If Skills Don’t Happen ‘Out There’ These Same Skills Shouldn’t Happen ‘in Here’

Teaching functional life skills accurately and fluently to individuals with limited skill repertoires is a challenging yet vital mission. This is where “Essential for Living” (EFL), developed by Patrick McGreevy, PhD, BCBA-D, Troy Fry, MS, BCBA, and Colleen Cornwall, Ed.D., BCBA-D. EFL stands out as a comprehensive guide for educators and therapists working with children and adults, especially those with moderate-to-severe disabilities.

If Skills Don’t Happen ‘Out There’ These Same Skills Shouldn’t Happen ‘in Here’

In public school classrooms and private clinics across North America, which serve children and adults with limited skill repertoires, many of the specific skills that are often taught and the context in which these skills are taught almost never occur in everyday living. In plain language, these skills, and the context in which these skills are taught ‘in here’, never happen ‘out there’.

As a result, skills taught ‘in here’ are not useful ‘out there’. And, both aspects of this dilemma, skills and situations, must be addressed:

  1. Skills that are useful in everyday living must be taught in classrooms and clinics, and
  2. these skills must be taught in situations similar to or exactly the same as those that would occur in everyday living.

Both of these aspects must be addressed because these children and adults often lack specific expressive language skills [technically, the verbal skills and, specifically, the echoic and self-echoic skills or the imitation and self-imitation of signs]. These skills might result in the occurrence of specific skills in situations other than those in which these skills were taught or the occurrence of specific skills different than those that were taught. Let’s look at a few examples of what I’m talking about:

Essential for Living includes 3,100 skills, beginning with an effective and efficient method of speaking and the Necessary Nine Skills. These skills are required for basic communication, health, and safety, and, along with all of the remaining skills in this instrument, typically happen ‘out there’ [in everyday living]. And, Essential for Living is the only curriculum and assessment instrument that guides teachers, therapists, and behavior analysts, to teach children and adults with limited and very limited skill repertoires specific skills that will improve the quality of their everyday lives.

Subsequent blog posts will provide examples and non-examples of these skills… mic drop.


The Essential for Living Curriculum and Teaching Procedures: An Introductory Course

This online course travels on-site with Dr. McGreevy and Troy Fry, BCBA as they deliver an 8.5 hour overview of how to utilize the EFL and it’s conception. Venture along with them as they visit Upstate Caring Partners (UCP), located in Utica, NY, USA. They observe the unique implementations of the tool occurring at UCP, talk to parents of children with moderate-to-severe disabilities, and tour the facility to help consult on unique cases utilizing the EFL.

A total of eight (8) BACB® Learning CEUs Available

Ready to start? It’s online, self-paced, and you can even watch on your phone (if you’re into that)! Learn more about the course and see samples below.

See Samples & Learn More!

What People Are Saying

We asked parents what was making a difference…

“He wants to be able to be part of society, part of community… and it’s just incredible because it makes his father and I feel confident that he is going to be able to have a productive life beyond us. I’m encouraged… and thank you, without this program we don’t know where we would be.” – Susan Callaghan, Parent

“And then all of a sudden, he started being able to wait, and he started being able to going to the doctor’s office…that’s whey they started talking about Essential For Living.”- Bobbi Rodgers, Parent

See Samples & Learn More!

About Dr. Patrick McGreevy, BCBA-D

Posted Under: Essential For Living