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COMPASS Corner

The COMPASS Corner blog is an opportunity for COMPASS staff to share their knowledge and experience about a variety of topics in the special education and human services fields.  Posts will be about an area staff are an expert in, what motivates them to do this work, a success story from a student/client, etc.


The Moment that Clicks

COMPASS Family Specialist Danilson Santos and Clinician Sandrine Cardoso work together to help unite families and put at-risk youth on a better path. The team splits the work by their specialties – Danilson focuses on the youth while Sandrine works with the parent(s). One of their most memorable success stories, according to Danilson, involved a teenage boy who completely turned his life around by working with COMPASS’ Community Services program.

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Where Passion Meets Profession

When I was in college working towards my undergraduate degree, something drew me towards social work. I knew I wanted to help people and use my own experiences to relate to others. Giving back to the community has been at the forefront of my mind for as long as I can remember, and that passion drew me to COMPASS.

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The Journey to Success: A Team Approach

COMPASS staff value highlighting students’ positive experiences at the School, and one student’s progress stands out as exemplary. When Sam first started attending the School, they refused to engage in academic and clinical work, had trouble trusting adults, and consistently used profane language.

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The Power of Creativity

When you’re young, you believe that when you get older, you will have to make a choice between one path or another. The truth is, the journey of life is comprised of a multitude of paths with infinite outcomes. I, for instance, have had my fair share of struggles throughout my life, but am ultimately grateful for the wisdom I gained walking those difficult paths that currently guides me through the path I am on.

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The Past 37 Years: A Reflection

February 1st, 2019 marked the first day of my 37th year at COMPASS! As I wrote this post, I quickly realized it would be impossible to express the impact COMPASS has had on my life in 500 words or less. So instead I chose five words that encompass the many highs and lows that I, along with my co-workers and students, have experienced over this time.

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A Work in Process: COMPASS’ Sensory Room

In September 2017, the COMPASS School saw an exciting new addition: a brand new Sensory Room. Occupational Therapist (OT), Kelly Laurendi, designed the Sensory Room to be a safe and sensory-supportive environment for students to explore and practice self-regulation strategies. Kelly specializes in social and emotional learning, sensory processing, task analysis, assistive technology, and activity and environmental modifications.

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Combatting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

My director, Margy Nicholson, asked me a year and a half ago to attend a meeting in Lowell, a task force to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children. After the first meeting, I realized that I needed to take part in something to help educate people and help children who are caught up in this horrible circle.

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When Opportunity Knocks

Growing up in Dorchester, John J. Lydon knows what it means to be immersed in a tight-knit community. For the past 43 years, he has “moved up the ranks” at COMPASS (known as the Community Action Program in the 1970s), starting as a Caseworker in 1975 to becoming the Executive Director in 2004.

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ABCs of ABA

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science that looks at an individual’s surroundings to understand their actions, rather than their thoughts and feelings, and then makes adjustments to those surroundings to improve important social behavior.

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