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Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Third Edition (ABAS-3)

By Patti Harrison, PhD, Thomas Oakland, PhD

  • Benefits: Provides a complete assessment of adaptive skills across the life span
  • Ages: Birth to 89 years Admin Time 15 to 20 minutes
  • Format: Behavior rating scale typically completed by parent, caregiver, and/or teacher; self-rating option for adults
  • Scores: For the 11 skill areas assessed—norm-referenced scaled scores. For the 3 adaptive domains and the General Adaptive Composite (GAC)—norm-referenced standard scores, confidence intervals for standard scores, and percentile ranks. In addition, all scores can be categorized descriptively

Beyond Measure

The ABAS-3 combines all-new norms with updated item content to create the leading adaptive skills assessment. Retaining all features that made the second edition the preferred instrument for evaluating adaptive behavior, the ABAS-3 is even easier to administer and score. Comprehensive, convenient, and cost-effective, this behavior rating scale measures daily living skills—what people actually do, or can do, without assistance from others. It is particularly useful for evaluating those with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, neuropsychological disorders, and sensory or physical impairments.

Multiple Raters, Different Perspectives

The ABAS-3 includes five rating forms, each for a specific age range and rater:

  • Parent/Primary Caregiver Form (Ages 0–5)
  • Teacher/Daycare Provider Form (Ages 2–5)
  • Parent Form (Ages 5–21)
  • Teacher Form (Ages 5–21)
  • Adult Form (Ages 16–89)

Parents, family members, teachers, daycare staff, supervisors, counselors, or others who are familiar with the daily activities of the individual being evaluated can complete these forms. In addition, the Adult Form can be administered as a self-report. The items may be read aloud to raters who have low sight or reading skills.

Although it’s possible to evaluate adaptive skills using only a single rater, gathering ratings from several people will provide a more complete assessment. Multiple ratings show how the individual performs in various settings. When different forms are used by different raters to evaluate an individual’s adaptive skills, a comparative report can be generated to show areas that warrant further attention.

Skills and Domains Consistent with AAIDD, DSM-5, IDEA, and RTI Guidelines

The ABAS-3 covers three broad adaptive domains: Conceptual, Social, and Practical. Within these domains, it assesses 11 adaptive skill areas (each form assesses 9 or 10 skill areas based on age range). Items focus on practical, everyday activities required to function, meet environmental demands, care for oneself, and interact with others effectively and independently. On a four-point response scale, raters indicate whether the individual can perform each activity, and if so, how frequently they perform it when needed.

The ABAS-3 is aligned with the AAIDD, DSM-5, and IDEA specifications, and works well within an RTI context. It generates norm-referenced scaled scores and test-age equivalents for the 11 skill areas. It also provides standard scores, confidence intervals, and percentile ranks for the three broad adaptive domains and the summary score—the General Adaptive Composite. In addition, all scores can be categorized descriptively (Extremely Low, Low, Below Average, Average, Above Average, High).

Now Available in Three Formats: Online, Software, and Print

The WPS® Online Evaluation System™ offers convenient ABAS-3 administration, scoring, and intervention planning. Online testing allows clinicians to:

  • Administer all forms remotely or in-person
  • Check the status of an administration at any time
  • Score and report automatically
  • Create customized intervention plans
  • Easily monitor an individual’s progress over time
  • Quickly compare two raters’ scores

In addition to online evaluation, the ABAS-3 can also be administered using paper-and-pencil forms that have been redesigned and are even easier to use than preceding editions of the ABAS. Scoring is quick, by hand or using desktop software. The Unlimited-Use Scoring Assistant and Intervention Planner Software generates a narrative interpretation of all scores, strengths and needs analysis, composite score discrepancy analysis, and more.

Beyond Measure: Create Effective Intervention Plans Based on ABAS-3 Results

Create and achieve therapeutic goals with the ABAS-3 Intervention Planner™. Available in three formats—online, software, and print—it allows users to create a customized therapy plan based on adaptive skill area deficits identified by the ABAS-3. The Intervention Planner offers:

  • Simple, straightforward intervention activities for each ABAS-3 item across all forms
  • Developmentally appropriate strategies to help improve functioning at home, school, work, and in the community
  • Versatile activities that can be used with an individual, a small group, or in the classroom
  • Suggestions for guiding teacher and family involvement in intervention programs
  • Progress Monitoring Report for online and software formats

The Intervention Planner is included in all ABAS-3 kits and may be purchased separately in print.

Inform Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Measuring adaptive skills is important whenever a disorder or other condition affects daily functioning. Whether trying to identify the best learning environment for a child or ensure that an older person can live independently, the ABAS-3 provides the information needed to make appropriate clinical decisions and design effective intervention. Its applications are almost endless.

No matter the setting, the age of the individual, or the nature of his or her limitations, the ABAS-3 can help clinicians:

  • Assess adaptive skills
  • Diagnose and classify disabilities and disorders
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Document and monitor progress over time
  • Develop treatment plans and training goals
  • Determine eligibility for services and disability benefits
  • Evaluate capability to live or work independently

This versatile instrument lets clinicians gather information from several raters in different settings to obtain a broad view of an individual’s functional skills. And because the ABAS-3 conforms to AAIDD, DSM-5, IDEA, and RTI specifications, you can use it with confidence.

ABAS-3 Comprehensive Print Kit
Includes 5 Print Parent/Primary Caregiver Forms; 5 Print Teacher/Daycare Provider Forms; 5 Print Parent Forms; 5 Print Teacher Forms; 5 Print Adult Forms; Print Manual; Print Intervention Planner

ABAS-3 Comprehensive Software Kit
Includes 5 Print Parent/Primary Caregiver Forms; 5 Print Teacher/Daycare Provider Forms; 5 Print Parent Forms; 5 Print Teacher Forms; 5 Print Adult Forms; Print Manual; Unlimited-Use Scoring Assistant and Intervention Planner Software (CD and USB Key). Requires Windows 8, 7, or Vista.

ABAS-3 Comprehensive Online Kit
Includes 5 Online Form Uses for each of the following: Parent/Primary Caregiver, Teacher/Daycare Provider, Parent, Teacher, Adult (Rated by Others), and Adult (Self-Report); Online Manual; Online Intervention Planner. For use on the WPS Online Evaluation System Registration required. Upon purchase an online activation code including instructions will be emailed to you.

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