The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised ( ABLLS-R) 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 other developmental disabilities. This practical and parent-friendly tool facilitates the identification of skills needed by the child to effectively communicate and learn from everyday experiences. 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 behavioural analysis of language as presented by B.F. Skinner in Verbal Behavior (1957). The assessment results allow parents and professionals to to pinpoint obstacles that have been preventing a child from acquiring new skills and to develop a comprehensive language-based curriculum.
The 2006 revised 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. Additional improvements were made to incorporate items associated with social interaction skills, motor imitation and other joint attention skills, and to ensure the fluent sue of established skills.
The ABLLS-R is comprised of two documents. First, the ABLLS-R Protocol is used to score the child’s performance on the task items and provides 15 appendices that allow for the tracking of a variety of specific skills that are included in the assessment. The Protocol includes a set of grids that comprise a skills tracking system that makes it possible to observe and document a child’s progress in the acquisition of critical skills. Second, the ABLLS-R Guide provides information about the features of the ABLLS-R, how to correctly score items, and how to develop Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives that clearly define and target the learning needs of a student. The ABLLS-R is sold as a set that includes the ABLLS-R Guide and a Protocol to ensure that parents and professionals have the instructions as to how to use the ABLLS-R.