matthew cropped 51What is the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)?

When a student first enters a school program the IEP is developed only after thorough evaluation (Full Individual Evaluation or FIE) has been made.

The FIE is used to determine eligibility for special education and specific needs related to accessing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

Based on this evaluation information, according to IDEA, there is a procedure that should be followed to create a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

This begins by creating a kind of picture of the child’s abilities and challenges related to learning what other children are learning in school. 

This profile is referred to as the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (in Texas this is known as PLAAFP). PLAAFP may be written as a general statement or for each area that a goal or programming decision is made.

If the educational team and parents have completed a Functional Scheme evaluation this information should be included in the development of this student profile.

How the Functional Scheme Is Used in Developing the PLAAFP

For example, utilizing the “Assessment of the levels of function” page of the Functional Scheme we might see something like this: Download this example in a Word or PDF file.

  0-3 months 3-6 months 6-9 months 9-12 months12-15 months  15-18 months18-24 months24-30 months30-36 months36-42 months 42-48 months
Gross Movement  58% 35%                  
Fine Movement  71% 56%                  
Mouth Movement  40% 40%                  
Visual Perception  60%  45%                  
Auditory Perception  100%  83%  43%                
Haptic-tactile Perception  75%  75%  70%                
Smell and Taste  45%                    
Spatial Perception 83% 67%                  
Object Perception 100% 71% 31%                
Language Non-verbal 100% 76%                  
Language Verbal 73% 63%                  
Social Perception 100% 100% 67%                
Emotional Perception 100% 100% 67%                
Play and Activity 67%                    
Toileting Skills 100% 100% 100%  20%              
Undressing and Dressing 100% 100% 33%                
Personal Hygiene 100% 50%                  
Eating Skills 50% 17%                  

PLAAFP Statements

General statement for PLAAFP

A general comment to include in the PLAAFP statement might make note of the range of developmental skills. In the example shown above, it might say:

"The student is generally functioning at a developmental level of 0-3 months with splinter skills occurring primarily in the 3-9 month range of development. His strengths are in the areas of auditory and haptic-tactile perception, social and emotional development, undressing and dressing skills, and toileting."

This is helpful later when explaining why Active Learning programming strategies designed for sensorimotor and early pre-operational level learners is an appropriate instructional approach.

Specific statement for PLAAFP

Along with information gleaned from other assessment and evaluation such as a physical therapy evaluation, functional vision evaluation, learning media assessment, communication evaluation, occupational therapy evaluation, it can help to determine at what level specific skills should be targeted.

Based on our example a PLAAF written for language and communication might include information such as this:

"Johnny is developmentally 0-6 months in the area of language and communication. His strengths in social and emotional development show he is highly motivated to interact with others. He seems to understand much that is said to him in the context of familiar activities.

His expressive communication consists primarily of vocalizing, babbling and behavioral responses. He uses these to gain and maintain the attention of adults and peers. He also uses these to request and reject objects, foods, and activities.

He appears ready to expand his communication skills, but lacks many basic language concepts and has limited experiences (topics) to share with others. 

He needs to use alternative forms of communication such as object symbols, gestures and tactile cues to support both communication and literacy."

plaafp collage