Functional Scheme

Picture of the cover of the Functional Scheme workbook.This functional skill assessment and learning program re-assessment tool was developed by Dr. Nielsen to meet the needs of children and adults with multiple special needs who are functioning at a developmental level under 48 months.  The purpose of the tool is to create the best possible basis for developing an appropriate learning program for the individual.

The scheme helps to determine where an individual is currently functioning.  Areas of assessment are broken down development steps as observed in an individual with multiple special needs.  After determining a person's functional level, appropriate individualized programming can be developed using the best materials, perceptualizing aides and equipment, and phase of educational treatment.  

The Functional Scheme helps the evaluator to re-assess the current learning program.  The same functional scheme will be used to assess an individual throughout their lifetime.  The evaluator can identify what skills are emerging, performed under favorable conditions, or performed spontaneously.   

The Functional Scheme assesses these areas of development: 

  1. Gross Movement
  2. Fine Movement
  3. Mouth Movement
  4. Visual Perception
  5. Auditory Perception
  6. Haptic-tactile Perception
  7. Smell and Taste
  8. Spatial Perception
  9. Object Perception
  10. Language verbal
  11. Language non-verbal,
  12. Language comprehension
  13. Social Perception
  14. Emotional Perception
  15. Play and Activities
  16. Toileting Skills
  17. Undressing & Dressing Skills
  18. Personal Hygiene
  19. Eating Skills

The functional scheme also evaluates skills that occur irrespective of a developmental level, and learned behaviors (such as poking eyes, tactile defensiveness, biting, hitting, etc.) that may impede developmental learning.

Ideally this assessment should be completed by the individual's educational team working together with the parents or caregivers.  The initial evaluation will take some time, but once it is completed, ongoing assessment is easy. This tool provides a concise record of the child's progress in the various developmental areas.

The Functional Scheme Assessment is available through LilliWorks.

Patty Obrzut Discusses the Functional Scheme Assessment

Original webcast date: 12/01/2016
Description: The Functional Scheme: Assessing the Developmental Level of special needs students

Downloads: Audio (mp3) Transcript (txt)

functional scheme collage