The main assessment tool that I use in my classroom is the ABLLS-R, which is an "Assessment, Curriculum Guide and Skills-Tracking System for children with language delays ... based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis with Skinner's theory of Verbal Behavior along with research by Dr. Partington and includes 25 repertoire areas covering 544 skills." (from Behavior Analysts Inc product description)
In this post, I'm not going to get into an explanation of the assessment or how to administer it (though here is an awesome presentation that does just that), I mainly want to share some of the resources I've found very helpful in using the ABLLS-R, both as a curriculum guide and as an assessment. Even if you do not use the ABLLS-R in your classroom, the resources here will undoubtedly help you in teaching students with ASD. I am, however going to share two points that I think are the biggest selling point for classroom teachers:
While at first glance, the ABLLS-R seems like quite a daunting task to undertake, in the long run it makes life SO much easier in SO many ways!! When working with students who have disabilities, especially autism, we often have difficulty understanding why they can't get to that "next step". We know that students with disabilities often need extra steps between the steps that make up typical developmental progress, but it isn't always obvious what those bridging steps may be. The ABLLS-R breaks down practically every skill that you can think of into smaller steps and makes it easier to see where that "disconnect" is between what the child can already do and what the next "typical step" is. Then we can teach those in-between steps and help the student get to the next big step. It practically writes your present levels or performance as well as IEP goals/objectives which are specific, measurable, attainable, and are directly related to the PLP!
One of my very favorite parts of the ABLLS-R is that it visually shows the progress that a student has made from year to year on the tracking form in the front of the book. This is very helpful in IEP meetings, to show parents "Everything you see in blue here is something Johnny was not able to do last year but can now do". This gives the parents (and other IEP team members) a very clear overview of the progress a student has made across all domains.
Like I said, the ABLLS-R can be quite intimidating when you first begin to look into using it - the mind reels when you begin thinking of the data sheets to build, materials to gather, etc. But there's no need to reinvent the wheel!! Here are some resources that will save you time and sanity (though some are free or inexpensive, others are a bit costly but, in my opinion, well worth the money!)
the actual Assessment Manual and Protocol itself can be purchased from several companies, including:
Behavior Analysts (which also offers the WebABLLS which is awesome)
Different Roads to Learning
Western Psychological Services
Autism Concepts has a set of 391 data sheets for the collection of data during lessons that include the objective, mastery definition, response, and the individual skills to meet the objective - available digitally (PDF) or in print
Tracking Sheets has data collection forms for ABLLS and ABLLS-R objectives as well as other resources
Jan Palmer has downloadable tracking graphs in MS excel format
While not specific to the ABLLS-R, many of the data sheets in Sandbox Learning's monitoring materials apply to skills assessed on the ABLLS-R
Different Roads to Learning sells a kit with all of the materials needed to complete the ABLLS-R - the kit comes either with or without the assessment manual and protocol. They also have most of the materials in the kit available for purchase outside of the kit - because many classrooms will already have materials for several of the sections.
VB Teaching Tools also sells a kit as well as separate materials.
Autism Concepts has a series of 1003 flash cards with all the photographs and letter/word flash cards required to teach to the ABLLS-R criterion, each labeled with its respective ABLLS-R Objective and numbered for easy retrieval and filing. Comes with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet indexed to objective, picture number, picture description, and category
Stimulus Publications sells the "Autism Skill Acquisition Program" which contains all of the materials needed to conduct the ABLLS-R
Palmetto PEARL offers on-demand printable flashcards that correlate with the ABLLS-R
Autism Concepts has a set of 392 color coordinated and indexed ABLLS-R Skill Cards to aid instructors in teaching the ABLLS-R skills.
Navigation Behavioral Consulting has several posts about "Understanding the ABLLS-R"
Verbal Behavior - a wiki with tons of helpful stuff, including ABLLS-R tracking grids
Mariposa School offers the Pocket ABLLS for sale
Watch Me Learn videos have kids modeling the skills addressed in the ABLLS-R
What are some of your favorite resources for using the ABLLS-R in your classroom?