Real-Life Example of ABAS-3 Used to Evaluate Adaptive Skills of Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

May 23, 2018 by

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects both communication and behavior. While the diagnosis can happen at any age, symptoms usually appear during the first two years of life.

People with ASD have difficulty communicating and interacting with others, they exhibit restricted interests or repetitive behaviors, and the symptoms interfere with their ability to function at school, work, or home.

Severity and type of symptoms vary widely among the people who have ASD, but the disorder occurs across all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. While it is a lifelong disorder, specific treatments and services help improve symptoms and the ability to function.

A Real-Life Example

The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, or ABAS-3, can be used to assess adaptive behavior and cognitive, language, and motor development in those with ASD. For instance, there’s Mary, a three-year-old who was diagnosed with ASD at age two who now attends the Community Autism Center.

Both her mother and her teacher used the ABAS-3 to reevaluate Mary based on her differing behavior at home and the community center. At the community center, Mary’s behavior shows marked improvement in the past six months, following the implementation of a treatment plan determined after her first assessment and diagnosis.

Mary also exhibits parallel play at the community center, showing that she is developing more advanced social skills. However, at home, Mary shows minimal awareness of danger. She climbs on top of the TV, and when told no, she throws fits, runs, kicks, hits, and bangs her head against the wall.

Both Mary’s mother and Mary’s teacher achieved similar results on the ABAS-3 parent and teacher forms. Mary’s strengths lie in her functional pre-academic and motor adaptive skills, but she exhibits significant weakness in adaptive functioning and other skill areas.

Based on Mary’s assessment, both her mother and her teacher agree that they need to establish intervention programs to focus on developing more control over her behavior at home. Because the community center implemented behavior management principles, Mary showed marked improvement.

Mary’s mother agrees to learn the behavior management principles needed to work on a program with Mary at home. She worked in conjunction with Mary’s teacher to determine the adaptive skills necessary to improve Mary’s behavior.

At school, Mary’s teacher will encourage connections between Mary and other high-performing children to develop strengths in relationship building. This should encourage Mary to play with other children by trying different activities. Mary’s mother also plans to involve Mary’s older sibling in more social interaction at home.

Using the ABAS-3 to Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder

Based on the results of the ABAS-3 recorded by both Mary’s mother and her teacher, they were able to collaborate on a treatment plan for Mary’s benefit at both home and school. By participating in the assessment together and fostering open lines of communication, they should see an increase in Mary’s continued improvement in all environments.

You can find out more about the (ABAS-3) Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Third Edition online at WPS, which provides resources to both professionals and researchers who need to evaluate and assess developmental delays and disorders in children and adults of all ages.

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