Term of Art: Adaptive Skills

adaptive skills: Daily living skills that a person needs to be able to live, work, and play independently. There are 10 skills that are included in this area: communication, self-care, home living, social skills, leisure,, health and safety, self-direction, functional academics, community use, and work.

Adaptive skills are assessed in the person’s typical environment, in all aspects of an individual’s life. A person with limited intellectual functioning but who does not have have limits in adaptive skill areas may not be diagnosed as having mental retardation. By law, such a person is not retarded.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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