- Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills
The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS, often pronounced "ables") is an educationaltool used frequently with
Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA) to measure the basiclinguistic and functional skills of an individual with developmental delays ordisabilities.
The ABLLS was developed based on principles from
B. F. Skinner's book Verbal Behavior.Verbal behavior states that language can be treated as a behavior like any other. Therefore,this behavior can be broken down into smaller and smaller components, which can be used to track deficits and strengths in a child's language or social abilities.
The ABLLS was originally developed by
Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA and published as the 1990 book "Teaching verbal behavior to the developmentally disabled". The book was rewritten with the help of James W. Partington, Ph.D., BCBA and published as the 1998 ABLLS. The new, ABLLS-R (revised), was updated by Dr. Partington alone. The ABLLS is published by Behavior Analysts, Inc.
The ABLLS assessment is designed to cover the typical skill-set of an early elementarystudent (5-7 years old).Fact|date=March 2007
While the ABLLS is most commonly used on children with developmental disabilities anddelays (including
Autism), it can be used for anyone who may be lacking in basiccommunication or life-skills.
It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of an individual in each of the 25 skill sets.Each skill set is broken down into multiple skills, ordered by typical development orcomplexity. So, a skill of F1 (Requests by indicating) is a simpler skill thanF12 (Requesting Help). "Usually", lower level skills are needed before proceeding toteach higher skills. However, many individuals display "splinter skills" that areabove their practical level.
The ABLLS is conducted via observation of the child's behavior in each skill area. Theinstructor will provide a stimulus to the child (Verbal, hand-over-hand, non-verbal, etc),and depending on what the child does (the behavior) determines their skill-level. Someskills are difficult or time-consuming to test; instructors frequently accept anecdotalevidence from parents and other instructors as to a child's ability at a given skill level.
The ABLLS are split into 25 different functional areas, each corresponding to a letterin the alphabet. The letter 'O' is unused at this time. The sections between the ABLLS and ABLLS-R areextremely similar. It is mostly the specific skills that vary in number and scope.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The following is a very brief list of advantages and disadvantages to using the ABLLS assessment. [Valentino, Amber, M.A. & Flake, Lisa, BCABA (2007).ABA/VB 6 Session Training Series.]
* Provides a visual representation of skills.
* Can be conducted by most people with a minimal understanding of
* Addresses basic language, academic, self-help, classroom, and gross and finemotor skill sets.
* Skill lists are not exhaustive
* Skills are mostly in order of childhood development, but every child learns differently.
* No age normalization is provided.
* Not a standardized assessment (it is still subjective to the assesor's interpretation or ability to elicit behaviors).
Verbal Behavior (book)
Applied Behavior Analysis
* [http://www.behavioranalysts.com Behavior Analysts, Inc.] - The company that designed and publishes the ABLLS
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