There are two studies that compare commonly used assessments for children with autism or other developmental disabilities with the VB-MAPP. A study by Esch, LaLonde, & Esch, J. W. (2010) reviewed 28 commonly used assessments for the treatment of autism and concluded, “Most speech-language assessments in widespread use today evaluate response topographies (forms of responses) alone, without regard for a functional analysis of the causal variables” (p. 166). For example, 26 of the 28 assessment programs reviewed failed to provide a measure of a student’s ability to mand. These authors point out that the VB-MAPP contains a functional analysis of language, and includes a mand assessment component.
A similar study by Gould, Dixon, Najdowski, Smith, & Tarbox (2011) is also available (with that journal's subscription) and compares 30 assessments, including the ABLLS-R, Bayley, Brigance... and the VB-MAPP. These authors reviewed the 30 assessments in the following categories: comprehension, targets child development, considers behavior function not just topography, link from the assessment to curricula targets, and useful for tracking child progress over time. The authors concluded: “After reviewing the assessments described above, only four meet our original five criteria most closely: the VB-MAPP, Brigance IED-II, VABS-II, and CIBS-R.”