ASSESSMENTS & EVALUATIONS
The effectiveness of each ABA programme and, consequently, each child’s progress will be assessed, monitored and evaluated by collecting data on an ongoing basis, using best practices as guided by the literature. Examples include:
Continuous data collection of the child’s performance across all different areas within an ABA programme, by means of systematic direct observation. This stands as the most reliable and scientific way of assessing any progress made at individual level, with a focus on “bringing the best out of each child”.
· Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Ed. (VABS™-II; Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Balla, 2005).
This is the leading measure of adaptive behaviour - daily living skills - for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental
disorders, from birth to adulthood. Importantly, this scale can be used not only for diagnosis purposes, but also for qualification of special programmes, programme and treatment planning as well as progress reporting.
· Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Ed. (CARS2™; Schopler, Van Bourgondien, Wellman, & Love, 2010).
This scale helps not only to identify children with ASD (2 years and older), but also to distinguish between mid-to-moderate and severe ASD. The advanced 2nd Ed. has been structured to become more responsive to individuals on the "high functioning" end of the Autism Spectrum; for example, individuals with average or higher IQ scores, better verbal skills, and even more subtle social and behavioural deficits.
· The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008).
The VB-MAPP is an assessment tool based on B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behaviour, which is not only used for language assessment for children with ASD or other developmental disabilities, but also it stands as a curriculum guide and skill tracking system that is also based on established developmental milestones. The VB-MAPP is used extensively within ABA programmes, mainly because it provides an accurate picture of an individual child's strengths and weaknesses with a particular focus on potential language and learning barriers that may be hindering progress.
· The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills - Revised (ABLLS-R; Partington, 2006).
This assessment tool, apart from being used to facilitate the identification of skills needed by a child with ASD or other developmental disorders to effectively communicate and learn from everyday experiences, it is also used as a curriculum guide and skills-tracking system for the development of language and critical thinking skills.
· The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS; Partington & Mueller, 2012).
This guide and protocol assess functional, practical, and essential skills of everyday life including Basic Living Skills (e.g., self-help, self-care, self-management, hygiene, routines, core communication skills etc.), Home Skills (e.g., clothing and laundry, leisure, cooking, housekeeping etc.), Community Participation Skills (e.g., basic mobility, shopping, money, phone, time etc.), and School Skills (e.g., classroom routines and expectations, social skills, academics etc.). Current literature is controversial regarding the use of sensory diets for individuals with ASD and other developmental disorders as there is not much supportive evidence. However, there is a substantial literature on the deficits in sensory modulation that individuals with ASD present. This evidence draws the attention to the sensory issues which need to be addressed in this population. Therefore, it sounds logical that sensory-motor activities as any other activities used for children within the spectrum could be of some benefit for these children. However, their effectiveness need to be under ongoing monitoring and evaluation following the respective framework used in the science of behaviour analysis. Towards that direction, a unique behaviourally-oriented sensory-based assessment tool is used for the objective identification of sensory issues in
this population, which are also perceived as observed and measurable behaviours.
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