The adaptive behavior functioning of Iowa and Florida hearing impaired children as measured by the Adaptive Behavior Inventory for Children (ABIC)
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The problem of the misclassification of hearing impaired children as mildly retarded has been documented within the professional literature. It is possible that the inclusion of adaptive behavior information in the diagnostic process might improve the educational decision making process in regard to the appropriate placement of hearing impaired children in special education classes. The Adaptive Behavior Inventory for Children (ABIC), an instrument for use with normally functioning and mildly handicapped children, may also be appropriate for the measurement of adaptive behavior in hearing impaired children. The present study investigated the appropriateness of the ABIC for use with a cross section of Iowa and Florida hearing impaired children. Differences between the ABIC performance of hearing impaired and normal hearing children, and between Iowa and Florida hearing impaired children were also studied. Finally, the effects of age and level of hearing loss severity on the ABIC performance of hearing impaired children were investigated;The parents of 87 Iowa and 112 Florida hearing impaired children were administered the ABIC. All the children were between five and eleven years old, experienced a permanent, bilateral hearing loss, were not multiply handicapped and were living at home. Comparisons made between age groups revealed that ten and eleven-year-olds scored significantly lower than other age groups. Comparisons made between levels of hearing loss severity resulted in moderately hearing impaired children scoring highest, followed by mildly and severely-profoundly hearing impaired children. Iowa hearing impaired children were found to score significantly higher on the ABIC than Florida hearing impaired children. A comparison of the Iowa and Florida ABIC scores with those of a California ABIC standardization sample of normal hearing children revealed the Iowa sample scoring essentially the same as the California sample and the Florida sample scoring significantly lower. The implications of these findings regarding the appropriateness of the ABIC for use with both normal hearing and hearing impaired children and the factors influencing adaptive behavior functioning in the hearing impaired were discussed.