I have spent most of the last two mornings updating a few students’ ABLLS assessment and I am extra excited to share with you the joys of this assessment… because I secretly want to brag about my kiddos progress. Okay, maybe not so secretly. ABLLS stands for the assessment of basic language and learning skills. It’s assessment, curriculum guide, and tracking program for children with language delays. It’s used very commonly with children with autism and cognitive disabilities.

I LOVE this assessment for my students who are lower functioning or have emerging verbal/academic skills. I do not use this assessment with my higher functioning students because it’s a little too basic. The skill set is focused on a typically developing kindergartener. If I had a younger class I may use this with all my students because it’s more relevant but for my group now I use it with 4 students.

Why I LOVE this assessment (yes it’s necessary to use all caps): This assessment gives such valuable knowledge of what skill sets your student is missing. In doing so it gives great insight into what you should be writing for IEP goals or program goals. This has been especially helpful for the students I have had for a few years and aren’t quite sure where to go next. The other reason I love this assessment is you can update the progress tracking chart to show progress. It gives this incredible visual depiction of growth (that parents love!).


So basically there are 26 skill areas (ranging from visual performance to labeling to reading). Within the skill that there are a bunch of tasks. You rate how well the student can accomplish the task with the rubric. If they can’t do it at all you leave it blank. The rubric will indicate how many boxes to fill in if they can somewhat do the task.


Once you go through all of the tasks your progress tracking sheet will look something like this:


While I go through this assessment, I find it gets overwhelming with how many goal ideas I could use. I always keep plenty of post its near by to start a list of significant areas of difficultly I am finding.



Now the cool part: the color you fill out the form with is associated with a date. Every few months or twice a year you can update this to show progress. The next time you fill it out – use a new color. This has a great visual cue of how much progress your student has made :)

Check out my student’s rockstar progress: (the orange and blue are two different assessment dates since I have had him as a student and the gray is his baseline when he came to me) AHHHH!


You can get the ABLLS from Amazon for $65.00. We convinced our  principal to get it for us two years ago – I recommend that approach :)