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Type of Measure: The Assistance to Participate Scale is an instrument that measures the assistance a school-aged child with a disability requires to participate in play and leisure activities from the primary caregiver’s perspective. The APS may be used as an outcome measure and to evaluate and predict the amount and type of additional assistance families need to facilitate their child’s participation in an important aspect of the child’s daily life and development: play and recreation. The scale consists of eight items that are representative of general types of play and leisure activities that children with disabilities may be involved in. Respondents are asked to rate the level of assistance that they provide to their using a five point Likert response scale (1 = Unable to participate; 2 = Participates with my assistance at all stages of the activity; 3 = Participates after I have set him/her up and help at times during the activity; 4 = Participates with my supervision only; 5 = Participates independently). via the CanChild website

Target Population: Parents of school-aged children with developmental disabilities

Measurement properties and previous use: There was both a qualitative and quantitative study (informed by the qualitative study) used in the creation of this scale. In terms of the psychometric evaluation, both the subscales and total scale showed excellent internal consistency (APS-Home alone: Cronbach alpha = 0.85, APS-Community social: Cronbach alpha = 0.83, Total APS: Cronbach alpha = 0.88). The correlation between the two subscales was strong indicating the scales were related, but not identical. Additionally, investigations into the construct validity of the scale indicated that the APS differentiated between children who required more supervision or adult intervention to participate in other daily tasks, and that the APS is a tool that measures caregiver assistance during play and leisure that is consistent with the child’s need for assistance across other daily activities Bourke-Taylor, Law, Howie & Pallant, 2009. The scale also showed good overall fit to the Rasch model, supporting its measurement properties, with no misfitting items and no evidence of differential item functioning. The scale was found to be unidimensional with good internal consistency. Overall, both subscales and the total APS scale showed good internal consistency Bourke-Taylor & Pallant, 2013.

Languages: English

Authors and Citations: Bourke-Taylor, H. M., Law, M., Howie, L., & Pallant, J. F. (2009). Development of the Assistance to Participate Scale (APS) for children’s play and leisure activities. Child: Care, Health and Development, 35(5), 738-745.

Bourke-Taylor, H. M., Howie, L., & Law, M. (2010). Impact of caring for a school aged child with a disability: Understanding mothers’ perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57(2), 127-136.

Bourke‐Taylor, H., & Pallant, J. F. (2013). The Assistance to Participate Scale to measure play and leisure support for children with developmental disability: Update following Rasch analysis. Child: care, health and development, 39(4), 544-551.

Licence: From the tool. “The actual scale items and scoring response items are provided. Professionals are invited to use the APS freely. However, this scale must not be altered in any way during administration or scoring. The authors request forwarding of any feedback or details about the use of this scale to the first author:”

Link to measure: Assistance to Participate Scale: Measure is found on the right hand side of webpage

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