Popular list of Autism & ABA curricula and assessment

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*Updated May 2020

When we begin our ABA assessment journey it feels like stepping into a tailored roadmap for progress within the field's specialized niche. It's where we dive deep into understanding specific behaviors and identifying targeted strategies for improvement. With ABA assessment as our compass, we navigate through an individual's challenges,which allows us to craft personalized needs to target specific needs.

The role of assessment in ABA

The importance of ABA assessment is based on its central role as a basis for effective treatment within the framework of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). By systematically collecting information about an individual’s behavior, skills, and environment, ABA assessments provide important insights that guide the development of individualized treatment plans. This assessment enables clinicians to identify strengths, weaknesses,and functions underlying behaviors, and allows for targeted interventions aimed at improving skills and reducing challenging behaviors.

 

Objectives of ABA Assessment

Detailed understanding: ABA research attempts to better understand an individual’s behaviors, environmental influences, and management patterns,laying the foundation for individual management.

Identify Strengths and Challenges: Through careful observation and analysis, ABA assessments identify unique strengths and areas for improvement specific to each individual’s journey.

Root cause analysis: By analyzing the underlying behaviors, ABA analysis aims to uncover the root causes of the challenges, enabling targeted intervention strategies to be developed.

 

Tailor-made intervention plans: Armed with insights from ABA research,clinicians can develop precisely tailored programs to meet specific needs and encourage skill development.

 

Progress Monitoring: Assessments facilitate continuous monitoring of progress, enabling clinicians to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to intervention strategies as individuals navigate their treatment journey.

Here is a list in alphabetical order of the most popular curricula and curriculum guides used by behavioral and autism professionals as well as general information about how the curricula should be used in practice and where to find more information. Some of these curricula are behavior analytic and some are not. This is not an exhaustive list and if you see there is a popular curriculum not listed please contact me at emaley@motivity.net to let me know.

AIM (Accept - Identify - Move)

Assessment & Curriculum

accept identify move aim book

AIM is a curriculum that has an assessment tool designed for children struggling with social discomfort, and challenging behaviors. This text introduces and blends together the concepts of Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Together the approach seeks to improve the lives of children with or without disabilities who struggle with social and emotional challenges. Or in other words, every child.  

Included is a comprehensive theoretical overview, detailed program guide, and entire curriculum:

  • Introduction to foundational concepts
  • The AIM Curriculum implementation guides
  • 75 easy-to-implement mindfulness lessons designed specifically for children
  • 175 ACT daily lessons that are presented in tiers of intervention intensity
  • Over 75 supplemental worksheets for ACT lessons
  • Data collection and progress monitoring forms
  • The Children's Psychological Flexibility Questionnaire (CPFQ) assessment tool

Skill areas: Social-Emotional Behavior Supports, Mindfulness, Acceptance, Identification of Values, Moving towards goals

Ages: children and adolescents

Developed by:  Dr. Mark R. Dixon

Modality: Books

How to get it: You can purchase the AIM Curriculum through the online store by following the link below:
https://shawneescientific.com/products/aim-a-behavior-analytic-curriculum-for-social-emotional-development-in-children

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (Revised) ABLLS-R

Assessment & Curriculum

The ABLLS-R is an assessment, curriculum, and skill tracking program based on the behavior analysis of Language from Skinner's book, Verbal Behavior (1957). It was designed to be used to help guide the instruction of language and critical learner skills for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. 

Skill areas: 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. 

Ages: The ABLLS-R is for assessing Basic Language and Learning Skills and is recommended for children of all ages, but mainly focuses on language skills developed by typical developing children ages 2-6, when children learn to speak their first language.

Developed by:  The ABLLS-R was published in 2006 by Dr. Partington.

Research: 1) Validations of the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills Revised for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder using an Expert Review Panel.

2) A Pilot Study on Patterns of Skill Development of Neurotypical Children as Measured by the ABLLS-R: Implications for Educational Programming for Children With Autism

Modality: Digital and Books

How to get it: You can purchase and learn more at Partington Behavior Analysts website.The ABLLS-R assessment is sold as a set (includes: 1 ABLLS-R Guide & 1 ABLLS-R Protocol) for $64.95 or separately for $39.95 each. BAI also offers the ABLLS-R Data and Task Organizer kit for $495. The kit does not come with the ABLLS-R assessment but does come with 2 boxes of picture cards and directions. The picture-stimuli correlate with the ABLLS-R assessment and can be helpful but is not required for administering the ABLLS-R assessment.

Another curriculum resource from Partington Behavior Analysts is the Big Book of ABA Programs and is based on the ABLLS-R assessment.

Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)

Assessment & Curriculum

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) is a criterion-referenced skills assessment tool, tracking system, and curriculum guide.  AFLS is used for teaching children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities the essential skills they need in order to achieve the most independent outcomes.

Skill Areas: The AFLS Full Set assesses and provides curriculum guides for Basic Living Skills, Home Skills, Community Participation Skills, School Skills, Independent Living Skills and Vocational Skills.

Ages: The AFLS is a criterion-referenced assessment that is designed to be used from early elementary through adulthood.

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

Research: Measuring Outcomes of Parents Teaching Functional Skills to Their Son With Autism Using the Assessment of Functional Living Skills the AFLS®

Modality: Digital and Books

How to get it: You can purchase the paper copies at the Functional Living Skills Store. The AFLS is also available in a digital version.

Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE)

Assessment & Curriculum

The New England Children's Center published curriculum and ABA lesson plans with a total solution Software, ACE ABA Software System. The ACE Curriculum Bank provides easy access to more than 2000 systematic ABA based teaching programs. 

Skill Areas: Academic, Self-help, Communication, Transitional, Social, Community, Vocational, Leisure, Discrimination

Ages: 3-22

Developed by: New England Center for Children.  A team of expert BCBAs, special educators, speech and occupational therapy experts as well as doctoral level experts in applied behavior analysis write and vet new ACE lessons. 

Research: no research published

Modality: Digital only

How to get it: There is no hard copy version of the curriculum. It is a part of a total software solution that can be purchased online at New England Center for Children ACE website.

Complete ABA Curriculum

Curriculum Only

A four book series of ABA protocols designed for professionals working with children and young people with ASDs who are looking for a robust and ready-to-implement ABA curriculum. It will be a valuable tool for behaviour analysts, teachers, psychologists, occupational therapists, and students in these fields, as well as to parents working with professionals to implement an ABA program.

Skill Areas: Book 1:  (ages 1-4) Foundational level skills such as appropriate sitting, attention, eye contact, motor skills, basic receptive and expressive language skills, play, and foundational skills of daily living. 

Book 2: (ages 3-5) Covering intermediate skills such as comprehension of abstract language, social and play skills, emotional and behavioral regulation, and academic skills, this comprehensive ABA curriculum has been developed specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum with a developmental age of approximately 4-7 years. 

Book 3:  (ages 4-7) Covering intermediate skills such as comprehension of abstract language, social and play skills, emotional and behavioral regulation, and academic skills, this comprehensive ABA curriculum has been developed specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum with a developmental age of approximately 4-7 years. 

Book 4: (ages 7+) Organizational skills, advanced self-care skills, academic and vocational skills and advanced skills for daily living. 

Ages: The Curriculum is appropriate for children as young as one year old (1st book in the series) up through young adulthood (4th book in the series).

Developed by: By Julie Knapp, PH. D., BCBA-D & Carolline Turnbull, BA, BCaBA

Research: No published research

Modality: Books

How to get it: This book and downloads can be purchased at Behavior Development Solutions as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Essentials for Living (EFL)

Assessment & Curriculum

A Communication, Behavior, and Life Skills Curriculum, Assessment, and Professional Practitioner’s Handbook. EFL is designed for verbal and non-verbal children and adults with moderate-to-very severe disabilities, including autism, and limited skill repertoires. It is, “composed of functional skills and behaviors, which are essential for effective daily living and which result in an improved quality of life for children and adults” McGreevy.

Skill Areas:  Essential for Living includes over three thousand skills sorted into domains on communication, language, daily living, social, functional academic, and tolerating skills, along with a domain on severe problem behavior, which encompass the core components of autism and many other developmental disabilities.

Ages: 2 through adulthood

Developed by: Patrick McGreevy, Troy Fry, Colleen Cornwall

Modality: Book and Digital

Research: no published research as of May 2020

How to get it: The EFL can be purchased on Patrick McGreevy's site.

Preschool Life Skills Curriculum (PLS)

Curriculum Only

The Preschool Life Skills (PLS) program is an approach to teaching critical social skills to preschoolers. These particular social skills were selected because they are similar to the functional skills taught following the development of problem behavior and because these are the same skills early elementary teachers have identified as being critical to early school success. The program begins as a class-wide approach to teaching thirteen skills in sequence. The program may then be individualized for learners of different abilities.

Skill Areas: Friendship, Tolerance, Functional Communication, Instruction Following

Ages: 3-5

Developed by: Greg Hanley

Modality: PDF paper

Research: Evaluation of a Classwide Teaching Program for Developing Preschool Life Skills

Preschool Life Skills: Recent Advancements and Future Directions

Evaluation of the Preschool Life Skills Program in Head Start Classrooms: A Systematic Replication

How to get it: You can access the lesson plans here. Learn more about training at FTF Behavior Consulting.

Language for Learning

Curriculum Only

Language for Learning is a language program designed to teach young children (pre-kindergarten to 2nd grade) the basic vocabulary, concepts and sentence forms used in typical classroom instruction. Language for Learning is a highly systematic and explicit program. New content is introduced carefully and integrated with previously taught content. The focus of Language for Learning is oral expression. It expands into Language for Thinking for more advanced learners.

Skill Areas: Daily exercises provide the building blocks of listening and reading comprehension by teaching the language of instruction (the phrases and vocabulary used by teachers in instructional settings), word knowledge, common information, concepts, sentence forms, classification, and problem solving. All skills and concepts taught are continuously integrated into more sophisticated exercises.

Ages: Language for Learning 4-6, Language for Thinking 7-8

Research: Effectiveness of the Direct Instruction Language for Learning Curriculum Among Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Developed by: McGraw-Hill

Modality: Book

How to get it: You can purchase the instructor materials and student materials at the McGraw-Hill website

PEAK Curriculum

Assessment & Curriculum

PEAK stands for Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge and involves teaching skills in a way that helps learners generalize and learn new skills in various situations. PEAK is a language curriculum dedicated to expanding language via the science of behavior analysis. The PEAK Relational Training System currently contains 4 learning modules that reflect each of the four ways that we currently understand how people learn new skills; Direct Training, Generalization, Equivalence and Transformation. Skilled PEAK implementers will utilize each of the four modules simultaneously, to not only establish new skills, but also to better the learner's ability to gain new information in each of the four ways! 

Each of the modules contains a direct pre-assessment, a full 184-itemized skill assessment, and a 184 item curriculum.

Skill Areas:  Foundational learning skills (e.g. requests for what one wants, imitation, listening
to instructions), Perceptual learning skills (e.g. identifying and matching objects), Verbal comprehension skills (e.g. answering questions), Verbal reasoning (e.g. when told a situation, how the student would respond), Memory (this includes pre-requisites for remembering past events), Math skills (e.g. working with quantity, numbers and money).

Ages: PEAK is suitable for children aged 2 years up to 17 years of age.

Developed by: Mark R. Dixon

Modality: Books

Research: Here is a list of peer reviewed research published

How to get it: You can purchase the curriculum, assessment and training at PEAK Relational Training website

Portia Curriculum

Curriculum Only

Portia™ is a complete curriculum with a wide variety of programs for all learner levels. It is fully compatible with most assessment tools, such as VB-MAPP™, ABLLS™, ABLLS-R™, ESDM™. The curriculum has the additional benefit of containing advanced level programming in executive functioning, academic and social skills.

Skill Areas: Academic, Adaptive, Cognitive, Communication, Imitation, Instructional Control, Motor, Play and Social

Ages: not stated

Developed by: Portia Learning Centre

Modality: Books and Digital

Research: no published research as of May 2020

How to get it: Purchase the books on Behavior Development Solutions or the Digital Curriculum at Portia Learning.

Skills

Assessment & Curriculum

Skills® is a one-stop resource for creating and implementing comprehensive, tailored treatment plans for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With wide-ranging assessment tools, customizable research-based lessons, and detailed progress tracking reports, Skills® allows clinicians, teachers and parents to apply scientifically-proven treatments and interventions, measure their effectiveness, and help children with ASD reach their fullest potential. Based upon decades of research on applied behavior analysis (ABA), Skills® identifies every skill a child needs across the entire range of human functioning, from infancy through adolescence.

Skill Areas: Social, Motor, Language, Adaptive, Play, Executive Functions, Cognitive, Academic

Ages: Infancy through adolescence

Developed by: Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

Modality: Digital

Research: Here is a list of peer reviewed published research

How to get it: You can purchase monthly access on the Skills Website

Skills Streaming

Curriculum Only

Skillstreaming is a highly acclaimed, research-based prosocial skills training program published by Research Press.

Skillstreaming employs a four-part training approach—modeling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalization—to teach essential prosocial skills to children and adolescents. Each book provides a complete description of the Skillstreaming program, with instructions for teaching a wide variety of prosocial skills and a CD including reproducible forms and handouts.

Skill Areas: Relationship Skills (Beginning and Advanced), Social Comprehension, Self-Regulation, Problem Solving, Understanding Emotions, School-Related Skills

Ages: There are 4 different programs 1) Skillstreaming Children and Youth with High-Functioning Autism (80 skills) 2) Skillstreaming in Early Childhood (40 skills) 3) Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child (60 skills) 4) Skillstreaming the Adolescent (50 skills)

Developed by:  Dr. Arnold P. Goldstein and Dr. Ellen McGinnis

Research: Amy Evans (2009). Behavioral and Academic Effects of Skillstreaming the Adolescent. Education)--Bucknell University.

Holly L. Kohlmann (2009). The Efficacy of Skillstreaming on Elementary-aged Children with Specific Learning Disabilities. University of Wisconsin -- La Crosse.

Elizabeth J. Cardenas (1998). The Effects of the Skillstreaming Curriculum on the Social Skills of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities. University of South Florida.

Sara A. Niehues (2006). The Effectiveness of Skillstreaming when Used as a Short-term Intervention for Preschool Children. Emporia State University. ISBN 978-1-109-80553-6.

Modality: Books

How to get it: You can purchase the books at Research Press Publishers

Star and Links® Program

Assessment & Curriculum

The STAR Program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research, Arick, Loos, Falco, Krug, 2015) teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 National Research Council and uses many of the evidence-based practices identified in the  2009 National Standards Report and 2014 National Professional Development Report.

The Links Curriculum (Linking Assessment and Instruction for Independence) is an evidence-based, comprehensive, web-based curriculum to teach upper elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students with autism and other developmental disabilities to be independent across school, community and vocational routines.

Skill Areas: receptive language, expressive language, spontaneous language, functional routines, academics, and play & social skills.

Ages: Elementary and Secondary Education levels

Developed by:  based on Autism Research, Arick, Loos, Falco, Krug, 2015

Research: Here is a list of peer reviewed research on the Star and Links curriculum

Modality: Books

How to get it: You can purchase the kits at Star Autism Support

Teaching Good Learner Repertoires and Teaching Advanced Learner Repertoires

Assessment & Curriculum

Teaching Good Learner Repertoires is a “how to” book that will guide you to make your student easy to teach. Good learner repertoires go well beyond typical “replacement” behaviors and most typically developing individuals acquire them with no formal teaching. Teaching Good Learner Repertoires provides clear scripts for teaching these foundational skills, but also provides analyses, data recommendations, and “Dimension Grids”, that will turn you into an analyst, capable of identifying the most relevant current priorities for your student, seeing where the instruction is going, and problem-solving how to get there.

Advanced Learner Repertoires guides teachers in strategies to: establish functional independence; improve spontaneity; expand upon contexts in which the student cooperates with teacher expectations; strengthen self-calming; maximize the benefits of inclusive education, and more.

Skill Areas: Behavioral Excesses, Readiness, Perseverance, Focus, Flexibility, Spontaneity, Building rapport, Healthy manding, Antigrazing

Ages: not found

Developed by: Steve Ward, MA, BCBA and Terry Grimes, MS, BCBA bring decades of experience to this follow-up to the Inventory of Good Learner Repertoires.

Research: no published research as of May 2020

Modality: Books

How to get it: You can purchase on Whole Child Consulting

VB-MAPP

Assessment & Curriculum

The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (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.

Skill Areas: The skills assessed include mand, tact, echoic, intraverbal, listener, motor imitation, independent play, social and social play, visual perceptual and matching-to-sample, linguistic structure, group and classroom skills, and early academics. 

Ages: 2-6

Developed by: Mark Sundberg

Research: See a list of research related to VB-MAPP on Mark's Website

Modality: Books and Digital

How to get it: Order the books from VBPress and digital VB-MAPP app

Work in Progress

Assessment & Curriculum

A Work in Progress is a comprehensive curriculum and guide for parents or professionals. The two-part manual presents ABA-based behavioral intervention strategies along with a detailed curriculum that contains 54 clear, step-by-step exercises.

The first half of the book, entitled Behavioral Strategies For Teaching Improving Behavior of Autistic Children, gives parents practical, how-to information on setting up an ABA program and dealing with difficult behaviors. Topics covered include: teaching formats; stages of therapy; evaluation; reinforcement; working with older children; disruptive behaviors; behavior problems; self-stimulatory behaviors; sleep problems; toilet training; eating problems; as well as play and social skills. The second part of the book is a detailed curriculum titled Autism Partnership Curriculum for Discrete Trial Teaching with Autistic Children.

Skill Areas: Behavior Programs, Sleep Problems, Toilet Training, Eating Problems, Play and Social Skills, Social Play, Language and Cognition.  

Ages: Toddlers to Adolescents

Developed by: Ron Leaf & John McEachin and folks at Autism Partnership

Research: Autism Partnership Research

Modality: Books

How to get it: Order from Autism Partnership

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