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DDS Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins, 2010-18

Date: 
01/01/2010
Author: 
Marcia Hudgins

DDS Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins, 2010-18

Outcome: ineligible

Keyword: PDD, language disability, learning disability

Hearing Officer: Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: Yes, no name

Counsel present for DDS: Barbara Green Whitbeck

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

2001

WISC-III

9

65

69

64

Appellant falls on continuum of PDD

2001

WISC-III

10

63

84

71

Scores consistent with language/learning disabilities

2008

WISC-IV

16

 

 

 

Discrepancies between four indexes, Full Scale Score unrepresentative of Appellant’s cognitive reasoning, clusters of reduced functioning

2009

WAIS-IV

17

 

 

73

Several tests mentioned, Adaptive Behavior Composite score of 54 which is low, due to Appellant’s autism

 

 

Issue is whether Appellant is mentally retarded as defined in 115 CMR 2.01 (a person with significantly sub-average intellectual functioning existing concurrently and related to significant limitations in adaptive functioning).

 

Appellant’s mother testified that Appellant has had an IEP since age four.  She assists him in his day-to-day life.  Expert witness for appellant testified that in his opinion, Appellant meets the criteria for DDS eligibility.  He stated that Appellant has a significant intellectual disability and is very functionally impaired.  He believes that Appellant’s IQ score falls between 64 and 71.  He stated that Appellant’s processing speed is 50, which accurately reflects Appellant’s impulsivity and short attention span.  He believes that the WAIS-IV would have taken the Appellant 90 minutes to complete, rather than the 45 which he was given.

 

Expert witness for DDS testified that Appellant does not have an IQ of 70 or below and therefore does not have a significant intellectual disability.  Expert witness stated that Appellant’s higher score was due to his cooperation and the fact that the test was administered in Appellant’s home.  Testified that the average person would need 60-90 minutes to complete the WAIS-IV, but that the test could have been completed by the Appellant more quickly because he wouldn’t have needed to answer all the questions.

 

The Hearing Officer found that Appellant does not have an IQ score of 70 or below and therefore does not meet the first prong of the DDS definition of mentally retarded.  The Hearing Officer noted that only one of the IQ tests reported a score of below 70, and this score was explained by PDD rather than mental retardation.  The Hearing Officer also considered the test report which suggested a language/learning disability.  Finally, the only examiner to state that he believed the test results were a valid measure of the Appellants’ cognitive function concluded that Appellant’s IQ was above 70. 

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