Essential For Living: What It’s All About

Dr. Patrick McGreevy, BCBA-D and Troy Fry, BCBA sitting with a woman sharing knowledge about Essential For Living.

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.

Getting Started with Essential For Living (EFL)

This tutorial will walk you through what Essential For Living includes, what materials you will need, our free apps for scoring or selecting alternative methods of speaking, and how to start with the quick assessment. That is everything you need to get your learner started with Essential For Living. Press play, and follow along. Links to the materials mentioned are below!

Essential for Living (EFL): What It’s All About

Essential for Living (EFL) was published in 2013 and was a result of the guidance of our professors and our mentors, Ogden Lindsley, Don Baer, Mont Wolf, and Jack Michael, and the many children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities and limited skill repertoires with whom we have worked over a period of 40 years. While many of these children and adults have autism, many others have other congenital disorders like Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome, any of a number of other congenital conditions, or pervasive disabilities that were acquired post-birth. Essential for Living is about ALL of these children and adults.

Our mission is to bring a repertoire of everyday life skills to these children and adults, most of whom have difficulty fully understanding abstract concepts and making consistent progress on developmental curricula like the VB-MAPP or academic standards like the Common Core or State Alternate Assessment Standards. The goal of this mission and these life skills is to improve the ‘quality of their lives’, rather than to ‘catch up to their typically-developing peers’ or ‘reach academic standards designed for those peers’.

To accomplish this goal, the EFL Practitioner’s Handbook and the EFL Teaching Manual include:

  1. ’Issues you should consider addressing and skills you should consider teaching FIRST’
  2. Teaching procedures, some of which may not be familiar to you, that will be helpful with children and adults with limited skill repertoires
  3. Terminal performance criteria that include fluency and retention, rather than 80% correct.

And, later, when it’s time for a transition plan, Essential for Living will guide instruction toward skills and outcomes that will matter in a post-school or post-clinic environment.

EFL distinguishes itself by encompassing over 3,100 functional life skills, backed by scientifically validated assessment and teaching procedures. This approach is not just about teaching skills; it’s about measuring the quality and effectiveness of these skills and behaviors. The EFL Handbook and Teaching Manual are more than just instructional guides.

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