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COMPASS is a collaborative model in which families, teachers, students and consultants work together to develop personalised learning objectives and evidence-based teaching plans to help individuals on the autism spectrum achieve optimal outcomes.

COMPASS is widely used in the USA and has been tested successfully in three randomised controlled trials.

How can we adapt COMPASS to suit Australian schools? What is the impact of COMPASS on teacher practice and outcomes for students on the autism spectrum at Australian schools?

The research

COMPASS infographic

COMPASS infographic

What we learnt

COMPASS study findings

Find out more

Love, A.M.A. & Cai, R.Y., (2023). Adapting COMPASS in Australia. In L. Ruble & J. McGrew (Eds.), Collaborative Model for Promoting Competence and Success for Students with ASD. New York: Springer.

Making a difference

This is the first time COMPASS has been adapted and trialled in Australian schools.

Students in our study who participated in COMPASS made more progress on their GAS goals than the control group. Overall, participants were satisfied with the COMPASS process, despite the challenges that came with the 2021 COVID-19 year where most students had a mix of school and home-learning. In order to continue capitalising on the research and school partnership created by this study, we gathered data from a working group to plan how elements of COMPASS could be continued at Aspect in the future. The working group decided to begin a trial at one Aspect school where two primary elements of COMPASS (Goal attainment scaling and parent/teacher assessment data) will be trialled by all staff for one year. After the year, staff will provide feedback and a decision will be made with the working group and school administrators before rolling it out Aspect-wide.

Research team

Dr Abbey Love, ARCAP (Lead Researcher)

Dr Ru Ying Cai, ARCAP

Emma Gallagher, Aspect Practice

Vicki Gibbs, ARCAP

Dr Jennifer Stephenson, Macquarie University






Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)