A Review of Assessments for Children with Significant

A Review of
Assessments for
Children with
Communication and
Socialization Issues
Presented by
Shantal Jackson & Suzanne
 The
goal of the criterion-referenced test is to
obtain a description of the specific knowledge
and skills each student can demonstrate. This
information is useful for planning both group
and individual instruction." (p. 43)
 Directly assists in developing IEP goals and
Linn, R. L., & Gronlund, N. E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
 Assessment
of Basic Language and
Learning Skills (ABLLS-R)
 Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment and
Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
 Functional Independence Skills Handbook
 School Function Assessment (SFA)
 *BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of
Basic Skills II
Developed in 1998 by James Partington and
Mark Sundberg and and is based on Skinner’s
Verbal Behavior (looks at the function of
Purpose is to identify language and other
critical skills that need intervention and to
provide a curriculum guide for an educational
program for a child with language delays
Provides a visual display to track progress
Initial assessment is conducted over several
ABLLS-R Tracking Grid
includes a scoring instruction and
IEP development guide
 The guide includes:
Determination of educational priorities
Strategies to develop a IEP
Assessment program created in 2008 by Mark
Sundberg based on Skinner’s Verbal Behavior
Includes 4 parts: Milestone Assessment, a
Barriers Assessment, a Transition Assessment,
and a Task Analysis and Skills Tracking
Includes a guide that explains how to
administer and score the assessments and
how to interpret the results for curriculum and
IEP Goal planning
Comparing the
• Provides a complete task
analysis of each verbal
operant and other
language-related skill
• Includes 26 areas across all
developmental areas
including fine and gross
motor and self-help skills
• Includes a Milestone
Assessment, a Barriers
Assessment, a Transition
Assessment, and a Task
Analysis and Skills Tracking
• Does not include fine and
gross motor skills or selfhelp, however there is a
task analysis for Self Help
• Milestone Assessment is
sequences and has 3 levels
•Includes 170 developmentally
sequenced verbal behavior
milestones across 16 skill areas.
•Level 1 0-18 months
•Level 2 18-30 months
•Level 3 30-48 months
Milestones Assessment
Assess skills over the following 16 areas
• Requesting, labeling, identifying, following
directions, commenting, and answering questions
• Listener skills
• Vocal output
• Independent play
• Social skills and social play
• Visual perceptual skills and matching
• Grammatical and syntactical skills
• Group and classroom skills
• Beginning academic skills
•Identifies 24 learning and
language acquisition barriers
that may impede a child’s
•It employs a Likert-type scale
of 0 to 4 to rate the child’s
•Barriers Include:
•Behavior Problems,
•Instructional Control,
•Defective Social Skills,
•Prompt Dependent,
•Weak Motivators,
•Reinforcer Dependent,
•Hyperactive Behavior,
•Defective Articulation,
•Failure to Generalize,…
Task Analysis and
Skill Tracker
Provides a breakdown of the
Milestones and serves as a
more complete and ongoing
learning and language skills
curriculum guide. There are
approximately 900 skills
covering 16 areas.
The format is similar to the
ABLLS-R assessment.
FISH: Function
Independence Skills
Developed by William K. Killion in 2008
Determines person’s ability to perform certain
functional activities from daily living
Targeted for students with developmental
disabilities from Kindergarten through grade 6
but it is used for older learners
Includes an assessment instrument that can
assist in establishing eligibility for special
services, setting goals and teaching lesson
Criterion-referenced series of 421 tasks
FISH: 7 Domains
Sample skill/lesson from
Adaptive Behavior Skills
Adaptive Behavior Skills:
independent life skills
Affective Skills:
interaction with self and
Cognitive Skills: preacademic, basic
reading, writing, math
Sensimotor Skills: fine and
gross skills
Social Skills
Speech and Language
Vocational Skills: job skills
SFA: School Function
Authored by Wendy Coster, Oh.D., OTR/L, Dr.
Theresa Deeney, Ed.D., Jane Haltiwanger, PhD, &
Stephen Haley, Ph.D., PT.
Determines a student’s ability to perform important
functional activities (nonacademic aspects) that
support participation in the academic and social
aspects of a school setting
Yields a Functional Profile Score across 6 domains
Includes an Adaptations Checklist which covers 4
categories of accommodations and
modifications a student may require
SFA Domains
Part I Participation
•Provides rating scores across student’s level of participation in 6
activity settings: regular or special education classroom,
playground/recess, transportation to and from school,
bathroom/toileting activities, transitions to and from class, and meal
Part II Task Supports
•Provides rating scores which examine the supports currently provided
to the student when he or she performs tasks that are required to
participate effectively. Two task supports are assessed: assistance
(adult support) and adaptations (modifications to the environment or
Part III Activity Performance Physical Tasks
•Provides ratings across across the student’s performance of specific
activities including self-help skills, using materials and computers, and
engaging in recreational activities.
BRIGANCE Comprehensive
Inventory of Basic Skills II
Language Arts
• Readiness
• Speech
• Listening vocabulary and
• Word recognition
• Oral reading
• Reading vocabulary and
• Word analysis
• Functional word recognition
• Spelling
• Writing
• Response to writing prompts
• Number and operations
• Algebra
• Geometry
• Measurement
• Data analysis and
BRIGANCE Comprehensive
Inventory of Basic Skills II
400 criterion-referenced assessments to
identify present level of performance for
students and provide ongoing assessment for
academic skills at PreK to grade 9 levels.
Also includes a standardized assessment
which yields standard scores
Recommended for students who are still
following an academic curriculum and
working on academic goals and objectives.
Summary: Recommendations
Young learners with severe deficits in language
and social skills:
Would benefit from the VB-MAPP since it is a program that
assesses the function of language and includes a Milestone
Assessment that is developmentally sequenced in addition
to a skills tracker. They may also benefit from the Barriers
Assessment to identify behaviors that adversely affect
learning in order to develop appropriate behavior goals
and highlight the need for an FBA/BIP. Since it is
developmentally sequenced, the administrator can
choose the level that closely matches the student’s
developmental age, rather than looking at skills that the
student is not ready to learn.
Young learners who require adult support throughout most
of their school day for academic and nonacademic tasks
would benefit from the SFA. This assessment examines
several adaptive behaviors and can be used to guide IEP
planning because it provides specific information
regarding the student’s functional strengths and limitations.
For students nearing Middle School age who
continue to have functional skill deficits well below
their chronological age:
The FISH assesses and includes lessons to address
functional life skills for student who may not benefit
from a curriculum that focuses mostly on
academic skills. While it does include some
speech and social skills, more information and
instruction planning may be required.
Therefore, these students who may have limited
language and social skills may benefit from the
VBMAPP Milestones assessment. If these students
also have behavioral challenges, the Barriers
Assessment would also be appropriate.
For students in middle school or transitioning
to high school who currently demonstrates
very little independence in daily living skills:
Would benefit from the FISH and/or the SFA.
If these students also have limited language
and social skills, they may benefit from the
VBMAPP. If these students also have
behavioral challenges, the Barriers
Assessment would also be appropriate.
Partington, J. W. & Sundberg, M. L. (1998). The
Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills:
Scoring Instructions and IEP Development Guide.
Pleasant Hill, CA: Behavior Analysts, Inc.
Sundberg, M. L. (2008).VBMAPP: Verbal Behavior
Milestones and Placement Program- Protocol: A
Language and Social Skills Assessment Program for
Children with Autism or Other Developmental
Disabilities. Concord, CA: AVB Press.
Coster, W., Deeney, T., Haltiwanger, J. & Haley, S.
(2008). School Function Assessment: SFA. San Antonio,
TX: Pearson.
Killian, W. (2008). FISH: Functional Independence Skills
Handbook Assessment and Curriculum for Individuals
with Developmental Disabilities. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

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