Our History

STAR Autism Support is founded on research and instruction conducted by Dr. Joel Arick with students with autism over the last 40 years.

Dr. Arick began working with children with autism together with Dr. Dave Krug in 1973. The program they developed using the strategies of discrete trial training, augmentative communication systems and teaching independence to children with autism was used in schools for over 20 years. Drs. Arick and Krug jointly published a research article (Krug, D., Arick, J.,  Almond, P., Rosenblum, J., Scanlon, C., and Border, M. 1979) and wrote a book describing that program (Krug, D. A., Rosenblum, J., Almond, P. and Arick, J. 1981).

The STAR Program

In 1997, at the request of several school districts, Dr. Arick began working with Lauren Loos, MS and Dr. Ruth Falco to develop The STAR Program based on the research-based methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines- methods researched by many investigators, including the authors, for over 40 years.

Learn more about research and The STAR Program

The STAR Program was designed to give teachers the instructional plans and materials needed to implement a research-based program as part of a child's Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in a public school program or other setting.

STAR Autism Support

In the early 2000’s STAR Autism Support (SAS) was founded by Dr. Arick and his wife Sheila Magee to assist school districts across the United States with successful implementation of The STAR Program and other evidence-based strategies for working with students with autism. Over the years SAS has been joined by many talented consultants. John Gill, instrumental in assisting school districts with successful implementation of evidence-based practices, is the voice of the STAR Program Training Video Series. Misten Daniels, who later joined the team, assisted in consultation to school districts and expanding-services to web-based training.

As the need for more intensive, practical tools for school districts increased to serve students with ASD, STAR Autism Support began to develop new resources for school districts including, the Links Curriculum, Sunshine Literacy, Token Reinforcement Systems and many other products. SAS continued to develop innovative ways to provide effective staff development opportunities for school districts.  Jesse Arick and Kara Magee-Arick (Joel and Sheila’s son and daughter) joined the company to support its business and training initiatives.

Since the inception of the company, STAR Autism Support has been a leader in the field of educating children with autism, in particular in building capacity for districts, regional programs and states of all sizes to effectively serve their students. SAS has worked with over 2,500 school districts and over 25,000 educators across the United States and throughout the world. Among their many clients SAS, has worked with include Oregon Department of Education, Arizona Department of Education, Puerto Rico Department of Education, Philadelphia Public Schools, and Plano Independent School District.