer Belize
After implementing the STAR Program I was really excited to discover the curriculum is appropriate for all of my students with developmental disabilities. It has really saved time to have one curriculum that meets the needs of all my students. Special Education Teacher Oregon

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Following the STAR curriculum has made a positive difference in every one of my students’ lives. Students who started the year needing full assistance to transition between activities are now able to independently check their schedule and move to the next activity. These are students who fell to the floor, cried, ran away or hid under tables in their previous classrooms. For the first time in my career as a special education teacher all of my students have either met IEP goals or are making adequate progress to meet them. Special Education Teacher Washington