Welcome to Allen Conferences, Inc.'s web page,

The official web site of Allen Cognitive Levels.

The site was updated on February 25, 2000.

Table of Contents











This section offers a short description of each ADM project.  The projects are divided as follows:

   Basic ADM Projects

    The One-handed Series of Projects

    The Safety Series of Projects

    Higher level Wood/Stenciling Projects


Basic ADM Projects

CU1 Recessed Tile Boxes ACL 3.0 - 4.8

These boxes have spacing problem built in that makes it harder. The therapist can get an assessment to see if the patient can adjust the spaces in the top. There are checkerboard and diagonal patterns. The diagonal makes a higher level project. The three patterns are furnished to cover the range of ACLs. Staining and sanding the inside/ outside of the box and rotating the box are easy to observe during group evaluations.

CU7 Whale Noteholder ACL 3.0 - 4.6

This is a favorite project. Be sure to get water-based stain because cleanup is so much easier. The spill-proof paint cups (DC12) are wonderful for this project. The assembly is an interesting process. Note that the bottom of the note holder is supposed to be stained brown. Pay attention to these details - the instructions call for the bottom to be stained and that’s one of the things the therapist should note. This is a good time to repeat an earlier injunction. You must be a level 6 when you make the samples, paying attention to all the details. If your sample is wrong, the patient will make the project wrong.

CU8 Hug-A-Bear ACL 4.0 - 5.4

Everybody loves the bear. The bear is the best motivator in the whole world. Initially it was thought that the Hug-A-Bear would be a "girl" project. Yet there are many, many guys who want to make the teddy bear. You see them clutching the bear as a real friend. Do not get into stereotypes about who wants this bear. The bear comes pre-sewn with a slit in the back. The slit has to be enlarged slightly to get a hand into the bear to stuff it. Whether the snout gets stuffed is a very good assessment in terms of how evenly and how the patient gets the stuffing there. The patient stuffs the bear and sews up the back slit. The bear can be decorated with just a ribbon around the neck or use the clothes below as a further assessment.

CU18 Bear Clothes ACL 4.0 - 4.6
CU23 Bear Clothes ACL 4.6 - 5.8

These two projects are out of sequence because they are used with the Hug-A-Bear. The CU18 project has vests, bibs, and hats. All are precut for easy assembly. There are several types of decorations for the clothes: buttons, hearts, lace et cetera which can individualize the clothes.

The CU23 project includes more difficult hats, vests and bibs. These are not cut out so the patient has to solve problems of pattern layout and estimates of amount of material to use.

CU9 Raggedy Ann and Andy ACL 4.0 - 5.8

The kit contains enough material for six each of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Two samples are required: one of a completed doll and the other of a half completed doll. This is a fairly lengthy project, probably taking four hours or more to complete a doll. The dolls are about 14 inches high when complete.

CU10 Bargello Bookmark ACL 3.0 - 4.8

The Bargello Bookmark is another project that is great for home health practitioners. It is small, portable and has a range of assessment. The therapist must prepare the first row and turn the corner. Then bundle up two colors of yarn. Be sure to have a sample with the same two colors of yarn. This is a great project to differentiate between depression and dementia. You have to order the plastic needles separately (NE707).

CU14 Jute Tote Bag ACL 4.2 - 5.8

This project kit comes as strips of jute, which the patient sews together with colored yarn to make a tote bag. The instructions are divided in those for ACL 4.2 – 4.6 and for ACL 4.8 – 5.8.

CU16 Needlepoint Heart Key Rings ACL 4.6 - 5.4

This project is similar to the Bargello bookmark. A plastic grid is furnished and the patient uses a large needle and yarn to "sew" the background and heart pattern around the plastic grid. The S&S catalog states the project is complete in two hours but allow at least another hour.

CU12 Fabric Covered Box ACL 4.4 - 5.4

This project involves covering a box (similar to a cigar box) with precut fabric. The box comes completely assembled. The precut fabric is supplied in two pieces. The therapist or a volunteer has to fuse the two pieces together using an iron and fusible webbing which is supplied in the kit. This project offers a quick assessment (about 30 minutes) and requires few tools (after the fabric has been fused together). This is a good project for home health therapists.

CU19 Ribbon Mugs ACL 3.0 - 4.6

The Ribbon Mugs offer an adult sophisticated look. The ribbons come precut, sorted by pattern and color. This project is a really popular project that can be completed in 15 to 60 minutes. Recently the size of the ribbon has changed. Check the width of the ribbons in your sample. If wider ribbon has been substituted in your kits, you will have to make a new sample.

CU20 Indian Key Fob ACL 4.0 - 5.0

This project provides a good rotational problem: whether the patient looks at the back of leather. There is a nice sequencing problem in the assembly, whether the patient can understand the bead and the hole sequence. The ADM Instruction Manual does not include the sequence of beads on the bottom that is shown in the catalog. Look at the picture in the S&S catalog - observe how the two hangers are a mirror image of each other and note the sequencing of two or one beads of the same color. If you have found or if you use different beads than are in the kit, make sure you only use two colors of beads. People in 4.2 or below get very frustrated if more than two colors are in use. This frustration will make your scoring inaccurate.

CU 21 Placemat ACL 3.0 - 4.6

The Placemat comes with the pieces precut and presorted. There are extra pieces in the kit so you or the patient can add more pieces. (And you will need more as you work with the lower level patients who can glue up a storm!) The single design has a wide range of assessment, making this project easier to use with a group of as many as six patients. The drawing in the ADM Instruction Manual is computer-generated and has a small error. Refer to the picture in the S&S catalog for the correct placement. The size of the hearts on the computer-generated drawing is more similar than they are on the actual placemats. When you receive the placemats, be sure you check that the placemat is square. People who sew a lot know that you have to straighten most fabric pieces. If the piece is not square you tug on the opposite corners so the fabric pattern is square with the sides. If the placemat’s sides are not square with the threads of fabric, trim the mat so it’s square. This is a very economical project. When working with the Low to Mid level threes, the therapist can skip the gluing thus making the project re-usable.

CU22 Ribbon Cards ACL 4.0 - 5.0

The Ribbon Cards contain precut greeting cards. Colored ribbons are woven through the slits in various patterns and then glued. The more complex patterns involve the ribbon going to the edge of the card. This creates nice problems in trimming frayed edges and correct placement. S&S has difficulty with the ribbon suppliers to ensure that the same ribbon is available from year to year. As the ribbons are changed, the therapist will have to make new samples..

CU24 Sticker Cards ACL 3.0 - 4.6.

This project is easy to do and a therapist can learn how to administer the ADM projects quickly with this project. If you are new to the ADM projects, you may want to start with this one. This project is hard to do in a group but very good for one on one such as in home health or in the patient’s room. This project is small, fairly inexpensive, and easy to take into the home.

Note that the dog sticker in the ADM Instruction Manual is incorrect. The dog has a problem in the sample. The people at S&S made the sample wrong so the problem showed up in the Manual. In the sample you start out with a light dog and then you go to a dark one. The dog stickers can’t be taken off the card in sequence - that’s the subtle cue we included. The sample in the book has one of the bees on an angle. The elephant cards in the book are no longer available. Some of the stickers will change from year to year, so new samples may have to be made.. The patients really like the Ladybugs.

CU25 Tile Trivets ACL 3.0 - 5.8

If only one project could be chosen, this is the best! This project can be used with patients from ACL 3.0 all the way to 5.8. For years, therapists have used wire tile trivets that look tacky. Cathy Earhart designed these wooden trivets which come in three shapes. The tiles come with the backing off and sorted by color. When you make your samples you should follow the patterns in the ADM Instruction Manual. In the past there has been a few problems with the drawing of the tile pattern. Some people have only used five colors of tiles, leaving an opening where a white tile is to be. Six tiles are to be used; there are only five patterns shown in the manual. The white space in the pattern is to be a white tile. You may want to outline the white tiles in the ADM Instruction Manual with a fine black pen.

When this project is used with people in the range of 3.0 to 4.8, use the patterns with ten tiles. For use with people in the range of 5.0 to 5.8 grouting the tiles adds more difficulty. Space is needed for the grout so the pattern uses nine tiles per row. The grout used is the "old fashioned kind" so the patient has to make a judgement about the amount to mix. Decide the way you wish to do the project; you will need different samples for the trivets with grout and for the trivets without grout. Note that the project begins on page Y1 in the ADM Instruction Manual and the higher level project of tiles with grout begins on page Y6.

The One-handed Series of Projects

The one-handed crafts are designed for therapeutic application when working with people who have had a stroke or injury to the upper extremely. Use of the affected limb and typical compensations are suggested. Assessment guidelines address the ability to solve new visual/perceptual information.

This set of projects was released in January 1998. The setup of the projects is contained in the ADM Instruction manual. The earlier ADM Instruction Manuals do not contain the instruction and rating sheets for these projects. If you have one of the earlier manuals, contain S&S Worldwide and they will sent you the updated sheets.

CU204 Stamped Stationary ACL 4.8 – 5.8

This is one of the cheapest ADM projects on a per project basis that has been developed. This project uses rubber stamps and brush markers to turn either ordinary 20-lb. copy paper or more expensive bond paper into very pretty stationary. The initial cost of the kit is quite high ($141.99 at the time of writing) but the kit is good for literally thousands of pieces of stationary. The kit comes with a ream of paper, the necessary stamps and brush markers. One word of caution: Manics will have a great time with this kit and may ruin the stamps and stamp pads with their enthusiasm. Additional bond stationary is available from S&S as item PE185 Bond Paper.

CU205 Felt Turtle ACL 3.0 –4.6

This is the hardest project to do one-handed, yet one of the most popular. The kit consists of precut felt pieces and wiggly eyes which are assembled (sewn) and stuffed with fiberfill to make the cutest turtle!

CU206 Visor Kit ACL 3.0 –4.6

This is a good group project. Adjustments of fabric and lining provide observations of problem recognition and solving.

CU207 Storage Boxes ACL 3.0 – 4.6

These boxes are similar to CU17, the fabric covered box. The patient covers these boxes with precut paper strips. The paper is glued to the box with non-toxic glue sticks.

CU208 Stamped Cards ACL 3.0 –4.8

This is another one of the cheapest ADM projects on a per project basis that has been developed. This project uses rubber stamps and brush markers to turn either ordinary 20-lb. copy paper or more expensive bond paper into greeting cards. This project uses cards similar to the sticker cards. There are three types of cards with different grids for use with different ACL Modes. Additional cards can be duplicated on a copy machine. The initial cost of the kit is quite high ($182.99 at the time of writing) but the kit is good for literally thousands of greeting cards. The same word of caution applies here as it did with the Stamped stationary: Manics will have a great time with this kit and may ruin the stamps and stamp pads with their enthusiasm.

The Safety Series of Projects

These projects were introduced in 1994. These projects share a common theme in that a iron is required to bond the pieces together. The rating sheet for all these projects is the one supplied with the coaster kits. It is a new design rating sheet which is extremely easy to mark during patient evaluation and to score. The series of projects were initially designed to reevaluate a patient’s appreciation of the mild safety hazard of the hot iron. However, the varied instructions, the required laying out the materials, reading directions, and understanding exploded view drawings have provided this series with a wonderful Level Five cognitive assessment.

The earlier ADM Instruction Manuals do not contain the instruction and rating sheets for these projects. If you have one of the earlier manuals, contain S&S Worldwide and they will sent you the updated sheets.

CU165 Red Coasters ACL 4.6 - 5.8
CU185 Blue Coasters ACL 4.6 - 5.8

This is the best project to use with Level Five patients. The kit contains enough material for 24 coasters making the cost per project slightly more than a dollar. Although the catalog says that 4.6 and 4.8 patients can complete the project, Level fives have much more success. The project. A medium hot iron is required to fuse the materials together. The picture of the coaster in the ADM Instruction Manual is slightly smaller than the actual finished coaster.

CU169 Tee Shirt, Red ACL 5.0 - 5.8
CU188 Tee Shirt, Blue ACL 5.0 - 5.8

This is an extra large Tee shirt upon which the patient plans a design according to the directions, lays it out on the cotton shirt, and applies the design with an iron. This requires precise tracing of the design and is a very good project. This project has some face value in that the patient can wear the resulting Tee shirt.

CU170 Tote Bag, Red ACL 5.0 - 5.8
CU187 Tote Bag, Blue ACL 5.0 - 5.8

This project makes an attractive tote page that female patients especially like. Like all the safety series projects, this one requires planning to center the design and precise understanding of the directions.

CU166 Portable Pocket, Red ACL 5.0 - 5.8
CU186 Portable Pocket, Blue ACL 5.0 - 5.8

This Portable pocket project makes a wallet like pocket that the patient can use to store papers and small items.

CU168 Candy Dish ACL 5.0 - 5.8

The candy Dish is the second least expensive project. The resulting fabric dish can be used for candy or other small items in the patient’s room.

Higher level Wood/Stenciling Projects

This group of projects includes four wooden projects and two paper or cloth projects. All these projects involve stenciling the assembled project. Stenciling is hard. There is a lot of learning involved in stenciling. It probably takes 1 to 2 hours to learn. The common mistake (which everyone seems to make) is to put too much paint on the brush. After the learning process, stenciling can be done in 15 – 20 minutes. Another mistake is to use a cheap stenciling brush. A good stencil brush will make the process go much smoother.

CU4 Paper Towel Holder ACL 4.4 - 5.8

This is one of the easiest wood projects to complete. All the pieces are precut. Rating criteria is provided for 4.4 but this project is not recommended below 4.6. ACL 4.6 and 4.8 should probably not attempt stenciling.

CU4 Letter Holder/Key Rack ACL 4.6 - 5.8

This project takes several days to complete giving therapists a longer time to observe the patient. The ACL Level Fours will be able to complete the assembly but not the stenciling. The higher Level Fives can be given the directions and allowed to plan the project. This provides a very good assessment in the 5.6 to 5.8 ranges.

CU5 Magazine Rack ACL 4.8 - 5.8

The S&S catalog lists this project as suitable for the ACL levels shown above. The ADM Instruction manual gives the range as 4.4 to 5.8. The project is too complex for 4.6 and below, and 4.8 and 5.0 patients need assistance in assembly sequencing. The project has precut wood pieces, which must be stained, stenciled and glued. The assembly is complex, requiring the patient to plan several steps ahead and to visualize the result.

CU6 Swivel Cassette Holder ACL 4.8 - 5.8

The Swivel Cassette holder project allows persons to solve problems involving sequencing steps, making neuromuscular adjustments, attending to surface and spatial properties and performing fine motor adjustments. The assembly of the project is very complex, as the entire assembly has to be visualized in 3D. Although the project is listed for ACL 4.8 - 5.8, it is best suited for ACL 5.4 and up.

CU12 Secretary Box ACL 4.6 - 5.8

This is a wooden box with a hinged cover. There are several designs to be stenciled on the cover of the box. Stenciling is really a Level Five activity, so if giving this project to Level Fours, the stenciling may be eliminated. The wooden pieces are precut and hinges and screws are provided. The stencils and stencil paints must be ordered separately.

CU13 White Canvas Tote Bag ACL 4.2 - 5.8

CU15 Greeting Cards ACL 4.6 - 5.8

This ADM project doesn’t involve wood, but it does involve stenciling. The project kit includes greeting cards and envelopes. The stencils, paints, and brushes are ordered separately. This is a quick stenciling project that can be taken into the home.



Copyright 2001 Allen Conferences, Inc.
Last modified: February 25, 2000