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AAIDD Launches New Diagnostic Tool

March 1, 2018: Washington, DC

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is proud to announce the launch of the Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale™ (DABS), an assessment tool for use in the diagnosis of intellectual disability. The DABS is used with children and youth between the ages of 4 and 21 to determine whether they meet the second of three criteria for a diagnosis of intellectual disability, that is, significant limitations in adaptive behavior (conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills). The DABS is a norm-referenced instrument that uses data obtained from an interview with a respondent who knows the child or youth well.

Information about the DABS, including links to user’s manual, interview forms, and online scoring platform is available at www.aaidd.org/dabs.

The DABS is unique in the testing world in its features that support the precision, accuracy, validity, and credibility in making a diagnosis of intellectual disability, including:

  • Measures some aspects of adaptive behavior that are not currently measured by other standardized instruments, including naiveté, gullibility, and technology-based skills.
  • Designed using item response theory (IRT) and reliably measures individual performance levels across the continuum of adaptive skills and ages.
  • Provides precise information to assist diagnosticians in determining significant limitations in adaptive behavior.

The authors of the DABS are: Marc J. Tassé, Robert L. Schalock, Giulia Balboni, Henry (Hank) Bersani, Jr., Sharon A. Borthwick-Duffy, Scott Spreat, David Thissen, Keith F. Widaman, and Dalun Zhang.

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Founded in 1876, AAIDD is the oldest professional association concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more about the organization at www.aaidd.org.