Adaptive behavior includes those skills necessary for personal independence and social responsibility. The criteria for evaluating adaptive behavior vary according to age because those skills expected and needed to be independent and responsible develop as an individual grows. As noted by Sattler (2002), adaptive behavior is most commonly evaluated only when there are questions about an individual's overall functioning and skills. Specifically, adaptive behavior is included as one of the areas requiring documentation for a diagnosis of mental retardation. There are two major diagnostic definitions of mental retardation; both of these include deficits in adaptive behavior as a required component for diagnosis of mental retardation. In addition, cognitive deficits must be present for a diagnosis of mental retardation.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ...

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