Evaluation of Behavioral/Adaptive Functioning

  • Glen P. Aylward
Part of the Critical Issues in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics book series (CIDB)


Behavioral/adaptive function is another area that should be considered in the evaluation of a child with suspected developmental delay. The American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) defines adaptive behavior as “the effectiveness with which the individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility”1 (p. 1). Adaptive behavior is both age and culture specific and typically includes independent functioning, social responsibility, and cognitive development.1 Sensori-motor, communication, and self-help skills are measured in the preschool period. At older ages, practical application of academic skills and appropriate interpersonal function can be assessed. Public Law 94–142 and the AAMD both stipulate that deficits in adaptive behavior and intelligence must be substantiated before an individual is classified as “mentally retarded.” A more comprehensive overview of adaptive behavior can be found in a 1987 special issue of the Journal of Special Education.2


Adaptive Behavior Adaptive Functioning Mental Deficiency Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales3 Vineland Adaptive Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen P. Aylward
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois University School of MedicineSpringfieldUSA

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