ALERTS
Adaptive Behavior

Adaptive Behavior Assessment

What is Adaptive Behavior? Simply put, adaptive behaviors are the things that people need to do to function in their everyday lives. These important everyday behaviors can be grouped into the broad areas of communication, practical daily living skills, and relating to other people. The specific adaptive behaviors that are needed change as a child grows older and depends less on the help of others, but at every age, certain behaviors and skills are expected in the home, school, and community. An adaptive behavior measure is a specific comprehensive assessment of independent living skills.
Why Test Adaptive Behavior?


Learning about your child's adaptive behaviors and skills is part of a process that can help in planning for your child’s education and for any special needs at home or in school. If it is suspected that your child has an intellectual disability, an adaptive behavior assessment must be completed. The information gathered through an adaptive behavior assessment is used along with other assessment information so that determination of a disability can be determined. As part of this process, you will be asked questions about your child’s adaptive behavior skills. You are an important person in the evaluation process.

The adaptive behavior assessment also helps identify specific skills that need to be taught to your child. Acquisition of adaptive behavior skills can impact a person’s daily life and affect his or her ability to respond to particular situations or to the environment. Adaptive behavior skills are as important to a student’s success as are academic skills. A closer look at your child’s adaptive behavior skills will determine if recommendations to an individualized educational plan should be developed that will help to strengthen those skills.

About The Test


To determine the level of your child's adaptive behavior, someone who knows that child well (usually a parent, caregiver, or teacher) is asked to describe his/her daily activities. Adaptive behavior can be assessed either formally (with a standardized instrument) or informally with you (parent) and teacher(s), if applicable. The level of those activities is compared with that of other children the same age. This allows us to find out the areas in which your child is performing as well as others his/her age, as well as any areas in which your child is not doing as well and therefore needs help. Whereas ability measures focus on what your child can do in a testing situation, the adaptive behavior measure focuses on what your child actually does in daily life. When using a norm-based (standardized) instrument, your child’s adaptive functioning is compared to that of others his or her age. Assessing for adaptive behavior is necessary if you are suspecting an intellectual disability.

After submitting the pre-assessment intake form, I will contact you by phone for your child's pre-assessment interview consultation. There is no cost for this consultation and together we will determine the best course of action for your child, based on the information you provided on the intake form and what we discuss on the phone. If you choose to proceed with testing, we will schedule a day and time for testing to take place at your residence.

Adaptive Behavior Testing FAQ's


How long will this portion of the test take?

It is recommended that if a formal evaluation is needed, that an in-person interview is conducted (approximately one to two hours). However, if this is difficult due to your work schedule then an adaptive behavior interview can be conducted over the phone or a questionnaire/rating scale can be taken home for you to complete on your own time. However, it must be noted that precise information is required in order for valid results to be obtained.
Will you be writing an intervention plan for my child?

Recommendations will be given within the report which can be implemented at home or at school. It is highly suggested that you provide this information to your child’s school before an IEP meeting is held (if your child is already in special education). In this way, your child’s school can implement or at least consider the recommendations listed.
Can you tell me if my child has something other than LD or ID, what about ADHD or Autism?

In order to diagnose ADHD or Autism, a psychological assessment conducted by a Licensed Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Neurologist, and/or Pediatrician is needed. Within the school setting, the diagnostician is part of the comprehensive evaluation team but alone does not make these diagnoses.
Are the forms only in English?

If Spanish is preferred, Spanish scales can be sent home for you to complete.