definition of social skills, including (1) the perception of others in the workplace, especially employers, (2) the goals and perceptions of the target individual, and (3) performance of social behaviors in natural contexts. Perceptions of others are typically measured by sociometric ratings and behavior rating scales. The Social Skills Rating System, described below, is a behavior rating scale that was developed to provide this information for students. Sociometric ratings provide useful information but are impractical for diagnostic purposes, and the use of nonstandardized rating forms is not recommended for diagnosis of significant limitations in social skills. Direct measures from target individuals involve presenting them with hypothetical situations and conducting direct observations. It is unclear whether individuals with low-normal intelligence or mild mental retardation would be able to respond reliably to hypothetical situations.

The Social Skills Rating Scales (SSRS—Gresham & Elliott, 1987) is probably the best measure available of social skills adaptation in the school context. Although developed for school-age children, this scale may hold promise for adapted use with adults in work settings. In addition to rating skill performance, raters also specify whether each skill is critical to success in the environment in which the child is observed, i.e., school or classroom.

Table 4-1 shows the principal available adaptive behavior measures that are comprehensive in nature and their characterstics, including age range for use, age range of norm groups, date of publication, available versions, examiner requirements, appropriate scores for use in determining presence of adaptive behavior limitations, and assessed reliability of scores.


Relation of Principal Adaptive Behavior Scale Content to SSA Criteria

In Chapter 1 we provided the details of SSA’s criteria for a disability determination of mental retardation in terms of both mental capac-

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