The compass programme by leigh mccann and david o reilly
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Asperger’s Action Galway. The Compass Programme By Leigh McCann and David O’Reilly. COM P A SS. COMPASS. Empowering individuals with Asperger’s to reach their full potential by signposting the way to success. Overview. 18 Month Pilot Programme 7 Participants

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The Compass Programme By Leigh McCann and David O’Reilly

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Asperger’s Action Galway

The Compass ProgrammeBy Leigh McCann and David O’Reilly



Empowering individuals with Asperger’s to reach their full potential by signposting the way to success


  • 18 Month Pilot Programme

  • 7 Participants

  • NUIG premises (non-disability)

  • Compass Coordinator

  • Housing Support Coordinator

  • Steering Group Oversight: HSE, AAG, RehabCare

  • Independent Evaluation (NUIG)

Background to COMPASS

  • Parent’s group - Asperger’s Action Galway

  • Outreach Service prior to COMPASS

  • Working Group established: HSE and AAG

  • Service Provider Sought – RehabCare

  • Social Capability Approach

  • Person Centred and Individualised

  • Family Involvement

Social Role Valorisation (SRV)

  • "The application of what science can tell us about the enablement, establishment, enhancement, maintenance, and/or defense of valued social roles for people" (Wolfensberger, 1995a).

  • The major goal of SRV is to create or support socially valued roles for people in their society.

SRV Continued...

2 broad strategies for creating socially valued roles

(a) enhancement of people's social image in the eyes of others,

(b) enhancement of their competencies

Culturally Valued Analogue

- What would valued people of the same age and gender typically be doing?

‘A Good Life’

  • Home and family

  • Friendship

  • Autonomy

  • Dignity, respect, acceptance

  • Sense of belonging

  • Education

  • Development and exercise of one's capacities

  • Community Involvement

  • Opportunities to participate

  • Good standard of living

  • Opportunities for work and independence

Individualised Approach

Focus on Assets, Interests and Conditions for Success

Circle of Support

The Discovery Process

  • Identifying Information

  • Home

  • Relationships

  • History

  • Education

  • Employment

  • Social Contribution

  • Talents & treasures

  • Interests

  • Conditions for success

  • Schedule, routines and investments

  • Rights and autonomy

  • Barriers to a good life

  • Support and assistance

  • Roles

  • Fundamental and most pressing needs

  • Representation

  • Safeguards

Volunteer Buddy System

8 Volunteers

  • Meet for Coffee and Chat

  • Nights out

  • Cinema

  • Study buddy

  • Creative endeavours

  • Webpage and Facebook

  • Attend Social Club

Student Placements

  • Social Work (1)

  • Occupational Therapy (x2)

  • ABA (x1)

  • Social Care (x2)

  • Advocacy and Activism (x1)

Capacity Building

  • National Learning Network

  • Employability

  • Mental Health Services

  • Primary Care Psychology

  • GMIT


  • Foroige

  • City Council

  • Community Welfare

  • Simon

  • Threshold

  • Cluid

  • Respond

  • COPE Community Catering

Transition to Independent Living

Transition to Independent Living

  • “As with all other aspects of Asperger Syndrome, the more the person with AS understands him or herself and his or her needs in the context of AS, the more successful the housing experience will be”

  • Hybrid of OT assessment tools utilised to develop a broad sense of need. (Assessments used included The Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale) Focus was primarily on strengths based approach using the principles of SRV.

The Outcomes Star

  • Outcomes Star – A tried and tested tool for supporting and measuring change. Scores are rated on a 1 – 10 scale.

  • Principles were adapted and a specific star was designed

  • Completed initially by individual with support from staff to elaborate the headings – second star then completed by family member in presence of participant and then scores are compared to find an average score.

Independent Living Skills

  • Wide Range of Independent Living Skills addressed on an ongoing basis. Includes:

    • Budgeting

    • Healthy Eating/Diet

    • Cooking and Meal Planning

    • Home Maintenance

    • Repetition is key

Transition to Adulthood

Lessons learned from Compass:

  • Youth and early adulthood are critical times for individuals with AS

  • Preparation for transition to adulthood should start in mid-teens

  • Greater support at younger age managing transition

  • Family Training necessary to support the transition

  • Earlier identification and diagnosis necessary

  • Successful transition can mean the difference between reaching full potential or living on edge of society.

  • Community based support is preferential to clinical/disability service support.

Thank you!

For further information/comments:

[email protected]

[email protected]

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