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Adaptive Behaviour

Adaptive behaviour is sometimes defined by the extent to which a person is capable of being self-sufficient in real-life situations, including the functional use of communication, socialisation, daily living and motor skills.

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities defines adaptive behaviour as:

'... the collection of conceptional, social, and practical skills that are learned and performed by people in their everyday lives. 

  • Conceptual skills- language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction.
  • Social skills- interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naivete (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized.
  • Practical skills -activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.'

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This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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