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Specialized Teaching & Resources

Special Education Day School

Established in 1982 in Phoenix, Arizona


Serving Students with Severe Language, Communication, Learning & Behavioral Needs


STAR Autism Academy is a private special education day school, serving students with severe language/communication, learning and behavioral needs. STAR Autism Academy is an academically based program which incorporates language acquisition skills into the daily curriculum, along with a structured behavior management program. STAR Autism Academy works with students in Kindergarten through Middle School.


STAR Autism Academy was established in August 1990, and began with two classrooms, 15 students and 7 employees. In June of 2004, we've moved into our current building located on the southeast corner of 43rd Ave & Bethany Home Rd. STAR Autism Academy currently works with over 20 local school districts, provides elementary special education instruction, and employees 25 staff members. Many of the staff members have worked together for over 35 years, including the owners/directors Kristin Texada, MA, SLP, CCC and Susan Sorgen-Jones, MS.

Educational Categories

STAR Autism Academy is certified by the Arizona Department of Education for the following educational categories:


  • SLI (speech-language impaired)

  • MIID (mild intellectual disability)

  • MOID (moderate intellectual disability)

  • ED (emotional disability)

  • SLD (specific learning disabilities)

  • MD (multiple disibility)


Educational Program


STAR Autism Academy has an overall program for children between the ages of 5 and 14. For more information, please follow the links above. Hi-Star incorporates many evidence-based practices into the students' daily educational program. These may include, but not be limited to: Prompting, Reinforcement (verbal/tangible), Time Delay/Fading, Task Analysis and Chaining, Shaping, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Parent Training, Differential Reinforcement, Pivotal Response Training, Response Interruption & Redirection, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support, Extinction and Social Skills groups. We also feel the daily classroom schedule is an integral component of the educational program; along with the personal relationships that develop between the teacher and student, and student to student relationships.

STAR Autism Academy is a highly structured, language-based program, with speech/ language/communication opportunities being provided to our students throughout the day. Language activities are embedded in the students entire day at STAR Autism Academy. Students are exposed to high levels of vocabulary and language; being cued, modeled, prompted and encouraged to use this vocabulary when speaking using complete sentences, phrases, word utterances/approximations, pictures, sign language, and/or communication devices. We work with the student's current language/communication skills and abilities; while also having high expectations for their skills and abilities to improve and increase. This is done in a classroom integrated model, which allows for constant and continued exposure to language/communication; allowing for more opportunities for language instruction, practice, remediation, and generalization.


Additional Enrichment Services

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