Welcome to this website where you can learn more about functional cognitive abilities or about assessing and working with people who have functional cognitive impairments.
For: People who are concerned about their memory or thinking, & Carers looking after a family member or friend with cognitive difficulties, or Health Professionals wishing to refer someone for assessment
This assessment is suitable for anyone who is experiencing cognitive difficulties or who is worried that they might be.
It can help answer the BIG questions in life including questions such as:
The assessment is useful for people from adolescence to old age. It is not language-based and is suitable for people who speak any language.
The results of the assessment can be used to support applications for an Aged Care Assessment (care packages & nursing home admission), HACC support or a guardianship & administration order.
For: Health professionals who wish to learn more about the Functional Cognition framework
Occupational Therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.
A Functional Cognition Framework facilitates this process by helping us to understand the cognitive complexity of the tasks our clients want or need to do and comparing that with the cognitive ability of the client to perform the task. The Allen Cognitive Levels describe the hierarchies of functional cognitive capacities. It is when there is a mismatch between the person's underlying abilities and task demands that problems occur. This perspective also focuses on the may do (environmental factors) and will do (personal preferences) of occupational function and allows the therapist to explore the complex interplay between these factors.
McCraith, Austin & Earhart in Cognition, Occupation & Participation Across the Life Span, 2011
The assessments that have developed out of this model are inexpensive and can be learnt by anyone with an understanding of occupational function who is familiar with using standardized assessments. Some familiarity with the Cognitive Disabilities Model is essential either by attending a workshop or by receiving mentoring from a therapist experienced in using the model.
Manual for the Allen Cognitive Level Screen-5 & the Large Allen Cognitive Level screen-5, 2007