(DASH-3) Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, Third Edition

by Mary Kay Dykes and Daniel W. Mruzek

(DASH-3) Developmental Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, Third Edition

by Mary Kay Dykes and Daniel W. Mruzek
Benefits Provides a criterion-referenced measure of specific skills in individuals with disabilities
Ages 6 months through adulthood
Admin time 2-3 hours
Format Individually administered behavior rating, through direct observation, interview, or informant report
Scores Developmental age scores for each scale and subscale, plus an overall developmental age
Qualifications Level C required.
About Qualification Levels
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About This Product

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This criterion-referenced test measures specific skill levels in children and adults who have physical, intellectual, or sensory disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders. The DASH-3 is appropriate for people with mild, moderate, severe, or multiple disabling conditions.

Five Scales

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.

  • Reflexes
  • Gross Motor
  • Sensory
  • Hand Skills
  • Language Scale

Measures ability to understand and use communicative behaviors and purposeful language.

  • Nonsymbolic Communication Skills
  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive 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.

  • Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Home Routines
  • Travel and Safety
  • Academics Scale

Measures ability to learn and use information related to concept formation, basic reading skills, and number skills.

  • Pre-academic Skills
  • Academic Skills

Flexible Administration

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, ranging from “Task Resistive” to “Independent Performance.” Item scores are totaled to arrive at the examinee’s developmental age for each scale and subscale and for overall performance.

Built-In Intervention Guidance

In addition to its five scales, the DASH-3 includes three accompanying forms that help users develop intervention strategies and track progress.

  • Cumulative Summary Sheet

Scores from up to three DASH-3 administrations can be recorded on this sheet. The examiner can quickly compare performance across scales, evaluate progress over time, and estimate the examinee’s overall developmental age by averaging the five scale scores.

  • Intervention Planning Worksheet

This form helps the examiner identify skills that are most appropriate for intervention and determine treatment and/or educational priorities.

  • Comprehensive Program Record

This form documents the examinee’s progress in mastering targeted skills. It allows users to record performance data across weeks, make timely intervention decisions, and change or adapt instructional strategies as needed.

Results You Can Apply Immediately

Both comprehensive and highly practical, the DASH-3 is an excellent baseline and continuing assessment. It provides the information you need to start intervention and then tracks progress over time. At intake, the DASH-3 can be used to estimate developmental level, identify strengths and weaknesses, pinpoint skills most amenable to intervention, and suggest appropriate supports. Test results are extremely useful in developing educational and therapeutic plans such as IEPs and IFSPs.