Adaptive behaviour is a collection of conceptual, social and practical skills that have been learned in order to function relatively independently in everyday life.
Conceptual skills include using and understanding language, reading and writing, maths concepts and self-direction. Social skill includes skills in establishing friendship, interacting with others, social reasoning and comprehension, self-esteem, and avoiding being victimized. While practical skills include activities of daily living such as food preparation, self-care such as bathing and dressing, occupational skills, monetary transactions, scheduling, maintaining routines, and the use of technology. Two of the most widely used measures of adaptive behaviour include the Adaptive Behavioural Assessment System (ABAS) and Vinelands Adaptive Behaviour Scales.
Adaptive Behavioural Assessment System – Third Edition (ABAS-3)
The ABAS provides a complete assessment of adaptive behaviour skills across the lifespan. It was designed for diagnosing and classifying disabilities and disorders, determining strengths and weaknesses, and monitoring change over time. The questionnaire can be completed by a parent or caregiver, teacher, support worker, or by the individual. Raters indicate whether, and how frequently, the individual performs each activity. The questionnaire generally takes between 15-20 minutes to complete.
The ABAS-3 can be used with a range of different individuals with varying levels of capability:
- Learning difficulties
- Motor disorders
- Speech and language disorders
- Hearing disorders
- Neuropsychological disorders
- The ABAS-3 is used in the following ways:
- Assess adaptive skills
- Assist in diagnosis of developmental, learning, and behavioural disabilities and disorders
- Identify areas of strength and weakness
- Develop treatment plans and training goals
- Determine eligibility for disability supports and payments
- Offer guidance on whether a person may be able to live independently
- Facilitate research and evaluation
Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (Vineland-3)
The Vineland is a psychological measurement tool which is designed to support the diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The measure corresponds with nationally recognised difficulties for people with an intellectual impairment. It is also designed to meet a range of administration needs:
- Data collection can be completed through a formal interview, parent / caregiver, or teacher,
- There are more comprehensive and also abbreviated versions,
- Focuses on an individual’s ability to perform across five distinct domains:
- Daily living skills,
- Motor Skills, and
- Maladaptive behaviour.
- Most importantly, the information obtained from an adaptive measure may then be used to inform interventions.
Adaptive behaviour is best understood as someone’s ability to function within their environment, meet cultural expectations, and their social responsibilities across the lifespan. If you or someone you know may benefit from finding out more about adaptive behaviour measures, then Vision and M1 Psychology has clinicians who are able to provide assistance.
Authors: Vision Psychology and Dr Megan Broughton
- American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2016
- Pearson Clinical Assessments: https://www.pearsonclinical.com.au/