PEAK is one of our favorite assessments we use at ABA Interventions! The more we learn about this tool and the more we have used it with our learners, the more we absolutely love the way it teaches our learners to LEARN.

What is PEAK?

  • PEAK is an assessment tool developed by Dr.Mark Dixon to teach language and skills to children with autism using a relational training approach. Typically, children with Autism excel in rote memorization but lack in abstract thinking. The goal of PEAK is not to teach the child to simply memorize answers, but it teaches them to problem solve and critically think.
  • Example: If we teach a child the spoken word taco means the same as a picture of a taco, and the picture of a taco means the same as the written word taco. Then we want the child to understand that the spoken word taco means the same as the written word taco.
  • The goal is to teach our children that they can use information that is taught to them and apply it to other environments and other materials.

The Four Modules: PEAK has four modules (triangles) that have specific skills that they target, but all come together to develop a comprehensive assessment tool. The triangle picture in this post is the symbol for PEAK and displays how all 4 triangles come together as one.

  • Direct Training: This module has a lot of pre-requisite skills that a child may be lacking. These are going to be foundational skills to help build more complex skills. Skills in this module include eye contact, basic requesting, labels items in the environment, etc.
  • Generalization: This module is all about teaching the child to extend skills they have learned to new settings, people, and materials. Generalization is so important for children with autism so they are able to use skills they have learned in different kinds of ways.
  • Equivalence: This module is all about teaching symbolic language and learning new concepts without it being taught directly. This module uses all of the senses and teaching the child to use all senses to interact with their environment. Having the child use their sense of smell, touch, and taste can be a fun learning experience!
  • Transformation: This module is all about problem solving and reasoning. This module focuses on teaching same and different, opposites, and thinking with perspectives other than their own. Typically, individuals with Autism are only able to think through their own perspective, so creating learning opportunities to show them that others have different perspectives is very important!

For even more information and research on PEAK, visit