ity and adaptive functioning. Adaptive behavior measures are useful in the identification of limitations concurrent with an IQ significantly below average. They also have utility in documenting delays or functional limitations consistent with marked impairment in motor development, activities of daily living, communication, social functioning, or personal functioning. These measures also may be validly used, with repeated or periodic administrations, for assessment of changes in status. Generally, however, adaptive behavior measures will be less effective in fine-grained analysis and classification of such problems as specific motor disorders or communication disorders and deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.

SSA guidelines further clarify the intent and nature of activities of daily living and social functioning for adults, and personal functioning for younger and older children, closely paraphrased below:

  • Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, caring appropriately for one’s grooming and hygiene, using telephones and directories, and using a post office, etc. In the context of the individual’s overall situation, the quality of these activities is judged by their independence, appropriateness, and effectiveness. It is necessary to define the extent to which the individual is capable of initiating and participating in activities independent of supervision or direction.

  • The number of activities that are restricted does not represent a “marked” limitation in activities of daily living, but rather the overall degree of restriction or combination of restrictions must be judged.

  • Social functioning refers to an individual’s capacity to interact appropriately and communicate effectively with others. Social functioning includes the ability to get along with others, e.g., family members, friends, neighbors, grocery clerks, landlords, and bus drivers. A history of altercations, evictions, firings, fear of strangers, avoidance of interpersonal relationships, or social isolation may demonstrate impaired social functioning. Strength in social functioning may be docu-



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