As described on the AAIDD web page:
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:
- Conceptual skills: literacy; self-direction; and concepts of number, money, and time
- Social skills: interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, following rules, obeying laws, and avoiding being victimized
- Practical skills: activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, use of money, safety, health care, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, and use of the telephone
Unfortunately, for current Atkins MR death penalty cases, the norms only cover the ages 4 to 21 years of age.
I have a personal interest in the fact that the DABS is now organized as per Stephen Greenspan's model of personal competence that includes the domains of conceptual, social and practical skills. Why is this of interest to me. Not to brag...but I believe I was the first person to published an empirical study that directly tested the construct validity of Greenspan model...in fact...it was my 1989 doctoral dissertation! It eventually resulted in the following journal article. I can't locate PDF copy via my universities library but intend to dig into the bowels of my file cabinets in my basement, locate a copy, and then scan and post.
- McGrew, K., & Bruininks, R. (1990). Defining adaptive and maladaptive behavior within a model of personal competence. School Psychology Review, 19, 53-73.