Oct 25
A Cognitive Link Allen's Cognitive Levels How to Begin Using ACL Empowering Caregivers: Relevant Lifestype Profiles Caregivers: Drowning in a sea of Cognitive Challenges Delaune Pollard
Delaune Pollard - Allen Cognitive Advisor



To purchase books displayed on this website please go to www.functionalcognition.com.au

www.functionalcogntion is the website of Cathy Hill, who is now handling purchases of the books and the LACLS assessment packages.


This website continues to hold a significant amount of information concerning the books written by Delaune Pollard:

  • Clinical books
    • How to Being Using Allen's Cognitive Levels (2nd edition) - Feb, 2013
    • Allen's Cognitive Levels: Meeting the Challenges of Client Focused Services (2nd edition)
    • Empowering Caregivers: Relevant Lifestyle Profiles (2nd edition)
    • A Cognitive Link: Managing Problematic Behaviour (2nd edition) - Dec, 2013
  • Caregiver books
    • Caregivers Drowning in a Sea of Cognitive Challenges
    • Midlife Challenge: Understanding and Coping with Declinein Thinking and Behaviour

  • Clinical book & 1 LACLS = How to Begin Using Allen’s Cognitive Levels & a Large Allen Cognitive Level (LACLS) Screening Tool Kit
  • 2 X Large Allen Cognitive Level (LACLS) Screening Tool Kits
  • 3 books & 1 CD = How to Begin Using Allen’s Cognitive Levels ( 2nd edition) & Cognitive Link: Managing Problematic Behavior & Empowering Caregivers: Relevant Lifestyle Profiles (2nd edition)

The Allen Cognitive Model, Functional Cognition and the Cognitive Levels

The need to write books for clinicians as well as for general distribution was to inform formal and informal caregivers as to ‘why’ people with deficits in functional cognition behavior the way they do. The starting point for my first book, “Midlife’s Challenge: Understanding and Coping with Decline in Thinking and Behaviour” came about from having to walk a careful path in helping my immediate family members as well as assisting many friends to manage their own relatives or elderly friends. The 2008 book, “Caregiver’s: Drowning in a Sea of Cognitive Challenges” is a greatly expanded version of the first book. This 432 page book weaves scientific knowledge, humanistic stories and practical information into a powerful resource book.

The way in which individuals with deficits in functional cognition are able to make sense of what is going on around them, and how they are able to cope on a day-to-day basis, are described and further developed throughout each book. The different cognitive levels are illustrated in the two books for general distribution and further emphases is placed by the telling of heart wrenching true-to-life stories. These stories are told to guide and assist caregivers to understand the intricacies of the problems that will confront them while caring for individuals with deficits in functional cognition. There are six cognitive levels, five of which are further divided into modes, each having very distinct observable patterns of behavior/performance. A difference in the performance level of one mode can make a huge difference as to how an individual with deficits in functional cognition is able to make sense of what is happening around them. This includes how they can satisfactorily manage their own needs with social assistance from their caregiver.

The functional cognition approach is significantly different from the traditional neuropsychological approach. As early as 1965, Allen recognized there were underlying cognitive processes, including the ability to recognize an object and begin a task with a goal in mind. In the model she developed, Allen describes the concept of functional cognition as a measure of “global cognitive function” based on “global cognitive abilities.” This is a very different approach from the focal neurological deficit model.

The theory behind functional cognition is concerned with how people learn and what happens to learning when disease processes and injury to the brain cause global cognitive restrictions. When global cognitive restrictions occur, the ability of an individual to pay attention to environmental cues is reduced. In 2006, Earhart stated, an individual’s functional behaviors are guided by the degree to which they are able to use cues in their environment.” Therefore, if individuals are not able to use cues their ability to learn is reduced; or what can be learnt may become distorted information. This means these individuals are not able to make judgments which involve being able to use complex visual cues, e.g. undulations in the surface of a road or the depth of water in a saucepan. If individuals cannot recognise and react to cues, they are not able to interpret what they are seeing and, hence, it puts them at risk of injury and/or unexpected secondary consequences. If an individual wants and needs to remember something new, but cannot functionally focus on sensory information in their environment then new learning cannot occur.