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Ch. 1 Rationale

Rationale for COMPASS

COMPASS is the first research-supported consultation model for young students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tested in two randomized controlled designs. It is currently being evaluated for transition age youth with ASD.

The first chapter of the COMPASS manual describes six reasons for a collaborative planning and decision-making process that individualizes goals and teaching plans to the child and the child’s unique learning context. Please consider these questions and the study the recommended readings.

1. COMPASS teaches consultants to measure success by considering core competencies in students with ASD, not the degree of attainment of “normal” social development.

  • What is the issue of using “normal” social development as the outcome goal?
  • What are some other ways to judge outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorder?

2. COMPASS is built on a research-supported consultation framework for ASD, meaning it has been evaluated experimentally in two randomized controlled trials for young children. Please read the papers and answer the following questions.

3. While COMPASS was designed to intervene with problem behaviors in students with ASD, we believe that it is most effective when used proactively to prevent problem behaviors from developing.

  • How does COMPASS work as a proactive intervention?
  • What makes COMPASS different from other approaches?

4. Students with ASD express certain behavioral, communication, and social needs, and COMPASS is designed especially to address the core impairments of individuals with autism.

  • Why is an ASD specific consultation model necessary?
  • Is COMPASS a focused or comprehensive intervention? Why?

5. COMPASS is intended to be used collaboratively, with the consultant and the consultee (the teacher or parent and child if possible) all using the model.

  • Why is collaboration important? What does the research say about it?
  • What thoughts do you have after reading the quotes provided by teachers?

6. COMPASS considers the student’s current services and supports and aims to improve the efficacy of those services through a dynamic and reiterative process rather than serve as a replacement process.

  • What are your thoughts about the number of services children with autism receive? What are the issues that might result?
  • How does COMPASS impact those issues?