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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 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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Nurture through Nature

Throughout my time as a COMPASS Family Specialist providing in-home crisis support, I frequently relied on outdoor activities and accessing natural spaces to help heal damaged relationships. I watched how naturally it built intrigue in both children and adults…

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