10aug8:30 am- 2:30 pmA Look Ahead ConferenceTransition Starts at Diagnosis Qtrly Conference


14dec10:00 am- 12:00 pmFEAT Family Holiday Fun DayTransition Starts at Diagnosis Qtrly Conference


6feb - 7feb 68:00 amfeb 7DFW Autism Conferencea two day autism conference with over 30 presentations



Essential for Living was born from a desire to provide children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities, including but not limited to autism, a comprehensive life skills curriculum with social validity, along with evidence-based teaching and measurement strategies and procedures, that result in the dignity and quality of life these children and adults deserve.

Many children with named developmental disabilities, like Down syndrome, Tay Sachs syndrome, Angelman syndrome, or Microcephaly, and unnamed pervasive, intellectual or developmental disabilities also experience the difficulties previously described. In recent years, some of these children have also been ‘diagnosed’ with [i.e., categorized as having] autism. Regardless of age or history of instruction, neither curricular references to typical development nor expectations for these children that include ‘catching up’ to their typically-developing peers are reasonable or appropriate. Expectations consistent with safe, effective, and high-quality participation in family, school, and community living should be embraced, and ‘life skills’ and Essential for Living should guide instruction and habilitation.
Essential for Living includes over three thousand skills sorted into domains on communication, language, daily living, social, functional academic, and tolerating skills, along with a domain on severe problem behavior, which encompass the core components of autism and many other developmental disabilities.

Skills within these domains are sequenced from must-have, to should-have, to good-to-have, to nice-to-have, ‘referenced against’ safe, effective, and high-quality participation in family, school, and community living.
The must-have skills are also called the Essential Eight:
1- Making requests for access to highly preferred items and activities and for the removal or reduction in intensity of specific situations,
2- Waiting after making requests,
3- Accepting removals — the removal of preferred items and activities, making transitions, sharing, and taking turns,
4- Completing brief, previously acquired tasks,
5- Accepting ‘No’,
6- Following directions related to health and safety,
7- Completing daily living skills related to health and safety, and
8- Tolerating situations related to health and safety

Patrick McGreevy,Ph.D.,BCBA-D

Dr. McGreevy received B.S. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and Special Education, respectively, from the University of Iowa. He was a special education teacher for eight years, working with children and young adults with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities. He
received the Ph.D. degree in Education from Kansas University under the guidance of Ogden R. Lindsley. Dr. McGreevy served on the Special Education faculties of the University of Missouri, Kansas City and Louisiana State University. He also served on the faculty of the Behavior Analysis Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He is the author of Teaching and Learning in Plain English, an introduction to Precision Teaching, and the founder of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Standard Celeration Charting. He is also the author of ten journal articles and a book chapter on teaching verbal behavior. He is the first author of Essential for Living, a new functional skills curriculum, assessment, and professional practitioner’s handbook for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities. For the past 30 years, Dr. McGreevy has provided consultations for children and adults with developmental disabilities in school districts, residential programs, and hospitals, specializing in the treatment of aggressive and self-injurious behavior in individuals with limited communication or language skills. Under the guidance of Dr. Jack Michael, Dr. McGreevy has also conducted workshops on teaching communication skills and language in the context of severeproblem behavior, which are based on B. F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior.



With Essential for Livingmost of these children and adults can learn to function as speakers and can acquire a repertoire of speaking, listening, functional academic, social, daily living, and tolerating skills filled with meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. 

These repertoires may include…

  • ‘expressing preferences for specific items, activities, and people’
  • ‘making a request for a cookie (biscuit) or a cracker’
  • ‘tolerating a corner chair and a sidelyer’
  • ‘walking with an instructor or care provider when directed to do so’
  • ‘turning on the cold water before the hot’
  • ‘stopping and turning around when your name is called’
  • ‘walking past a knife without picking it up’
  • ‘making a request for ice cream with chocolate syrup’
  • ‘sharing and taking turns with preferred items and activities’
  • ‘following a picture schedule’
  • ‘tolerating changes in that schedule’
  • ‘retrieving an item when requested to do so’
  • ‘making a request for chips (crisps) from a peer’
  • ‘indicating that they do not understand what someone said’
  • ‘naming items and activities that are part of breakfast’
  • ‘answering questions related to breakfast, before, during, and after breakfast’
  • ‘retrieving items in the grocery store from a shopping list’
  • ‘asking a friend about the location of their red socks with the blue stripes’
  • ‘using a debit card to make a purchase’
  • ‘taking their own medication with a minder’
  • ‘answering questions related to many previous or upcoming events’
  • ‘reading words on signs, to do lists, shopping lists, or menus’
  • ‘describing a headache or stomach discomfort’
  • ‘texting brief messages’.

Conference Schedule

Each Day (6 CE Hours)



8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 12:00  Presentation
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch Break

(15 minutes in break time at speaker discretion)

Total of 3 Hours of CEs


1:30 – 4:00 Presentation

(15 minutes in break time at speaker discretion)

Total of 3 Hours of CEs

12 CE Hours for Both Days