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The REAL: The Roll Evaluation of Activities of Life

Kristin Roll and William Roll

Assess children's ability to care for themselves

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Age range: 2 years to 18 years 11 months

Qualification level: B

Year: 2013

Administration time: 15 to 20 minutes

Administration type: Paper-and-pencil

The REAL™ (The Roll Evaluation of Activities of Life) is a useful screening instrument to help assess children’s self care abilities at home, at school, and in the community. This standardised rating scale provides information on the activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) most common among children ages 2:0–18:11.

The REAL helps measure how a child:

  • Obtains the supplies needed to complete the activity
  • Is or is not able to maintain a safe body position while performing the activity
  • Sequences all the steps required
  • Problem-solves and makes appropriate and safe choices during the activity

Recommended Uses

The REAL may be used as a screening tool by medical professionals, occupational therapists, psychologists, mental health workers, and special education teachers in a variety of settings. This assessment helps to:

  • Determine the need for services—Standardised scores  quantify a child’s ability level and highlight deficits and strengths. The assessment results help professionals determine the extent to which services are needed.
  • Develop Individual Educational Plans and choose intervention services—Help identify children with special needs when they first present at school, or when developing transition plans
  • Make decisions on placement and living arrangements— Results help professionals and caregivers determine appropriate placement and living arrangements for children with special needs so that they can reach their highest level of independence and best quality of life.
  • Evaluate programs—Offers a useful measurement of participants’ abilities prior to and after a program - can highlight areas that have been successful and those that require improvement.
  • Conduct research— Provides valid, reliable data and standardised scoring information to support assessment of children ages 2:0–18:11 for research projects on child development and skill attainment.

Content & Administration

Parents or caregivers rate their child’s demonstration of each skill on a scale of 0 to 3— Unable to Frequently. To evaluate skills in the ADL domain, there are 78 statements that address six skill areas. The IADL domain consists of 58 statements that address six skill areas.


The evaluation yields an ADL score. These scores can be used to chart a child’s growth and development throughout his or her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.