Recent Studies

From its beginning, STaR has been committed to contributing to the evidence base in early intervention for young children with disabilities and special learning needs.

A study in 2013 compared the effect of picture books and iPad apps as catalysts to engage three STaR children who had high support needs and were identified as difficult to engage. Click here to download a summary of the research.

A 2014 study involved the same STaR-Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) research team and was funded through a Macquarie University grant. It took place in two of our affiliated childcare centres with three STaR children, their educators and some of their typically-developing peers. The study measured the effect of an intervention that involved coaching the peers to help the STaR children to take turns using an iPad app.

What was special about this research?

  • It capitalised on the presence of typically developing peers.
  • It made use of mobile touch screen devices that appeal to children.
  • The educators who were involved gained professional development in instructing and coaching the typical peers to support the social development of children with disabilities.

A STaR team of special education teachers and social welfare staff provided workshops and mentoring to educators from a Sydney family day care service, thanks to a local government community grant. STaR has been evaluating the effects of the training on the educators’ confidence and attitudes about including children with additional needs in their programs and supporting the children’s families.

Click here to download a summary of publications and conference presentations based on research with STaR program children and families. STaR Research and Publications