DDS Eligibility Decision by H.O. Mackiernan, 2010-24
Keyword: mental illness
Hearing Officer: Mackiernan
Counsel present for Appellant: yes, no name
Counsel present for DDD: Allegra Munson
Appellant present: Yes
Hearing Officer decision: 2010
Commissioner letter: 2010
Diagnosis regarding MR in report (or info on disability affecting result of testing)
Diagnoses included: Global Development Delays, OCD and Anxiety Disorder. Report notes that it is not possible to conclude whether or not Appellant is a mentally retarded person because he wasn’t tested before age 17 and because of his significant psychiatric symptoms.
Perception IQ – 58; Working Memory IQ – 60; Processing Speed – 71. Diagnosed with global cortical dysfunction manifested as mild mental retardation, impaired memory function, weakness in visual-spatial and visual-motor processing, language deficits and executive impairment. Report notes that Appellant’s drop in IQ was consistent with a person whose mental illness was impacting his intellectual functioning.
Diagnosis regarding MR in report, if any (or info on disability affecting result of testing)
Scores in Communication Skills, Daily Living Skills and Socialization all below the first percentile.
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 early language milestones were within age expectations, but he had trouble with “wh” questions and his gross and fine motor skills were delayed. Appellant never had an IEP or special education services when he was in school (through 8th grade). Following 8th grade, Appellant was home schooled. In 2005 when Appellant was 17 he was started on Zoloft and a small amount of Risperdal.
Expert Witness for DDS testified that Appellant did not suffer from mental retardation but suffers from a psychiatric condition which adversely affects his cognitive functioning.
Hearing Officer found that without documentation from the parents, she can give little weight to their statements regarding Appellant’s difficulties in school. Hearing Officer found the Expert Witness’s testimony convincing and concluded that the Appellant is not mentally retarded; Appellant’s low IQ scores are the result of mental illness, not retardation.