• Blog Post
  • CPI

Cognitive Assessment Tools

What are cognitive assessment tools, exactly? And how can you incorporate these powerful resources in your dementia care practice?

For starters, cognitive assessment tools help you assess a person’s cognitive level, remaining abilities, and best ability to function.

There are many kinds of tools available, from the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPGOG) to the Mini-Cog™, and numerous more.
If you’re familiar with Claudia Allen’s Cognitive Disabilities Model, you likely know that there are a range of tools available within the Allen Battery. Today we’re going to drill down deep and examine the Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS/LACLS). If you’re here to buy cognitive assessment tools, you can do that too, and get the best prices in the industry. And if you just need to know more about the ACLS and Allen tools in general, read on!

The Allen Battery Assessment Tools

Assess cognition. Awaken abilities. Change lives.
The Allen Battery of screening tools is designed to provide an initial assessment of a person’s cognitive function. The tools help you identify the Allen Cognitive Level of a client with a cognitive disability such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. When you identify a client’s cognitive level, you can help them feel valued and fulfilled with a higher quality of life. You can also ease stress and burnout for caregivers by reducing any difficult behaviors they may be dealing with.

The Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS/LACLS)

The most powerful (and simple!) assessment tool you’ll ever use.
The Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS) is one of the tools in the Allen Battery. Also known as the leather lacing tool and the leather lacing test, the ACLS gives you a quick measure of a person’s global cognitive processing capacities, learning potential, and performance and problem-solving abilities. You can also use this simple Allen Battery Assessment Tool to detect unrecognized or suspected problems related to functional cognition.
Once you understand someone’s cognitive level, you know how to care for them.

Who Is This Assessment Tool for?

Healthcare pros. Allen Model pros. People who care.

The ACLS is designed for OTs and other healthcare professionals who work with individuals with temporary or permanent cognitive impairments, such as persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia. You should be trained or mentored in the Allen Cognitive Model, as your education in the Allen theory helps you administer the test, and score and interpret the findings.

How to Use The Tool

One tool. Three stitches. Better quality of life.
Before you administer the test, start by establishing rapport with the person. Ask them to tell you about their day. Make sure you’re at their eye level. Speak to them calmly and ensure that your tone makes them feel your respect. Keep your sentences short.
Next, explain the leather lacing test. Show the person what you want them to do. Give them simple and clear directions.
To administer the leather lacing test, you’ll give the person three visual-motor tasks of increasing complexity. These tasks are three stitches for the person to do:
  1. The Running Stitch
  2. The Whip Stitch
  3. The Cordovan Stitch
As the person works on these three leather-lacing stitches, you’ll see how you can change their life by identifying their remaining abilities. Through your discovery of what they CAN still do, you’ll help them become more mobile, functional, and even independent. The ACLS-5 Manual provides details on administering and scoring the test, and we have many resources to support you. Here’s an overview of the cognitive assessment tool and its benefits:

1. The Running Stitch shows you what abilities someone has for doing activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, grooming, and bathing. It also helps you discover how the person handles walking and swallowing. With this information, you can better develop a personalized treatment plan and coach caregivers on what supports to provide—and what to help the person continue to do for themselves. This can increase the person’s physical health and emotional well-being. It also reduces struggles between the person and the caregiver. And this relieves stress for everyone!
2. The Whip Stitch helps you learn what problem-solving abilities the person has. This is important because it helps you know whether someone can prepare a meal, remember to take their medications, respond to emergency situations like a smoke detector going off, or know not to fall for credit card scams.
3. The Cordovan Stitch shows you how the person processes information. It can help you determine whether they can hold a job, drive, or take care of others, like grandchildren.
This cognitive assessment tool works by engaging the person in attending to, understanding, and using:
  • Sensory and motor cues.
  • Your verbal and demonstrated instructions and cues.
  • And feedback from their motor actions.
When administering the test, apply your professional background and your understanding of the Cognitive Disabilities Model/Allen Cognitive Model to:
  • Observe the person’s remaining abilities.
  • Observe the deficits in their performance.
  • And look for a clear pattern of behavior between the two.

How to Score the Leather Lacing Test

Use the ACLS Manual or the Trifold Scoring Card.

One you’ve administered the ACLS, obtain the person’s leather lacing test score using the Allen Cognitive Scale of levels and modes of performance. You’ll find these in the Allen Cognitive Level Screen Manual, and also in the Trifold Scoring Card (see below). Keep in mind that it’s important to validate the score with further observations of the person and their performance in their environment.

Buying the Leather Lacing Assessment Test

Free shipping. 16% savings. Unparalleled support.

Are you ready to change someone’s life?

Buy the Allen Cognitive Level Screen today. This Claudia Allen test is available in standard size (ACLS) and a larger size (LACLS) for persons with vision or hand-function challenges. Both sizes of the classic cognitive assessment tool come with one free Trifold Scoring Card, which is a pocket-sized reference of the scoring tables from the ACLS-5 Manual.

Alyssandra McKaye“Since we are better prepared to determine (and focus on) each person’s best ability to function, activities, programs, and approaches are more relevant and prevalent! Each resident’s quality of life is improved as dignity and ability are increased through these approaches.”
– Alyssandra McKaye, Memory Care Director, Winchester House

Do you already use or teach the Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS) and/or Allen Diagnostic Module (ADM) assessments?
If you do, there’s a chance you’re overpaying for your assessment tools! You might also be ordering them from a seller that just sells the tools—instead of experts who can support you as you use them.
Order your cognitive assessment tools from Dementia Care Specialists. We provide total solutions to help care partners, therapists, and organizations deliver the very best memory care. Our superior customer service and attention to detail mean that you’ll receive your ACLS and ADM orders quickly and accurately, with an average savings of 16% over other assessment providers.
When purchasing from Dementia Care Specialists, you’ll enjoy:
  • UPS ground shipping included on all orders within the continental US and Canada.
  • More bundled kit options for additional savings to meet your needs.
  • Prompt and friendly service at 888.426.2184. Whenever you need us, just call and we’ll answer by the second ring.
  • Fast and secure checkout.

Save money! Buy the leather lacing tool for less.

Or explore the full suite of cognitive assessment tools!

Need info for your boss? View our Product Catalog, or grab our Product Order Form.

“Once you understand someone’s cognitive level, you know how to care for them.”
 — Kim Warchol, OTR/L, President and Founder of Dementia Care Specialists