Adaptive behavior refers to a group of basic skills that people must master in order to function and survive. These skills are conceptual, social, and practical skills used in daily life. Assessment of adaptive behavior skills is necessary as a component of the diagnosis or classification for having an intellectual disability.

People with an intellectual disability typically have significant deficits in their conceptual, social, and/or practical skills. These deficits can prevent them from being fully independent. Adaptive behavior measures can be used to help determine the level of impairment. This entry first looks at how the criteria for diagnosing intellectual disabilities have changed and now include deficits in adaptive functioning. It then describes the two main rating scales used to assess adaptive behavior skills, the Adaptive ...

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