DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Deirdre Rosenberg 11/13/07

Deirdre Rosenberg

Outcome: Approved

Keyword: sub test scores, full scale IQ

Hearing Officer: Deirdre Rosenberg

Counsel present for Appellant: Elaine Cockroft

Counsel present for DMR: Douglas White

Hearing Officer decision: 11/13/07

Appeal confirmed by Commissioner: 11/26/07


The hearing officer considered whether appellant met the eligibility for DMR services by reason of mental retardation under 115 CMR 6.03(1).


The appellant was a 20 year old man with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS and ADHD. Throughout his childhood, he received special education services, vocational training, social skills and development training, and speech and language development therapy. For the three years prior to the hearing, appellant worked one day per week at Whole Foods.


At the age of 10, the appellant was administered the Standford-Binet: Fourth Edition test.

The clinician observed that he demonstrated wide variability in his cognitive skills, with strengths in the area of visual reasoning, and weaknesses in the area of verbal ability. The clinician concluded that he functioned in “the mild range of mental retardation.”


At the age of 18, the appellant was administered the WJIII-COG and the TONI-3. The clinician observed that his scores varied, but he was again determined to function in the mildly retarded range. On the WJIII-COG, his scores were between 64-96. On the TONI-3, he earned a score of 80, which was at the lower limit of the low average range.


At the age of 19, the appellant was administered the WAIS-III. His full-scale IQ was a 69.


Age of Appellant




Stanford-Binet, 4th ed.

Mild range of MR











The DMR Eligibility Psychologist testified that she had made her determination that the Appellant’s IQ was not “significantly sub average” based upon the overall pattern of his scores rather than his full scale IQ which in each evaluation was under 70. She testified that where there is a significant discrepancy between verbal and performance abilities, a full scale IQ does not give an accurate picture of intellectual ability and one should instead look at subtest and component scores.


The Hearing Officer agreed that it was difficult to accurately assess the Appellant’s cognitive abilities, but noted that two assessments with FSIQ had scores in the extremely low range and all three reports unambiguously stated that Appellant is functioning in the mild range of MR. She further noted that were she to put aside every evaluator’s conclusion and the FS numbers, it would ignore and make meaningless DMR’s own standard of “significantly sub average” intelligence.


The Hearing Officer determined that appellant met the DMR standard for “significantly sub average” intellectual function of approximately 70 to 75 or below. This was the appropriate standard to apply as Appellant had applied for DMR services prior to June 2, 2006.


Additionally, the Hearing Officer determined that appellant suffered from related limitation in two or more adaptive skills areas. The Hearing Officer relied upon a 2007 report which assessed appellant’s work-site performance. The report said, “With the current support he does receive, his production rate is only approximately 30% at each of his work settings.” Combined with ABAS scores, this evidence was sufficient to meet this eligibility criteria.


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Rosenberg decision 11-13-07 WO_0.pdf (2.04 MB) 2.04 MB