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BellaOnline's Autism Spectrum Disorders Editor


Basic Skills Checklists - Book Review

Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers

Basic Skills Checklists - Teacher-friendly assessment for students with autism or special needs is a spiral bound notebook filled with over fifty pages of blank assessment pages that can be duplicated for group or individual usage. There is a line for the name, date, grade and school year at the top of each page. At the bottom of each page are the codes. These are categorized as follows:

C = Correct, Independent
E = Emerging or Prompted
I = Incorrect or No Response

There is a line for the name of the staff member who completed the assessment. At the bottom of each chart there are a few blank lines for comments to be included. The author, Marlene Breitenbach,. M.S., Ed., BCBA is a special educator and consultant. Marlene received feedback in field-testing the checklists from The Children’s Annex.

The introduction mentions, “ As children transition from one grade or classroom to another, sharing Basic Skills Checklists with the receiving teacher helps ensure continuity in programming.” I totally agree with this statement, and plan on doing this for my nonverbal son who is moving onto Middle School in the fall. This flexible tool will be helpful for the new teacher and therapists he will have at the new school setting. We are fortunate that a new assistant was hired a few months ago for this transition into secondary schooling.

Basic Skills Checklists - Teacher-friendly assessment for students with autism or special needs is perfectly suited for the general education classrooms as well as the special day classes for children within special education. This is geared for the preschool and elementary-aged child, but I found many lists that can be adapted for older students, especially with the Independence pages and parent checklists.

These lists are an informal way for teachers, aides, therapists and parents to gage the child’s skills to begin instruction at their intended level. The first section are curriculum based in the following areas:

Basic Concepts
Language Arts
Fine Motor

There are four pages in the Administration section at the beginning of the book that offers guidelines on how to utilize each checklist. It is noted, ”A recent progress note, report card or IEP update can be used as a guide for selecting the domain to be assessed.” There are several tips on how to review the results and select materials for the assessments. This book is a great addition that should facilitate in making the grade change smoother for children and teachers at a new school and for the new school year.

These skills include many that my son has been working on and others that he has almost mastered - matching, sorting, colors, shapes, opposites, sequencing, body parts, alphabet skills, capitalization and punctuation, math number concepts, art skills, and pre writing.

The skills that I was hoping my son would soon learn happen to be listed in Basic Skills Checklists - Teacher-friendly assessment for students with autism or special needs. These are - calendar skills, measurement skills, clothing management, dressing, toileting and domestic.

There are two parts for the dressing checklists, with these being a few that we are already working on at home:

Recognizes if inside-out and turns (this is for shirts and pants)
Zips and unzips (pants and jacket)
Ties shoes (we do prefer velcro if found in his size)

The home/school jobs include some skills that Matthew can accomplish with prompting:

Sorts recyclables
Puts away tableware
Wipes table

There is a handy page on schedule use that breaks down the daily schedule and the activity schedule. These include – looks at schedule to identify next activity, points to schedule card or picture. These are skills that Matthew has worked on over the years at summer camp compared to the school setting.

My son has been able to handle some of the functional hand skills such as – opens lunch box, closes knapsack, opens milk/juice container. I stopped myself from teaching him how to turn doorknob to open since that would give him access out the front door, but he can open the bedroom door if it is shut when air conditioner is on.

The math number concepts, addition, time skills and money skills are areas that can be assessed and addressed at the school site to work on in the Middle School years. The skills listed in these checklists are ones that are needed for daily functioning in society. I find having them all organized in this spiral bound notebook to be an asset for parents. It is great to have all this information at our fingertips. This can help us know what our children are lacking in skills and can work on at home and with therapists at school, clinics and home. This is also a book that is helpful for IEP goal writing. This can be a guide for families to work on summer goals and for camp to give an indication on where to start.

Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Bonnie Sayers. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Bonnie Sayers. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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