For Parents

After the diagnosis, at the start of each school year, during transitions from preschool to elementary school, to middle school, to high school, and beyond, individuals with ASD and their families have many questions: Which direction do we need to pursue? What is the best path? How do we achieve the goals we have set? How do we know if we are reaching our goals? And so on.

Our work in COMPASS is designed to help answer these questions.

COMPASS is a specialized consulting intervention where a trained consultant facilitates the decision-making necessary to help identify the personalized goals and intervention plans that will help answer the questions above.

What does COMPASS Look Like? COMPASS begins with an initial 3-hr joint session, with the parent and teacher, using the COMPASS Profile. For transition age youth, they are included as well.

The COMPASS Profile assesses the child’s/student’s challenges and strengths related to social skills, adaptive/self-management, communication, problem behaviors, learning skills, and sensory avoidances and preferences by bringing together the team to obtain a holistic understanding of the child at home and at school. The COMPASS profile and the discussion that takes place helps pinpoint critical social, communication, and work behavior/learning goals and informs the teaching plans that are generated for each goal. This helps ensure that the right goal is selected for the child and that the child’s intervention is personalized to the child based on his / her strengths, challenges, and preferences. We invite you to build a COMPASS profile for your child or student (in progress).

Following this initial consultation are four teacher coaching sessions lasting about 1-hr each. Each session is standardized and allows for assessment of student goal attainment that is used for evidence-based teacher coaching including performance feedback monitoring and teacher instructional modification / self-reflection on the implementation of the teaching plans. During coaching, teachers and students provide a video or artifact (grades, diaries) to determine progress using psychometric equivalence tested goal attainment scaling (PET-GAS). Supportive problem solving occurs based on the performance feedback and fidelity monitoring.

What is the evidence that COMPASS works? We have research evidence of the effectiveness of COMPASS from four randomized controlled trials for improving educational outcomes and for improving parenting and child outcomes.

For preschool and elementary age students with ASD: We first tested COMPASS for preschool and elementary age students as a consulting intervention to improve IEP outcomes and compared results with a group of students who received services as usual. WE found IEP outcomes doubled in COMPASS when evaluated by an observer unaware of the group assignment for the children (Ruble, Dalrymple, & McGrew, 2010). In a replication study, we tested COMPASS again with a new set of teachers and students and got similar results. But we also tested another group that received web-based coaching, and found this approach to be effective (Ruble, McGrew, Dalrymple, Toland, & Jung, 2013).

For high school students with ASD: The third intervention COMPASS for Transition (COMPASS-T), was tested in a RCT with high school students in their final year of school with a focus on improving IEP and postsecondary outcomes (Ruble, McGrew, Toland, Dalrymple, Adams & Snell-Rood, 2018). A very large effect (2.1) was observed for IEP goal attainment outcomes based on an independent observer.

For parents of children with challenging behavior: Next, we tested a parent-mediated version of COMPASS called COMPASS for Hope (C-HOPE). C-HOPE was designed for parents of children with ASD and challenging behavior. C-HOPE was effective for decreasing child problem behavior (p<.001); increasing parent competency (p=.02) and decreasing parent stress (p<.001) (Kuravackel, et al., 2018).

Get Started and Build a COMPASS Profile for Your Child or Student (in progress)

We invite you to create your own COMPASS profile for your child or student with ASD. You will be able to invite another person who works/lives  with the child / student to complete the profile. This helps provide a more holistic view of the child at home and at school. Or you may complete it yourself and use it to help others understand your child.

You will be able to print the report and use it for a COMPASS consultation. Sharing different perspectives of the child at home and at school will provide important information as you identify personalized goals and create individualized intervention plans.