Introduction to the ABLLS-R - Educational Leadership:A Special

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INTRODUCTION TO THE
ABLLS-R
Assessment of Basic Language and Learner SkillsRevised
A DESCRIPTION OF THE ABLLS-R
The ABLLS-R assesses 25 Domains within 4 Areas:
 Language Skills – Cooperation and Reinforcer
Effectiveness, Visual Performance, Receptive Language,
Vocal Imitation, Requests, Labelling, Intraverbal,
Spontaneous Language.
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Academic Skills – Play and Leisure, Social Interaction,
Group Instruction, Group Instruction, Classroom Routines,
Generalized Responding, Reading, Math, Writing, Spelling.
Motor Skills – Imitation, Gross Motor, Fine Motor
 Self Help – Dressing, Eating, Grooming, Toileting.
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PURPOSE
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“… to identify those language and other critical
skills that are in need of intervention in order for
a child to become more capable of learning from
his everyday environment.”
To provide a measure of other important skills
such as academic, motor skills and self-help
skills.
RATIONALE
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Skills acquisition for students with ASD is
different than typical students.
Goals can be based on the student’s ability level
Teaching a few critical skills can increase the
student’s ability to acquire new skills without
specialized teaching conditions.
Students learn how to learn!
ADVANTAGES
Emphasis on function over structure
 Motivation
 Variety of skills measured (language, academics,
self-help, motor skills)
 Measures generalization of skills
 Tracks skills over time – easily referenced
 Provides specific information for teaching
objectives.
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DISADVANTAGES
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Skills are not compared to the learner’s age group
- age norms not provided.
Those administering the assessment should have
a fundamental understanding of verbal
behaviour.
UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE
ABLLS-R
Assessment of Basic Language and Learner SkillsRevised
LANGUAGE - STRUCTURE VS. FUNCTION
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Skinner’s analysis of verbal behaviour serves at
the conceptual basis of the ABLLS-R assessment.
Most assessments measure WHAT words the
student uses to communicate (structure).
Skinner also looks at WHY the student
communicates (function).
MOTIVATION
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What motivational conditions affect the student’s
ability to demonstrate skills?
Does the student’s ability to demonstrate the
skill change under a variety of motivating
conditions?
Does the student respond to social reinforcement?
COMPLEX STIMULI
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Can the student attend to a variety of combined
stimuli?
Verbal and visual
Language in the natural environment (Skinner’s
analysis).
GENERALIZATION
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Does the student demonstrate these skills across
various environments?
With different instructors? Parents? Peers?
Are the skills functional when they are needed,
especially language skills?
FLUENCY
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Can the student USE the skills quickly when
necessary?
In a variety of contexts?
What’s important about responding in a timely
fashion?
JOINT ATTENTION
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Does the student share attention to actions,
objects or situations with others?
Critical to the acquisition of other more complex
social skills.
LEARNER READINESS
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Is the student willing to be taught?
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Does the student respond to social reinforcement?
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Intermittent reinforcement?
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Can the student attend to learning materials,
follow instructions and respond in a timely
manner?
SOCIAL SKILLS
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Does the student notice peers?
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Does the student interact with peers?
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Does the student learn from peers?
BASIC LEARNER SKILLS
Assessment of Basic Language and Learner SkillsRevised
BASIC LEARNER SKILLS
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Cooperation and Reinforcer Effectiveness
Visual Performance
Receptive Language
Motor Imitation
Vocal Imitation
Requests
Labelling
Intraverbals
Spontaneous Vocalizations
Syntax and Grammar
Play and Leisure
Social Interaction
Group Instruction
Classroom Routines
Generalized Responding
BASIC LEARNER SKILLS
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“…15 important skill areas that appear to be
critical in order to learn from everyday
experiences.”
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382 items
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70% of the assessment
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Why are such simple skills so important?
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY
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Why is the skill area important?
What other skill areas might a deficit in this area
affect?
 How might it impact behaviour?
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What questions do you have about the skill area?
LARGE GROUP SHARING
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Share with the large group what you discussed
around each of the skill areas
BARRIERS TO LEARNING
VB-MAPP (SUNDBERG, 2008)
Skill Deficits in the following areas have been
identified as creating barriers to learning
Poor, absent or weak repertoires in:
 Requesting
 Receptive/ expressive labelling
 Motor imitation
 Echolic skills
 Matching to samples
 Listener repertoires
 Intraverbal
 Social behaviour
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BARRIERS TO LEARNING
VB-MAPP (SUNDBERG, 2008)
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Negative behaviours
Instructional control
Prompt dependent
Defective scanning skills
Failure to make conditional discriminations
Failure to generalize
Weak or atypical motivators
Response weakens motivation
Reinforcement dependent
Self stimulation
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Hyperactivity
Failure to make eye contact, or attend to people
Sensory defensiveness
COMPLETING THE INITIAL
ASSESSMENT
Assessment of Basic Language and Learner SkillsRevised
WHO CAN COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT
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A Professional who has knowledge of the Protocol
and who has direct contact with the student on a
regular basis.
Has a background in conducting and interpreting
assessments.
INITIAL ASSESSMENT
Informally
 Over a period of several weeks
 Scored on the skills tracking grid
 Provides information about the strengths and
weaknesses
 Allows the teacher to identify any missing skills
that may interfere with a student’s ability to
acquire new skills effectively
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INITIAL ASSESSMENT
The initial assessment may be completed in
several steps
 Review the assessment and identify the areas
where the student clearly meets the criteria for
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the highest score on an item (ie. score of 2 or 4)
 Has not demonstrated skills in that area
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Identify areas where the level of the student’s
skills are in question
 Gather information from other professionals,
team members, parents
 Observe the student demonstrating the skills
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INFORMATION SOURCES
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Information from parents, the school team and
other professionals familiar with the student.
Direct observation of the student in a variety of
situations.
Formal presentation of tasks by the assessor.
SCORING THE ASSESSMENT
Information that is provided must accurate, not a
guess.
 Scores are based on what skills the student
consistently demonstrates at present.
NOT:
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Skills demonstrated in the past, but no longer
consistently observed.
 Emerging skills.
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It is better to underestimate a student’s skill
level.
TRANSFER RESULTS TO TRACKING GRIDS
The open circles to the left of the grid should be
colored in for items that were tested but for
which the student scored 0 on the initial
assessment
 The assessment date may reflect the time period
in which the assessment is completed, for
example instead of an assessment DATE, the
month and year in which the assessment was
completed may be used
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UPDATING THE ASSESSMENT
IS MUCH EASIER THAN THE INITIAL
ASSESSMENT because it takes less time
 If a student remained at the same level as the
initial assessment, the same number should be
circled on the appropriate line of the update
 When transferring updated information to the
tracking grid, using different colors provides easy
visual identification of the student’s progress
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TIPS FROM THE TRENCHES
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY
Choose at least one assessment area and do the
initial scoring for one of the students in your
class.
 Take into account the criteria for a mastered skill
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SCORING THE ASSESSMENT
Information that is provided must accurate, not a
guess.
 Scores are based on what skills the student
consistently demonstrates at present.
NOT:
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Skills demonstrated in the past, but no longer
consistently observed.
 Emerging skills.
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It is better to underestimate a student’s skill
level.
DEVELOPING IPP GOALS FROM
THE ASSESSMENT
Assessment of Basic Language and Learner SkillsRevised
INTENSIVE TEACHING
1:1 teaching interactions
ELEMENTS OF GOOD TEACHING
INTERACTIONS
Teaching environment is paired with
reinforcement.
 Goals are appropriate to the student’s skill level,
small and achievable.
 Goals are clear to the student and the teacher.
 New skills are introduced with appropriate levels
of prompting to support learner success.
 Prompts are effectively faded.
 New skills are interspersed with mastered skills
to support the learner and decrease avoidance
behaviours.
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PROMPTING
Physical Prompt – hand over hand or some type
of physical contact to cue the skill.
 Verbal Prompt – a spoken cue (ie. “what do you
want?)
 Echoic prompt – modeling the exact verbal
response which the child can then echo.
 Imitative prompt – modelling
 Gestural prompt – Demonstrating the response
(ie. Pointing to a picture).
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NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
TEACHING
Teaching throughout the classroom and
throughout the day
GROUP TEACHING INTERACTIONS
Small group teaching
ZIPPEDY DOO
A6 – The student will work for instructor
controlled reinforcement.
 C1 – Responds to own name
 D5 – Imitation of hand and arm movements
 D17 – Imitation of speed of action
 D20 – Imitation of a motor sequence
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THE LITTLE OLD LADY BOOK
A10 – scans items in an array
 B3 – match identical objects to sample
 C5 – Follow instructions to touch common objects
in various positions
 C8 – Follow instructions to give named nonreinforcing items.
 C10 – touch item vs. distractor
 C15 – touch own body parts
 C37 – select by function
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THE LITTLE OLD LADY BOOK
D1 – Motor Imitation with objects
 D4 – Imitation, leg and foot movements
 D5 – Imitation, leg and foot movements
 E3 – Imitation, initial sounds of words
 G6 – Labels pieces of clothing
 G7 – Labels ongoing actions
 H1 – Fill in words from songs
 H7 – Intraverbal Associations
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ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE GROUP
TEACHING INTERACTIONS
What are some of the elements that make a good
group teaching interaction?
 Mix and vary skills
 Provide adequate prompting
 Have clear goals
 Pair the teaching environment with access to
reinforcement.
 Limit ‘wait time’ by interspersing turn taking
activities with imitations or group activities.
 Try to adjust goals in addition to adjusting
prompt levels.
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE GROUP
TEACHING INTERACTIONS
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What is the role of the teacher in a group?
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What is the role of the Educational Assistant?
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How can the two work as a team?
Using the ABLLS-R to inform programming

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