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DDS Eligibility Decision by H.O. Adamo 2010-15

Date: 
01/01/2010
Author: 
Jeanne Adamo

 

 

Outcome: Ineligible

Keyword: mental health; ADHD

Hearing Officer: Jeanne Adamo

Counsel present for Appellant: No; Appellant’s social worker Sean Dugan was present

Counsel present for DDS: Yes, Barbara Green Whitbeck, Esq.

Appellant present: Yes

Hearing Officer Decision: 2010

Commissioner letter: 2010

 

 

IQ

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis regarding MR in report (or info on disability affecting result of testing)

Verb.

Perf.

Full

2002

WISC-III

11

 

 

73

Appellant’s ability to pay attention deteriorated, possibly contributing to poor performance. 

2008

WAIS-III

17

 

 

72

Full score originally given as 72, but evidence was presented that it had been improperly calculated and should have been correctly given as 72. 

2009

WAIS-III

18

64

83

70

Results must be interpreted with caution because verbal is notably less than performance; full score considered a valid indicator of cognition when discrepancy between verbal and performance is statically significant.  

 

FUNCTIONAL ABILITY

Year

TESTS

Age

Score

Diagnosis regarding MR in report, if any (or info on disability affecting result of testing)

2002

WJIII

11

none

The school psychologist reported that although Appellant was identified as Mentally Retarded, his test results do not support that identification. 

2002

DAS

11

65

 

2002

ABAS

11

43 & 78

 

2009

VABS

18

 

Assessment resulted in a standard that corresponds to an adaptive level of Low compared to the population as a whole, and Moderate compared to all persons with Mental Retardation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appellant’s social worker stated that the Appellant, age 19, was not currently under guardianship, but that a guardianship was being pursued, and that the social worker was being proactive in attempting to secure services that would be in place when Appellant aged out of his current program.  No evidence was presented on behalf of the Appellant.  At the close of the hearing the Appellant was granted three weeks’ additional time to submit further evidence, and DDS was given time to review and respond.  When no additional evidence was submitted the record was closed.  The Hearing Officer determined that the Appellant does not meet the Department’s definition of Mental Retardation. 

 

The testifying psychologist opined that Appellant is not mentally retarded, but someone whose mental health issues and problems associated with ADHD have impacted his performance on cognitive testing.  The Hearing Officer also noted that Mental Retardation typically presents as a global cognitive deficit, and not with significant variance in test results as displayed by the Appellant’s testing.  The one IQ test that did result in a score of 70 was calculated using significantly varied verbal and performance scores; therefore, the full score was not considered to be a valid indicator of overall intelligence.  Significant weight was placed on the 2002 WISC-III as demonstrating that despite Appellant’s cognitive ability being impacted by attention difficulties he was still able to score above the level required for a finding of Mental Retardation.  Since adaptive functioning deficits can be caused by conditions other than Mental Retardation, regulations do not allow eligibility to be determined on adaptive functioning alone.  As there was evidence of mental disabilities that could impede Appellant’s ability to function, the results of his adaptive functioning tests were not considered by the hearing officer. 

 

The Appellant failed to demonstrate an overall cognitive ability in the range of a valid FISQ score of 70 or below and was consequently determined ineligible. 

 

 

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