What Is The Example Of Adaptive Behavior? | OptimistMinds (2023)

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What Is The Example Of Adaptive Behavior? | OptimistMinds (1)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question, “what is an example of adaptive behavior? “and provide an insight into the importance of teaching adaptive behavior.

Adaptive behaviors are real life skills that are age appropriate. They include activities like walking, talking, bathing, feeding, dressing and the like.

These are an assortment of social, conceptual and practical skills and expertise encompassing activities of daily living.

These activities are learnt by individuals naturally at a steady pace and enables them to function in day to day life.

Adaptive skills are one of the diagnostic criteria for diagnosing developmental and intellectual delays or disabilities.

There are people who are born in a special way. They are differently abled. These differently abled people have varying abilities that unfold at a different pace.

The differently abled include people who have physical challenges and those who are intellectually challenged.

These special people suffer from challenges that hinder their abilities to perform tasks of daily living that are age appropriate.

Therefore, the tasks that casually seem easy for others are hard to achieve for these people. They require constant repetitions and a lot of patient teaching.

Adaptive development is the capability of a child related to life skills that are age appropriate.

These kinds of skills are self-care skills, community living and self-sufficiency, personal accountability, and social skills.

At every age there are skills appropriate for that age.

If a child is unable to meet the milestones for the specific age-related skill, then it is diagnosed that the child may be suffering from developmental delays.

What may be an appropriate skill at age 3 years will be very different from what might be considered optimal at 6 years of age.

(Video) Adaptive vs. Maladaptive Behaviors

So, feeding oneself with one’s fingers may be appropriate as a toddler, when at age 5 years, a child should be using a spoon for that same food.

Adaptive development studies how a child is moving through the stages of skill development and whether that child needs assistance to stay up with their peers or meet their personal best outcomes.

Skill Sets of Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning comprises 3 skill sets. These skill sets are divided according to the domains that enable us to live safely and responsibly.

1. Conceptual Skills

These include reading, numbers, time concept and money management and Communication skills.

These skills give a basic understanding and the ability to deal with important life functions as dealing with skills that will enable the child or the person to adapt to and become a part of his surroundings.

Conceptual learning is important for the transfer of knowledge regarding direction, location, position, number, quantity, sequence, attributes, dimension, size, similarities and differences.

This enables the person or the child to understand his position relative to others and objects around him.

2. Social Skills

These skills aid in getting along with people around us.

They are integral for us to follow social norms, customs, traditions and the law of the society in which we live.

It is the society and others around us from whom we get our motivation from as well as our inspiration.

3. Practical Skills

These skills include all activities of daily living, including feeding, bathing, dressing, occupational and navigational skills.

These are important for the child to learn to be able to live an independent life.

Examples of Adaptive Behavior

Adaptive behaviors are real-life skills. Following are examples of adaptive behaviors.

1. Grooming

2. Toileting

3. Getting dressed

4. Feeding

(Video) Adaptive Behavior

5. Avoiding danger

6. Food handling

7. Following school rules

8. Managing money

9. Cleaning

10. Making friends

Teaching how to clean oneself, brush hair and teeth, wear clean clothes and make one’s presence neat and presentable.

The special kids have to be taught how to groom themselves and get ready for school and also get ready for daily activities.

Toileting skills are very crucial and an integral part of teaching independent skills to children.

All children need to learn how to use the toilet and maintain personal hygiene.

For the differently abled this phase in life has to be taught with utmost care and constant supervision, till its learnt.

It is one of the most crucial adaptive skills to be learnt to gain independence.

Wearing clothes independently and knowing when to change as well is vital for the child to learn, so that he/she may learn to get dressed for the day and especially for going to school.

The special kids will learn these adaptive skills with varying degrees of precision.

Each child has a capacity that differs from the other, and it is this capacity that differs him from the other.

Children who are born with developmental delays and one or another kind of disability are the ones who require early intervention to teach them adaptive behaviors.

These children will unfold their pace to learn at different age levels. A child may learn to hold a spoon for self-eating at age 3 and another might hold it when he is 5 years old.

Diagnosing Adaptive Behavior

(Video) Adaptive Leader Behaviors

There are two diagnostic criteria that determine if a child has intellectual challenges or not.

One is the extent of his intellectual challenge which can be determined by testing his IQ.

The other is adaptive functioning. If there are delays in the child’s milestones then testing these two will enable the specialist to determine how much challenge the child has and an intervention plan can be plotted.

There are various tests that can determine the level of the adaptation of the child.

These are as follows: –

a) Woodcock-Johnson Scales of Independent Behavior:

Independent behavior in children is measured through this test.

b) Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS):

This test measures the social skills of people from birth to 19 years of age. The test comprises four domains, namely communication, daily living skills, socialization, motor skills.

During the test administration, parents or caregivers and not directly on children.

c) The Diagnostic Adaptive Behavior Scale (AAIDD, 2013): This test measures adaptive behavioral skills.

Techniques Used to Facilitate Adaptive Behavior

Occupational Therapy

The basic goal of Occupational Therapy is to improve functional independence.

The children who are born with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities require facilitation to enable them to perform tasks of daily living.

Activities like tying shoe laces, zipping and unzipping, gripping for holding objects and gripping for writing, walking and running to name a few.

These skills fall under the domains of fine motor skills and gross motor skills.

  • It is important to learn adaptive skills like fine motor skills so they can grasp and release items or things and develop good handwriting or computer skills.
  • Occupational therapy also improves eye–hand coordination so plays and school skills such as copying from a blackboard and playing games or sports can be accomplished.
  • Learning basic life skills such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and self-feeding.
  • Cognitive and emotional development are also a part of adaptive behavior learning, where constructive behaviors and social skills are taught so that anger and frustration can be managed.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication disorders and problems related to speech.

It helps to enhance communication and also deals with problems in receptive language.

Adaptive behavior requires the child to communicate his needs to the caregiver and for the caregiver to understand what the child wants.

(Video) Adaptive value of behavioral traits | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy

Adaptive behavior of a person may not be directly dependent on speech, but if facilitation is provided then skill acquisition and daily living becomes conducive.

In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “what is an example of adaptive behavior? “and provided an insight into the importance of teaching adaptive behavior.

Adaptive behavior skills are a cluster of those skills that are required for the daily living conceptual and practical living of the child so that he becomes an independent functioning entity of the society.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some adaptive skills?

The Adaptive skills are areas that encompass Self-Care, Communication Skills, Self-Direction.

2. What is adaptive behavior in psychology?

Adaptive behavior in psychology means activities or behaviors that help to ensure actions, skills, and behaviors that should be developed to perform basic skills.

3. What is an adaptive behavior classroom?

Adaptive Behavior classroom is structured classroom setting that is designed for those students who are suffering from emotional and behavioral challenges.

4. What is an adaptive person?

An adaptive person is a person who is flexible and is willing to adopt according to the situation they are in.

5. What is adaptive behavior assessment?

The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, is a standardized assessment tool that is used to assess the functional skills essential for daily living of individuals between the ages of 0 to 89 years.

Titles to Read

  1. Essentials of Adaptive Behavior Assessment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Essentials of Psychological Assessment) by Celine A. Saulnier and Cheryl Klaiman
  2. Social Skills and Adaptive Behavior in Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Peter Gerhardt Ed.D and Daniel Crimmins Ph.D.
  3. Occupational Therapy Activities for Kids: 100 Fun Games and Exercises to Build Skills by Heather Ajzenman OTD OTR/L HPCS
  4. My Day Is Ruined!: A Story Teaching Flexible Thinking (Executive Function) by Bryan Smith and Lisa Griffin


  • www.gracepointwellness.org
  • www.verywellmind.com
  • www.kvtc.org.uk

(Video) Adaptive Behavior SUCCESS!

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What is an adaptive response in behavior? ›

Adaptive behavior is behavior that responds appropriately to environmental stimuli.

What is an adaptive behavior in animals? ›

Social Behavior is Adaptive

Many social behaviors of animals are adaptive, meaning that being social ultimately increases an animal's fitness — its lifetime reproductive success. One example of how social behavior is adaptive is aggregation against predators.

What are adaptive behavior in adults? ›

Adaptive behavior reflects an individual competences needed in daily life activities, which allow to meet the demands of everyday life [5-8].

What is an example of an adaptive behavior for reproduction? ›

There are many environmental examples of sexual selection as an adaptive behavior; one popular example is sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism is a morphological, phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. A common example of sexual dimorphism is difference in body size.

What are examples of adaptive behavior assessments? ›

Here are some of the behavior assessments that are commonly used.
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. ...
  • Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales. ...
  • Vanderbilt Assessment Scales. ...
  • Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) ...
  • Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist. ...
  • Barkley Home and School Situations Questionnaires.

What are adaptive activities? ›

Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational sports for people with disabilities. Adaptive sports often run parallel to typical sport activities.

What is the difference between behavior and adaptive behavior? ›

Adaptive behavior is behavior that is positive and functional to the individual. It allows the individual to relieve anxiety. However, a maladaptive behavior is quite different from adaptive behavior. This usually entails behavioral patterns that are dysfunctional to the individual.

What is adaptive social behavior? ›

Adaptive behavior is viewed as the effectiveness and degree to which an individual meets social/cultural standards of personal independence and social responsibility. Social skills represent behaviors which, in specific situations, predict important social outcomes for children and youth.

What are 5 examples of behavioral adaptations? ›

Examples of behavioral adaptation include migration, hibernation, learned behavior, alteration in the mode of reproduction, altered feeding habits, and distinct modes of communication.

What are 5 examples of animal adaptations? ›

Examples of Physical Adaptations
  • Type of Body Covering - Fur, Feathers, Scales.
  • Color - Patterns, Camouflage - a color or pattern that allows an animal to hide in its environment.
  • Body Part - Claws, Beak, Antlers, Ears, Blubber (to keep them warm)
  • Defenses - Spray, Quills, Venom.
24 Jul 2018

What are 4 examples of animal adaptations? ›

The shape of a bird's beak, the color of a mammal's fur, the thickness or thinness of the fur, the shape of the nose or ears are all examples of physical adaptations which help different animals survive.

What does adaptive mean in a person? ›

adjective. Adaptive means having the ability or tendency to adapt to different situations.

Is anxiety an adaptive behavior? ›

Normal anxiety is considered an adaptive response to the possible presence of danger, but is susceptible to dysregulation.

What is an adaptive personality? ›

Adaptable people can possess elastic-like energy, a willingness to bend and break habits, to challenge themselves when their circumstances change. They tend to face problems, pivot among distractions, and politely proceed forward. Adaptable people are prone to think ahead and consistently focus on improvement.

What is an example of behavioral adaptation in humans? ›

Answer and Explanation: Some structural adaptations that humans have are our hands, being bipedal, and having a large brain. Some behavioral adaptations that humans have are long-term parental care, complex social structures, and farming.

Which is an example of adaptive social behavior quizlet? ›

Which is an example of adaptive social behavior? Birds help take care of each other's young to increase their chances of survival, and the behavior is passed on to offspring.

Which is a good example of adaptive evolution? ›

An example of adaptive evolution is the horse's teeth. Its teeth are one of the traits that made it fit for a grass diet. In contrast, genetic drift produces random changes in the frequency of traits in a population. Evolution that arises from genetic drift is called neutral evolution.

What is an example of adaptive learning? ›

It refers to a type of learning where students are given customized resources and activities to address their unique learning needs. For example, if a student struggles with adding fractions, a teacher might offer 1:1 tutoring or additional practice problems.

What is adaptive Behaviour assessment? ›

The Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System, Third Edition (ABAS-III) is a multidimensional and standardised assessment tool used to assess the functional skills necessary for the daily living of individuals from birth to 89 years of age.

How do you measure adaptive behaviors? ›

The most common method of measuring adaptive behavior is through structured interviews with teachers and parents. An individual trained to administer an adaptive behavior rating scale (usually a school social worker, school psychologist, or school counselor) interviews the student's parents and teachers.

What are teaching adaptive skills? ›

Teaching adaptive skills, including communication skills (e.g., how to express feelings, make a complete sentence, and write a business letter), socialization skills (e.g., how to resolve conflict, problem solve, initiate a conversation, and interview for a job), and daily living skills (e.g., how to write a check and ...

What is adaptive in child development? ›

Adaptive development or Self-Help development refers to how a child adapts to the environment and the ability to do things independently. Some of the skills associated with adaptive self-care include drinking from bottles/cups, feeding, dressing, toileting, and avoiding common dangers.

Is all behavior adaptive? ›

Behaviours can be considered adaptive under certain conditions (as defined by evolutionary principles), but can be considered "non-adaptive" if the conditions under which they evolved change.

What is adaptive and positive Behaviour? ›

Adaptive means that a person is flexible in approach and can adjust in different circumstances. Positive behavior implies that a person is forward-looking, and even in difficult situations can identify a ray of hope and opportunities to find solutions.​

What are 2 behavioral adaptations? ›

Behavioral adaptations are the things organisms do to survive. For example, bird calls and migration are behavioral adaptations. Adaptations are the result of evolution. Evolution is a change in a species over long periods of time.

What are 2 examples of behavioral adaptations in plants? ›

Behavioural adaptations in plants

Growth towards the light and other tropisms ensure that plants can respond to changes in their environment. Plant roots which grow downwards may be because of gravity or growing directly towards water to maximise photosynthesis.

What is an example of a physical and behavioral adaptation? ›

Physical adaptations help animals survive in their environment. Examples include camouflage and mimicry. Behavioral adaptations allow animals to respond to life needs. Examples include hibernation, migration, instinct, and learned behavior.

What are 10 adaptations of animals? ›

Take a quick trip around the world to see some amazing animals' abilities to keep from becoming prey.
  • African Spiny Mice Heal Quickly. ...
  • Amphibians Regrow Limbs. ...
  • Meerkats' Coloring Helps Them See. ...
  • Pufferfish Expand in Size. ...
  • Red-Spotted Purple Butterflies Mimic Pipevine Swallowtails. ...
  • Kingsnakes Are Immune to Venom.

What are adaptations and give an example? ›

An organism can change to adjust to its immediate habitat. For example, a plant growing at an increasing altitude could alter its metabolism or the sort of nutrients it requires to help it survive. Adaptation is also considered in a genetic sense.

What are the three types of adaptations give an example of any one? ›

There are three different types of adaptations: Behavioural - responses made by an organism that help it to survive/reproduce. Physiological - a body process that helps an organism to survive/reproduce. Structural - a feature of an organism's body that helps it to survive/reproduce.

What is the most adaptive animal? ›

The real champion is a micro-animal: Tardigrades, also known as 'water bears'. From the high mountains to the endless deep sea, from the hot springs to the Antarctic ice layers, even the New York city, water bears can be found. They can enter an almost unbeatable state to cope with extreme environment.

What is an example of adaptation in a sentence? ›

His stage adaptation of the novel was a success. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same title.

What's another word for adaptive? ›

What is another word for adaptive?

What is an adaptive experience? ›

Definition of Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning — or adaptive teaching — is the delivery of custom learning experiences that address the unique needs of an individual through just-in-time feedback, pathways, and resources (rather than providing a one-size-fits-all learning experience).

Is fear and stress adaptive? ›

Is Fear Adaptive? Fear is commonly thought to have adaptive functions in terms of both cognition and behavioral response. Unlike reflexes and fixed-action patterns, the relationship between stimuli and behaviors mediated by fear is highly flexible and context-dependent (see “modulation of fear”, below).

Is stress an adaptive response? ›

Adaptive stress response. Stress responses are mechanisms to adapt to and to overcome stress stimuli. Through them, the cells can restore stress-damaged structures or trigger cell death. Stress responses to mild/moderate stress may result in enhanced defense and repair and even cross-resistance to multiple stressors.

What are adaptive emotions? ›

Simply put, emotions are fundamentally adaptive, which means they are helpers. They are useful because they help us navigate the world, so we are able to adjust to the conditions of our ever changing environment. When you take into account the evolution theory, everything makes more sense.

Who is an example of an adaptive leader? ›

Therefore, having an adaptive leadership style is imperative. Examples of adaptive leadership include the directors of emergency response agencies, presidents of international health organizations, and United Nations ambassadors. 7.

What is the adaptive behavior assessment System 3? ›

The ABAS-3 is a rating scale useful for assessing skills of daily living in individuals with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, neuropsychological disorders, and sensory or physical impairments. Rating forms are filled out by the parent and a teacher.

What are adaptive behaviors in psychology? ›

Adaptive behavior is defined as the conceptual, social, and practical skills that are needed to function within his/her environment of an individual in everyday life (Schalock et al., 2021).

What are the three adaptive skills in special education? ›

Mental retardation is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.

What are adaptive behaviors in infants? ›

Adaptive behaviors are learned. They involve the ability to adapt to and manage one's surroundings to effectively function and meet social or community expectations. Infants learn to walk, to talk, and to eat with a spoon.

What is an adaptive behavior classroom? ›

Adaptive Behavior (AB) program is a highly structured classroom setting designed for students with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

What is adaptive behavior in early childhood? ›

In children, adaptive development refers to the ability level of a child related to age appropriate life skills. These kinds of skills can be narrowly defined, such as self care, which might include feeding and dressing.

What is adaptive behavior assessment? ›

The Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System, Third Edition (ABAS-III) is a multidimensional and standardised assessment tool used to assess the functional skills necessary for the daily living of individuals from birth to 89 years of age.

What are some examples of adaptive teaching? ›

Project-based learning, classroom discussion, cooperative learning, and demonstrations, as well as using diverse learning materials, are all examples of methods used in adaptive teaching.

Which of the following are examples of adaptive skills? ›

These skills include activities of personal care or daily living, such as eating, dressing, mobility, and toileting. Additional skills may include following a schedule or routine, using a telephone, managing money, preparing meals, occupational skills, and abilities in transportation/travel, health care, and safety.

What are examples of adaptive skills for toddlers? ›

These self care (or adaptive) skills can include everything from getting dressed to hygiene, helping with chores and feeding oneself, all which are necessary as they approach school age.


1. How to Enhance Your Adaptive Behavior Evaluations
(WPS Western Psychological Services)
2. Adaptive Behaviors
(Javeria Robinson)
3. Adaptive Behavior Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders
(Pearson Assessments US)
4. Adaptive behavior produces maladaptive anxiety | Frazer Meacham | ISEMPH
(Evolutionary Medicine)
5. Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales | Psychology | Iqra Sageer
(Iqra Sageer)
6. Adaptive Behavior Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders
(Pearson Assessments US)
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