TEACCH – Transition Assessment Profile (T-TAP)

The T-TAP is an autism-specific assessment which measures skills in a range of vocational, self-care, household and social activities.

It was developed for individuals with autism and mild to severe learning difficulties.  It is most relevant for those aged 14 years and older, but can be used with younger children if appropriate.

The T-TAP assesses six areas of functional skills:

  1. Vocational Skills

This includes measurement of technical skills required for independent living, employment and school work e.g. counting, measuring and the use of common household/work objects.

  1. Vocational behaviours

These are behaviours required for appropriate functioning in work and home/residential settings.  Examples include the ability to work independently, to ask for help when required, to follow instructions and to work in groups.

  1. Independent functioning

This section measures independence in personal care tasks and in the use of community facilities (such as public transport).  It also covers the ability to use money and look after personal belongings.

  1. Leisure skills

Leisure skills involve the ability to fill non-work time with enjoyable activities and to occupy non-structured times with appropriate activities.  This section assesses both independent initiation of leisure activities and participation in activities initiated by others.  Examples of tasks included in the assessment are board games, listening to music, exercise and caring for pets.

  1. Functional communication

This section assesses how the individual communicates in work and residential settings.  This includes the ability to communicate need and understanding instructions and basic concepts.

  1. Interpersonal behaviour

The section on interpersonal behaviours assesses interaction skills with both familiar and unfamiliar people and how the individual behaves in front of others across home and work settings.

There are three parts to the assessment, measuring ability across three settings. The first part directly assesses the child/young person in a range of standardised tests while the other two parts are interview-based.  Each part measures ability in the six functional skill areas described above.

  1. Direct Observation Scale

In this part of the assessment, the individual is directly assessed carrying out a broad range of tasks across the 6 skill areas.  The individual is given the task materials and minimum instructions and is then scored in the ability to complete the task independently.  There are a total of 72 items, and examples include:

  • sorting and collating paper
  • putting cards in alphabetical order
  • filing by number
  • measuring
  • typing/keyboard skills
  • working without supervision
  • asking for help
  • tolerating interruptions
  • telling time
  • calculating money
  • using vending machine
  • playing simple games
  • following instructions
  1. Home Scale

This part of the assessment is carried out through interview with a parent or someone else who is familiar with the child/young person’s ability in the home or residential environment.  The interviewee rates the individual’s ability in a range of tasks using the scoring method outlined below. There are again 72 items across the 6 skill areas.  Examples include:

  • Brushing/vacuuming
  • Washing dishes
  • Making bed
  • Setting table
  • Asking for help when needed
  • Looking after belongings
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Shopping
  • Engagement in solitary play
  • Engagement in play with others
  • Caring for pets
  • Using telephone
  • Positive behaviours with others
  • Sharing
  • Controlling temper
  1. School/work scale

This section of the assessment is conducted through an interview with a teacher, employer or someone else who is familiar with the child/young person’s ability in school or vocational setting.  The interviewee rates the individual’s ability in a range of tasks using the scoring method outlined below.    There are once again 72 items across the 6 skill areas.  Examples include:

  • Using simple machines and tools
  • Measuring
  • Cleaning work area
  • Completing tasks correctly
  • Working in proximity to others
  • Recognising authority figures
  • Transitioning independently between tasks
  • Table manners
  • Using public toilets
  • Identifying time on clock
  • Engaging in activity during lunch or break time
  • Playing sports
  • Communicating needs

Each item in the T-TAP is scored on a 3-point scale:

2 = Pass i.e. the individual can complete the task independently

1 = Emerge i.e. the individual is developing skills in the task but requires some prompting/assistance

0 = Fail i.e. the individual is unable to complete the task

This scoring system facilitates goal setting and intervention planning as tasks which are scored as “1” or “Emerge” indicate skills which could be further developed and should therefore be included in goal setting.  Tasks which are scored as “2” or “Pass” do not need intervention but they do highlight the individual’s strengths which can then be incorporated into an intervention programme.  Tasks which scored as “0” or “Fail” should not be included in goal setting at this stage.

Training in the T-TAP assessment is facilitated by Middletown Centre for Autism.  Please click on the link below for any up coming training.

Middletown Centre for Autism.  

Reference: Mesibov G, Thomas JB, Chapman SM and Schopler E (2007)  TEACCH Transition Assessment Profile 2nd ed.  Texas: Pro-Ed Inc.

Further reading

The TEACCH Autism Programme

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