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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins 12 24 04

Date: 
12/24/2004
Author: 
Marcia Hudgins
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Appeal denied by Commissioner on March 14, 2005

Keyword: learning disability, score inconsistency, intellectual function, PDD, adaptive skills

Hearing Officer: Marcia A. Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: No

Counsel present for DMR: George Casey

Appellant present: No

Hearing Officer Decision on December 24, 2004

The following evaluations of the appellant's intellectual functioning were entered into evidence.

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1997

WISC-III

9

65

81

71

The examiner found that the appellant was mildly retarded. She also noted that a 16-point difference between the verbal and the performance scores suggested a learning disability.

1999

WISC-III

11

76

89

81

The examiner stated that the appellant was functioning within the low average range of intelligence and diagnosed the appellant with pervasive developmental disorder.

2000

WISC-III

12

89

96

92

The examiner stated that the appellant's cognitive ability was within the average range and that the appellant's 1999 test scores were due to emotional factors.

2004

WISC-IV

16

-

-

85

The report indicated that the appellant's overall cognitive abilities were within the average to borderline range.

The assessment done in 2003 indicated that the appellant had substantially sub average skills in four of the seven skills: community use, functional academics, health and safety, and self-care.  In 2004, the appellant's score of 75 on WIAT-III indicated that her overall academic achievement was in the borderline range of functioning.

The DMR expert concluded that the appellant had not a developmental disability but a learning disability.  The expert also noted that the appellant's low scores on many adaptive areas were with either an exaggeration of deficits or possibly due to emotional factors because those scores were inconsistent with other test results.  She also stated that there was no evidence of a substantial language disorder for the appellant to be diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder. 

The hearing officer concluded that the appellant did not have a developmental disability as defined in 115 CMR 6.05(2). The appellant's psychological testing results indicated that she was within the below average to average range in most areas. Her academic achievement was in the borderline to average range.  The hearing officer found that there was no evidence to find the diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder.  The hearing officer also found that the evidence did not support a finding that the limitations in the four skills were due to a severe chronic mental disability.

 

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