Allens Cognitive Level Screen – lab for Occupational Therapy Students

The leather lacing assessment to determine Allen Cognitive Levels (called the Allen Cognitive Level Screen) is pretty neat and it really is used a lot in mental health. You can get it online for about $15 from It comes with the leather patch, the needles/threads needed, and the manual! We had to show one of our teachers, Rosemary, that we were competent doing it, and she role-played a client. For my friend Brooke, she kept complaining she needed a cigarette break. For me, she kept saying she already knew how to sew, this was a waste of time, she could do it with her eyes closed, etc. It was pretty funny. You have to instruct the client on three stitches (running stitch, whipstitch, and single cordovan stitch). Based on their abilities, you use the chart in the back to determine their cognitive level. You also have to make two mistakes on purpose and make them find it!

There are two versions of the video, because the first day we did it impromptu, sticking the camera on a pile of books and with an overly full memory card, so we kept having “commercial breaks” as the memory card filled up. In that version, I am the (relatively angry looking?) client and Allison is the therapist. In the second version, Allison is the client and Kerri is the therapist, and I’m recording. Poorly.

By the way, there are a ton of other assessments that are used in conjunction with the leather lacing. Like the Allen Diagnostic Manual or ADM(using crafts to assess ability), and the Routine Task Inventory, or RTI – which is free online at Claudia Allen’s website listed above.

*Thanks to Allison again for her help with filling in some gaps

Nov 16, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4