Philly Aims (K-5)
The Philly AIMS team comprises a group of researchers and clinicians at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. The mission of Philly AIMS is to improve quality education for children with autism through research and practice. Philly AIMS has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia since 2008 to determine the best ways to move evidence‐based autism interventions into practice. Philly AIMS was originally funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the US Department of Education to conduct a randomized controlled trial of autism interventions, including the STAR Program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research). At the time, it was the largest study of an educational intervention for children with autism, and the first to be conducted as a partnership between a university and a school district. Since the completion of the research study, Philly AIMS has continued to support the district in the implementation of evidence based practices including training in inclusive educational practices, class‐wide positive behavioral strategies, and ABA‐based programming (Applied Behavior Analysis). Delivered via professional development training and classroom‐based consultation, the Philly AIMS team provides integrated support to teachers in grades K‐5 autism support classrooms.