Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales

Dealing with autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autism) means dealing with constant observation, early interventions, and countless forms of screening and diagnostic processes, to confirm diagnosis as well as help in planning different interventions needed to help enhance a child’s way of life and prepare for his future. Among the different screening and diagnostic forms is the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS).

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales – Second edition

Sara S. Sparrow, Domenic V. Cicchetti, and David A. Balla developed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, 2nd edition (VABS-II) in 2005. It is a useful tool in the diagnosis of autism and other mental disorders such as mental retardation and Rett’s disorder. It is a diagnostic tool that will help measure the capabilities of both children and adults in dealing with everyday life (i.e., communication skills, motor skills, functionalities needed in everyday life, and socialization). VABS-II can be completed in 20–60 minutes, depending on what format is being used during the actual evaluation.

VABS-II uses four different formats:

    • Teacher Rating Format (TFR) – Teachers commonly use this format in a school setting to identify what specific adaptive behavior a child is presenting while in class. It is a checklist that applies to individuals whose ages range from 3 to 22.
  • Survey form – This form is the most commonly used of all formats. It is an extensive interview form that covers developmental skills in five domains, namely:
  1.  Communication
  2.  Daily living skills
  3. Socialization
  4. Motor skills
  5. Maladaptive behavior  (This domain is optional.)
  • Expanded form – This is a more comprehensive format than the survey format. It is intended to get information about skill disabilities listed in the survey format.
  • Parent or caregiver form – This format can be administered to practically all ages, 0–90.

Five Domains of VABS-II Survey Form

  • Communication – This is comprised of a checklist that covers receptive, expressive, and written communication characteristics.
  • Daily living – This covers personal, domestic, and community skills
  • Socialization – This measures impairments that are particularly associated with autism such as interpersonal relationships, play and leisure time, and coping skills.
  • Motor skills – This covers characteristics of both gross and fine functions.
  • Maladaptive behavior – This consists of internalizing, externalizing, and others. This domain is optional.

VABS-II is a tool that can qualify children with autism for school services and insurance coverage, still depending on insurance policy.


Dulcan, M.K. (2010). Dulcan’s Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

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