Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities-3 (DASH-3)
Authors: Mary Kay Dykes / Daniel W. Mruzek
- Developmental Disabilities
- Ages 6 months through Adulthood
- Testing Time: 2-3 hours
- Individual Administration
- Criterion Referenced
- Qualification Level B
The DASH-3 measures specific skill levels in children and adults who have physical, intellectual, or sensory disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders. This criterion-referenced test is appropriate for people with mild, moderate, severe, or multiple disabling conditions.
The DASH-3 is composed of five scales that reveal whether and to what extent the individual demonstrates relevant skills in a developmental sequence.
- Sensory-Motor Scale: Measures ability to receive and respond to environmental stimuli, and to move reflexively and voluntarily.
- Language Scale: Measures ability to understand and use communicative behaviors and purposeful language.
- Social-Emotional Scale: Measures awareness and understanding of self and others, including social skills.
- Activities of Daily Living Scale: Measures self-sufficiency and personal independence.
- Academics Scale: Measures ability to learn and use information related to concept formation, basic reading skills, and number skills.
Administration and Scoring
Typically, the examiner completes each scale by directly observing the examinee during evaluation sessions, a process that requires from 2 to 3 hours. However, when time is a factor, or when the objective is to compare skills across settings (e.g., home and school), the examiner can complete the test by interviewing parents, teachers, or others who know the examinee well. Alternatively, these individuals can respond to DASH-3 items independently, with examiner follow-up.
Basals and ceilings are used to determine where to start and stop the administration. The examiner or informant rates each item on a 5-point scale. Item scores are totaled to arrive at the examinees developmental age for each subscale and scale, and for overall performance.