Assessments: Understanding Assessments and Their Application

There are a variety of assessments available to clinicians when working with the ASD population. This presentation will explore 3 types of assessments – behavioural assessments, preference assessments and skill based assessments. Assessments are used for a variety of reasons but most notably they are used to learn more about those we are supporting at any given time. They can be conducted as often as needed depending on the information gathered. Assessments help support the development of learning goals and objectives. The presenters will talk about how to conduct behavioural and preference assessments later followed by an in depth discussion on the eligibility and implementation of skill based assessments.

The behavioural assessments discussed are direct observations, ABC data, checklists, interviews and tests. These are general assessments that can be used for a variety of reasons. There are 3 types of preference assessments that are discussed; interviews and checklists, observations and trial based methods. And finally, this presentation will highlight six skill based assessments that are commonly used by clinicians supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. They are:

  • Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS)
  • Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
  • The Essentials for Living (EFLs)
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Checklist
  • Promoting Emergence of Advance Knowledge (PEAK)
  • Early Behavioural Intervention Curriculum (EBIC)

Some of the assessments discussed will require additional learning and training prior to administration. This presentation is meant to provide participants with foundational knowledge and understanding of the types of assessments used, how and when they are conducted and provide insight into the development of individualized goals.

**Note – A review of Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA) procedures is not included in this presentation as it is beyond the scope, additional training with a focus on FBA and procedures will be released in 2022.

Participants will:

  • Develop an understanding of the various assessments
  • Identify which assessment to use
  • Implement assessments
  • Assess the assessment scores
  • Identify appropriate programming for the learner

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