AFLS® — The Assessment of Functional Living Skills

Presented by James W. Partington, Ph.D., BCBA-D of Partington Behavior Analysts and Michael M. Mueller, Ph.D., BCBA-D of Stimulus Publications

AFLSonline and links

Improve the Assessment of Functional, Practical, and Essential Skills of Everyday Life

Children with autism or other behavioral or developmental disorders may have difficulty learning and developing the vital skills needed to be more independent. Therefore, it is important for parents, teachers, and professionals working with these children to provide a foundation that helps them reach the highest level of independence possible. While there are many different autism education programs out there designed to help with learning and development, many of them overlook the essential skills that students need to function in everyday life.
The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) offered by Partington Behavior Analysts is designed to promote more effective teachings and assessment through task analyses, teaching suggestions, and prompting strategies. AFLS includes six different assessment protocols that assess functional, practical, and essential skills of everyday life. Beyond an assessment, the AFLS helps tracking and progress monitoring solutions that allow assessed skills to be tracked for progress over many years.
AFLS Books and links

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills system can evaluate hundreds of functional skills across six individual assessment protocols, including:

How Does the AFLS System Work?

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills is a criterion-referenced skills assessment tool, tracking system, and curriculum guide for teaching children, adolescents, and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities the essential skills needed in order to achievethe highest level of independence possible for them.. Distinctive in its simplicity and affordability, this unique skill assessment tool was created with one goal in mind; to help learners gain the skills and confidence they need for functional living.
While each assessment module included in the AFLS system is a standalone protocol, they can be mixed and matched to create an assessment that best focuses on the areas of priority for learners. When conceptualized together, however, the system helps provide a comprehensive assessment of functional skills across all areas of daily life.

AFLS Protocols Focus on Essential Functional Living Skills

Basic Living Skills

Basic self-help, self-care, self-management, hygiene, routines, and core communication skills are assessed in this protocol. The skills assessed in The Basic Living Skills Assessment Protocol should be thought of as a prerequisite for any functional skills program for any learner regardless of age, setting, or disability. These essential skills, if not mastered, will have a profound impact on a learner’s ability to live independently, to be successful in school, and to take advantage of various social and recreational activities throughout the learner’s life. The Basic Living Skills Protocol includes:
  • Self-management
  • Basic communication
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Health, Safety, and First Aid
  • Nightime Routines
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Home Skills

Whether the learner is living with parents, living in a supported facility, living in a group home or living independently or with roommates, the Home Skills Assessment Protocol provides an essential review of skills required for living in a home. Basic and advanced home skills of preparing and eating meals at home, cleaning tasks around the home, clothing, laundry, leisure skills, and the day-to-day mechanics of living in a home are assessed. The Home Skills Protocol includes:
  • Meals at home
  • Dishes
  • Housekeeping and chores
  • Household mechanics
  • Leisure
  • Kitchen
  • Cooking
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Community Participation Skills

Participating in the community begins with learning to physically navigate safely around all the common aspects of sidewalks, streets, and signs along with people encountered while walking or while being transported. To be able to independently shop in grocery and department stores, shop at the mall, and eat at fast food or sit-down restaurants requires a wide variety of skills. The ability to tell time and use time related concepts, making and keeping appointments, using a phone, and other skills to help learners stay connected and interact with others in the community are also assessed in this protocol. The Community Participation Skills Protocol includes:
  • Basic mobility
  • Community knowledge
  • Shopping
  • Meals in public
  • Money
  • Phone
  • Time
  • Social awareness
  • Manners
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School Skills

It is important for a learner to be an active participant in a variety of skills, routines and social situations in educational settings. These skills are essential in striving for independence and successful functioning in different types of classrooms, in all parts of the school campus, and with peers and various staff. This assessment covers all age levels of education (i.e., elementary school, middle school, high school, college). It also incorporates skills that are necessary in a wide range of classroom environments (i.e., special day classes, “pull out” classrooms, inclusion, regular education), and considers the individual’s level of development (e.g., language, behavior, and cognitive abilities). The School Skills Protocol includes:
  • Classroom mechanics
  • Routines and expectations
  • Meals at school
  • Social skills
  • Technology
  • Common knowledge
  • Core academics
  • Applied academics
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Independent Living Skills

This Protocol provides caregivers and professionals with information to teach essential skills to learners who are being prepared to live either independently or in a shared residence with others. This criterion-referenced assessment covers a wide variety of skills that promote independent living. There are many skills that are critical in order to live independently including organizing possessions, cleaning and cooking as well as money management skills related to financial planning, banking, bill paying, using debit and credit cards, and shopping. Each learner needs to know how to travel in the community, must also have good hygiene practices, and take medication as prescribed. This protocol also incorporates skills about the assertion of personal rights, awareness of the motivation of others as well as managing relationships with others in various settings. The Independent Living Skills Protocol includes:
  • Organizational skills
  • Self-care
  • Maintenance & cleaning
  • Mechanics & repairs
  • Community travel
  • Transportation
  • Kitchen tools & appliances
  • Food & meal planning
  • Money management
  • Independent shopping
  • Personal management
  • Safety
  • Problem solving
  • Social interactions
  • Living with others
  • Interpersonal relationships
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Vocational Skills

This protocol provides caregivers and professionals with information to teach essential skills to learners preparing to enter the workforce or those who are already working but want to further develop skills for a wide variety of settings. This criterion-referenced assessment covers skills related to obtaining employment, searching for job openings, creating resumes, completing applications, and preparing for interviews. This protocol also includes a wide range of basic work-related skills such as job safety, payroll, financial issues, and interacting with supervisors and co-workers. It also includes a review of skills required in specific types of jobs in a variety of settings. The assessment evaluates vocational skills for individuals with various types and levels of disability. The Vocational Skills Protocol includes:
  • Job search
  • Interview
  • Basic skills
  • Coworker relations
  • Workplace safety
  • Fixed activity skills
  • Custodial & cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Retail
  • Support personnel
  • Office skills
  • Computer skills
  • Restaurant skills
  • Restaurant kitchen
  • Warehouse
  • Tools
  • Trades & construction
  • Landscaping
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Benefits of AFLS

Promote a Pathway to Independence

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills system is one of the most high-quality, versatile assessment systems available that offers learners a pathway to independence regardless of their existing skill set. This success-proven program helps establish a strong foundation for developing a curriculum or treatment plan in the areas that are most relevant and important – home, school, in the community, and beyond.
AFLS Books and links
AFLS is the most versatile assessment platform available and offers learners a pathway to independence.
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