AAIDD’s new Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale (DABS) scheduled to be released in 2013 provides a comprehensive standardized assessment of adaptive behavior. Designed for use with individuals from 4 to 21 years old, DABS provides precise diagnostic information around the cutoff point where an individual is deemed to have “significant limitations” in adaptive behavior. The presence of such limitations is one of the measures of intellectual disability.
Adaptive behavior is the collection of conceptual, social, and practical skills that all people learn in order to function in their daily lives. DABS measures these three domains:
The DABS focuses on the critical ‘cut-off area’ for the purpose of ruling in or ruling out a diagnosis of intellectual disability or related developmental disability. Professionals likely to use it include school psychologists, forensic psychologists, clinical psychologists, psychometricians, social workers, occupational therapists, and pediatricians, as well as officials in disability-related government agencies.
The purpose of establishing a diagnosis of intellectual disability is to determine eligibility for: