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  • Writer's pictureCoField ABA

Assessments

Assessments are an integral part of ABA therapy, as their results provide information on your child’s strengths and challenges. Assessments are completed upon starting intervention, and at regular intervals throughout ABA therapy.


Typically, assessments are completed at the beginning of services after pairing is complete and instructional control is gained. Assessments are then updated approximately every six months thereafter. There may be instances when assessments are done more frequently than every 6 months, such as if the child has gone through a large developmental change that may alter their assessment results, such as gaining a communication device or improving their ability to sit and attend. These changes may now allow the child to demonstrate skills they were unable to demonstrate before, making their previous assessments inaccurate.


Once assessments are completed, results will be used to identify strengths, challenges, and guide your child’s individualized programming.


What is involved in an assessment?

There are a variety of different assessments available to measure a child’s skills and areas of need. Your child’s Clinical Supervisor and team will choose assessments that are best suited to family goals and challenges. Some assessments focus primarily on academic, social, and communication skills such as the Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS). Additional assessments such as the Essentials for Living (EFL) and Assessment of Functional Learning Skills (AFLS) focus on a wide variety of life skills, community goals, and school readiness.


Assessments test skills across a variety of areas, including fine and gross motor, social, self- help, cognitive, and language. Some assessments also display information on challenging behaviour and barriers to learning. Assessments results are displayed on a graph, which is always provided to parents accompanied by a detailed written report explaining the findings.


Assessments will typically be conducted by the Senior Therapist with the assistance of the child's regular therapists. Parents and supporting professionals will also be accessed to gain information on a child’s skills. Assessments may be completed at the table, through play-based learning, or by a combination of the two. Skills tested during an assessment will include baseline skills (e.g., things the child has already learned), as well as emerging or acquired skills. A variety of materials will be used during an assessment, including both teaching materials and items found in the natural environment. This is to ensure that a child is engaged and interested in working.


Why are assessments important?

Assessments are a snapshot of all the skills a child can reliably and consistently demonstrate. Assessments are a great tool to share with others in a child's life such as school, supporting professionals (e.g., Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist), and funding sources (e.g., the Ministry). It is also very important for a child’s behaviour team that assessments are accurate to guide the planning for the next block of your child’s programming.


Although assessments may seem overwhelming, your child’s team is committed to working with you ongoing to answer any questions that arise.

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