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Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis


This page is intended to provide access to samples of various ABA-related assessment tools.  For information specific to behavior assessments, you may wish to visit the Functional behavior assessment page on this site.  

Applied behavior analysis relies on individualized assessment to guide tailored treatment, specific to an individual and their needs.  It is important to use tools that capture both sides (strengths as well as weaknesses).  Below is a list of some common assessment tools used by the behavior analytic community. 

ABC (Structured ABC):  The use of A[ntecedent]-B[ehavior]-C[onsequence] charts and checklists can be helpful tools for collecting information when conducting direct observations.  The form that is used (albeit a blank piece of paper) should include: 1) name or initials of the student (protect confidentiality), 2) the target behavior and definition, and 3) the setting location of the observation.  When completing this tool, identify the antecedents [events which precede] and consequences [events which follow] the target behavior of concern.  A-B-C data should be collected until a pattern is identifiable, typically with no fewer than 10-12 separate instances. blank Structured ABC Sheet (found online)

ABLLS: Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills - Developed by Drs Sundberg and Partington, the ABLLS®-R system is an assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skills-tracking system used to help guide the instruction of language and critical learner skills for children with autism or otherdevelopmental disabilities. This practical and parent-friendly tool can be used to facilitate the identification of skills needed by your child to effectively communicate and learn from everyday experiences. Tracking Sheets and Resources for ABLLS-R 

The ABLLS-R provides a comprehensive review of 544 skills from 25 skill areas including language, social interaction, self-help, academic and motor skills that most typically developing children acquire prior to entering kindergarten. The task items within each skill area are arranged from simpler to more complex tasks. Expressive language skills are assessed based upon the behavioral analysis of language as presented by Dr. B.F. Skinner in his book, Verbal Behavior (1957).

The assessment results allow parents and professionals to pinpoint obstacles that have been preventing a child from acquiring new skills and to develop a comprehensive, highly personalized, language-based curriculum.

The 2006 version of the ABLLS incorporates many new task items and provides a more specific sequence in the developmental order of items within the various skill areas. Significant changes were made in the revised version of the vocal imitation section with input from Denise Senick-Pirri, SLP-CCC. Additional improvements were made to incorporate items associated with social interaction skills, motor imitation and other joint attention skills, and to ensure the fluent use of established skills.

FAI - Functional Assessment Interview 

There are five components of the VB-MAPP, and collectively they provide a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition, a tool for outcome measures and other language research projects, and a framework for curriculum planning. Each of the skills in the VB-MAPP is not only measurable and developmentally balanced, but they are balanced across the verbal operants and other related skills. For example, many aspects of an intraverbal repertoire are based on an existing tact and listener repertoire. The VB-MAPP balances the curriculum in an attempt to avoid the common trap of developing rote responding due to deficiencies in the related verbal repertoires. 

FAI - Functional Assessment Interview (for teachers) 

FAOF - Functional Assessment Observation FormFAOF Data Collection Activity

FAST - Functional Analysis Screening Tool: The Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) is designed to identify a number of factors that may influence the occurrence of problem behaviors. It should be used only as an initial screening toll and as part of a comprehensive functional assessment or analysis of problem behavior. The FAST should be administered to several individuals who interact with the person frequently. Results should then be used as the basis for conducting direct observations in several different contexts to verify likely behavioral functions, clarify ambiguous functions, and identify other relevant factors that may not have been included in this instrument.

MAS - Motivation Assessment Scale - The MAS is a questionnaire designed to identify those situations where an individual is likely to behave in specific ways. From this information, more informed decisions can be made about the selections of appropriate replacement behaviors. To complete the MAS, select one behavior of specific interest. Be specific about the behavior. For example “is aggressive” is not as good a description as “hits other people.” Once you have specified the behavior to be rated, read each question carefully and circle the one number that best describes your observations of this behavior. 

RAISD - Reinforcer Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities: The purpose of this structured interview is to get as much specific information as possible from the informants (e.g., teacher, parent, caregiver) as to what they believe would be useful reinforcers for the student. Therefore, this survey asks about categories of stimuli (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.).

TPRA - Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale: Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale (TPRA) which is a method of direct teacher observation used in the teacher evaluation and training component of the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model of schooling. The TPRA builds on the concept of academic engaged time (a measure frequently employed during ecobehavioral assessment) by counting the presence or absence of learn units (interlocking three-term contingencies for both students and teachers) during instruction. Implementation procedures for the TPRA, its application for identification and analysis of instructional problems, and its use for training and ongoing evaluation of teachers are presented and discussed.

VB-MAPP: The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP is based on B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of behavior analysis. After the informant has generated a list of preferred stimuli, ask additional probe questions to get more specific information on the student’s preferences and the stimulus conditions under which the object or activity is most preferred (e.g., What specific TV shows are his favorite? What does she do when she plays with a mirror? Does she prefer to do this alone or with another person?)

Other resources:

Functional Behavior Assessment: Overview of Instrument 

This Module explores the basic principles of behavior and the importance of discovering the reasons that students engage in problem behavior. The steps to conducting a functional behavioral assessment and developing a behavior plan are described.

References & Resources

Bojak, S. L., & Carr, J. E. (1999). On the displacement of leisure items by food during multiple stimulus preference assessments. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32, 515-518.

Bowman, L. G., Piazza, C. C., Fisher, W. W., Hagopian, L. P., & Kogan, J. S. (1997). Assessment of preference for varied versus constant reinforcers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30, 451-458.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward W. L. (2006). Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

DeLeon, I. G., & Iwata, B. A. (1996). Evaluation of multiple-stimulus presentation format for assessing reinforcer preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29, 519-533.

DeLeon, I.G., Iwata, B. A., & Roscoe, E. M. (1997). Displacement of leisure reinforcers by food during preference assessments. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30, 475-484.

Fisher, W. W., Piazza, C. C., Bowman, L. G., Hagopian, L. P., Owens, J. C., & Slevin, I. (1992). A comparison of two approaches for identifying reinforcers for persons with severe to profound disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 491–498.

Pace, G. M., Ivancic, M. T., Edwards, G. L., Iwata, B. A., & Page, T. J. (1985). Assessment of stimulus preference and reinforcer value with profoundly retarded individuals. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 249–255.

Paclawskyj, T. R., & Vollmer, T. R. (1995). Reinforcer assessment for children with developmental disabilities and visual impairments. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 219–224.

Parsons, M. B., & Reid, D. H. (1990). Assessing food preferences among persons with profound mental retardation: Providing opportunities to make choices. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 183-195.

Windsor, J., Piche ́, L. M., & Locke, P. A. (1994). Preference testing: A comparison of two presentation methods. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 15, 439–455.