DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Adamo 3 13 08


Outcome: ineligible
Keyword: IQ

Hearing Officer: Jeanne Adamo
Counsel present for Appellant: none
Appellant: present
Appellant's father: present
Counsel present for DMR: Elise Kopley
Hearing Officer decision: Mar. 13, 2008
Appeal confirmed by Commissioner: Mar. 18, 2008

The issue presented in this case, is whether the appellant is eligible for DMR services by reason of mental retardation as defined in 115 CMR 6.04(1).

Appellant is a 34 year old woman who is diagnosed with William's syndrome, and who lives with her father and step mother.  Appellant has a certificate of completion from high school, where she participated in special education classes. Appellant did not apply for DMR services until she was 33.

Testimony showed that appellant worked 5 days a week, and she could accomplish most of the tasks assigned to her, they just took her longer.  She could keep a job as long as her employer was willing to make accommodations for her lack of speed. Appellant's father testified that appellant lived with him and his wife, because she could not live completely on her own.  She needed help with certain tasks, (cooking, cleaning etc.) but her parents wanted to get her a place of her own. 

When appellate applied for DMR services she had no previous psychological assessments for the eligibility team to consider.  Appellant was then evaluated by Daniel R. Morocco.





Diagnosis in report










These scores are inconsistent with a finding of sub-average intellectual functioning, (which is required by DMR's definition of mental retardation).  She is in the low-average range of intellectual functioning.  These scores are more indicative of a learning disability. 



Vineland II







Psycho Diagnostic Interview





Responds well to praise and positive reinforcement, and she did not appear overwhelmed or defeated over failures.  She seemed to enjoy when she had success.

DMR's psychologist did not consider whether appellant's limitation in adaptive functioning was significant, because it was already determined that appellant's intellectual functioning was not significantly sub-average.  115 CMR 2.01 defines "significantly sub-average intellectual functioning" as " intelligence test score that is indicated by a score of 70 or below as determined from the findings of assessment using valid and comprehensive, individual measures of intelligence that are administered in standardized formats and interpreted by qualified practitioners."

The hearing officer found the Appellant to be ineligible for services, because she had a full IQ score of 72, and her verbal IQ of 79 and performance IQ of 69 seemed more representative of a person with a learning disorder as opposed to mental retardation; she did not show any proof of significant adaptive limitations; and she failed to show that she had significant sub-average intellectual functioning along with significant limitations in adaptive functioning before she turned 18.

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