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Mental Retardation: Determining Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
of developmental and social history, direct observation of the individual’s behavior, verbal reports from interviews, and the use of the other structured and semistructured interviews. Best-practice guidelines require that clinicians using adaptive behavior measures employ those that are culturally compatible and have suitably contemporary and age-related norms.
Finally, the committee has identified a number of research areas, focusing on which would improve the measurement of adaptive behavior for mental retardation diagnosis. These areas include social-cognitive and social skill assessment—with a specific focus on social cognitive processes of social perception, strategy generation, and consequential thinking—and vocational and work-related skills assessment with prognostic value. In addition, there is a strong need to fund studies examining the nature and distribution of adaptive behavior deficits among individuals with mental retardation in general and those with mild mental retardation more specifically.