Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)

The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) is an assessment, skills tracking system and teaching companion for the development of independent living skills.

It was created to complement the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABBLS-R) and to meet the needs of learners for which a curriculum for functional living skills was needed. The AFLS consists of:

  • The AFLS Guide, which provides assessment and scoring instructions for each module, and recommendations for creating an individualised functional skills programme.
  • Six individually available assessment protocols including Basic Living Skills, Home Skills and Community Participation Skills, School Skills, Independent Living Skills and Vocational Skills

The AFLS can be used to determine a learner’s current level of skill repertoire and provide tracking to measure the progress of these skills throughout the lifespan.

  • The assessment is useful and appropriate for a very broad range of learners including both children and adults, and the skills addressed are helpful for maximising independence for learners with autism and/or Learning Difficulties.
  • The AFLS can be completed by a caregiver, parent, educator, Therapist, Psychologist or other professional who has thoroughly studied the AFLS guide and assessment protocol that will be used.
  • It is necessary that the person assessing also has frequent contact and direct contact with the learner. Each assessment protocol can be used as a standalone assessment; however, it is recommended that protocols are bundled to customise the appropriate assessment for the learner’s setting and situation.

The complete AFLS covers over 735 daily living skills in the following areas:

Basic Living Assessment Protocol: Basic self-help, self-care, self-management, hygiene, routines, and communication skills are core skills assessed in this module. 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 assessment includes:

  • Self- Management
  • Basic Communication
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Bathing
  • Health, Safety, and First Aid
  • Night-time Routines

Home Skills Assessment Protocol: The Home Skills Assessment Protocol provides an essential review of skills required for living in a home. Basic and advanced skills for preparing and eating meals, cleaning, dressing, doing laundry, leisure skills, and daily activities are assessed. The Home Skills assessment includes:

  • Meals at Home
  • Dishes
  • Clothing and Laundry
  • Housekeeping and Chores
  • Household Mechanics
  • Leisure
  • Kitchen
  • Cooking

Community Participation Skills Assessment Protocol: Community participation begins with learning to physically navigate safely around sidewalks, streets, and signs. A wide variety of skills are also required for a learner to independently shop in grocery and department stores, shop at the supermarket, and eat at a restaurant.  In addition, telling the time and using time-related concepts, making and keeping appointments, using a phone, and other skills that help people stay connected and interact with others in the community, are also assessed in this module.

The Community Participation Skills assessment includes:

  • Basic Mobility
  • Community Knowledge
  • Shopping
  • Meals in Public
  • Money
  • Phone
  • Time
  • Social Awareness and Manners

The School Skills Assessment protocol: As learners get older, the need for functional skills also requires the development of more complex academic and social interactions, social navigation and responses to common peer interactions in the school setting. This assessment covers all levels of education and it also incorporates skills that are necessary in a wide range of classroom environments.

The School Skills Protocol includes:

  • Classroom Mechanics
  • Routines and Expectations
  • Meals at School
  • Social Skills
  • Technology
  • Common Knowledge
  • Core Academics
  • Applied Academics

The Independent Living Assessment Protocol: The goal of all functional skills teaching programmes is for a learner to achieve the greatest level of independence possible. This Protocol provides assessment of the key skills required for transitioning from a parent supervised lifestyle and structured educational system to living an independent lesser supported lifestyle independently or in a shared residence with others. Each learner needs to know how to travel in the community, must also have good hygiene practices, take medication as prescribed and problem-solving abilities to cope with challenges that life may bring. 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 a variety of settings.

The Independent Living Skills assessment 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

The Vocational Skills Assessment Protocol:  For a learner with autism or Intellectual Disability preparing for and joining the workforce is a broad skill area with a limitless amount of skills to assess. The assessment covers skills relating to preparing for job applications, interview skills, taking directions, following transportation and adhering to work schedules. The assessment covers skills for learners with a wide range of ability levels.

The Vocational Skills Assessment includes:

  • Interview
  • Basic Skills
  • Co-worker 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


Partington, J.W and Mueller, M.M (2012) The Assessment of Functional Living Skills Guide -Essential Skills for Independence at Home, School and in the Community. Behaviour Analysts, Inc (