While some ASD interventions have demonstrated efficacy under controlled conditions,
few have shown effectiveness in real world settings with a diversity of children and teachers that serve them. In a classroom setting, the researchers will perform a randomized controlled field trial of the Strategies for Teaching Based on Autism Research (STAR) Program on academic progress and impairments associated with ASD. In particular, four areas of progress will be assessed: school readiness, communication, socialization and social skills, and adaptive and challenging behaviors. The Philadelphia School District plans to use STAR for approximately 330 children in 42 autism support classrooms (kindergarten through 2nd grade) starting in September 2008. Findings from the proposed study will provide timely and critical evidence regarding the implementation and effectiveness of one promising practice, with direct relevance to translation of findings into practice and policy.