The Collaborative Model for Promoting Competence and Success for Students
What Is COMPASS?
The Collaborative Model for Competence and Success (COMPASS) is an alternative framework for improving the quality of services and outcomes for children, youth, and adults with autism spectrum disorder. When we have an effective plan, we have balance. That is, our personal and environmental challenges we experience are supported and outweighed by our personal and environment supports. This is true for all of us. When individuals with autism have supportive environments, they will experience competence and success.
COMPASS comes from decades of work first described in 1996 as the autism competency framework created for adults receiving community-based services, and more recently for children and youth.
Following the 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.
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COMPASS for Preschool and Elementary Aged Students
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 (control group). 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). Overall, children who receive COMPASS make at least 1 standard deviation improvement over the comparison group. In other words, children who received COMPASS had goal attainment scores that were greater than 80% of children in the comparison group.
COMPASS-T for Transition Aged Students & Adults
The third intervention COMPASS for Transition (COMPASS-T), was tested in an 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. This means that students who received COMPASS did better than more than 90% of those who did not receive COMPASS.
C-HOPE 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 autism 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).