Objectives: To evaluate the impact of COMPASS vs. “usual” educational program development practice and to explore additional factors (school organization, teacher, parent, and child) that may account for variance in teacher, child, and family outcomes.
Methods: A randomized controlled design was used to determine the effectiveness of COMPASS consultation and teacher coaching sessions on teacher, parent, and child outcomes. During year one, twenty-four teachers, children with autism and their caregivers were randomly assigned to COMPASS and teacher coaching or a treatment as usual group (TAU; regular school program based on child’s IEP). Participants completed pre- and post-evaluation assessments. Following the pre-evaluation, participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental (n=13) or the TAU condition (n=11). Thirteen teachers in the experimental condition participated in a half-day consultation that included the parent. Three skills were prioritized and targeted for the current school year and specific teaching plans were generated. Following consultation, teachers also received four 1.5 hour teacher-coaching sessions.
Results: Compared to those in the control group, children in the treatment group (N=13) achieved higher goal attainment scores on both social (p=.01) and communication goals (p=.02), as rated by observers blind to group assignment. Children in the experimental group also were reported by their caregivers to have better social behaviors (p=.02).
Conclusions: The presentation will conclude with preliminary results based on a larger sample of 36 participants as well as recommendations for future research in parent-teacher consultation.