Sunday, May 3, 2015

AFLS: An Overview


So, its been a long time since I have done a video post.

.....Like a really, really, long time.

I don't have any reasons or excuses for my slackness with that, just attribute it to me being a horrible person :-)

The good news is, I finally made another video post!
www.1000awesomethings.com



This video is a short summary of the AFLS assessment tool, which stands for Assessment of Functional Living Skills, created by Dr.James Partington (yes, the creator of the ABLLS-R tool) and Dr. Michael Mueller.  


I already have a post on my blog about Functional Skills.
Functional, or adaptive, skills are skills you teach to the learner that are intended to be practical, useful, and helpful in a variety of settings. Individuals with Autism may need to be specifically taught functional skills that other children readily learn/pick up from their environment.


Functional skills should be age appropriate goals that are relevant to the people and caregivers in the learner's life. That could be mom, dad, teachers, direct staff in a residential setting, etc.


What I often see in therapy programs are lots of programs focusing on language, play skills, social skills, or problem behavior reduction, but a lack of intentional programming for adaptive functioning. Across the clients you serve or work with, consider their ability to function in the home setting, in a classroom, at the grocery store, at church, inside of the post office, etc. Don't neglect to program for adaptive skills, because teaching these kinds of skills will help the learner achieve as much independence as possible. And really, that's what we (professionals and parents) all want: to see the learner gain independence, and have a high quality of life.

One quick tip when assessing: it is usually better to underestimate a learner's skill, than to overestimate. I usually have to explain this to parents who will say to me "Well yes Jordan can do that skill....sometimes". If the learner performs the skill "sometimes", do they really have the skill? No, probably not. What can happen if I score the assessment higher than what the learner can actually do? Well, my programming will target skills outside of the learner's current ability which can be frustrating to the learner, and lead to problem behavior.
If I underestimate, and score the assessment more conservatively then I will quickly see during skill acquisition if the learner truly needs to be taught the skill or not. If not, then we just move on to more advanced skills. 


AFLS Assessment Overview Video:




*For more information about the AFLS assessment, go here: Order the AFLS



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