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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins 8 3 05

Date: 
08/03/2005
Author: 
Hudgins
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Appeal denied on by Commissioner August 17, 2005

Keyword: subtest score discrepancy, intellectual function

Hearing Officer: Marcia A. Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: No

Counsel present for DMR: John C. Geenty, Jr.

Appellant present: No

Hearing Officer Decision on August 3, 2005

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

2000

WISC-III

16

57

77

64

The report stated that the appellant's overall level of functioning appears to be in the range of mild mental retardation.

2001

WAIS-III

17

73

86

76

The report stated that the appellant appeared to be making his best effort during the test and that the results were considered valid. The examiner stated that the appellant did not appear to meet the criteria for mental retardation. 

In 2004, the ABAS was completed by the appellant, and his composite score was 103, placing him in the average range.  The DMR expert stated that the diagnosis of mental retardation in the 2000 testing did not consider the appellant's adaptive functioning.  He also stated that the full scale IQ score of 64 was not an accurate representation of the appellant's cognitive functioning due to a 20-point difference in the scores and should not have been reported.  In addition, he noted that when there was a significant discrepancy between IQ scores, psychologists usually looked to the higher IQ score because it was difficult for a person to "fake good," noting that there were a number of variables that could lower a score, such as attention, mood, concentration or psychiatric issues. He stated that the practical effect would be minimal because the appellant only took two different tests and that the adaptive functioning assessments indicated that no scores met the criteria of two standard deviations below the mean; rather; the appellant's scores were in the average range.

The hearing officer found that the appellant was not mentally retarded because the appellant did not have significant sub-average intellectual functioning.  She agreed with the expert's testimony that the higher score was more likely to be the true score when the two IQ scores in 2000 and 2001 were considered.  She also noted that the full scale score of 64 was not a valid measure due to the 20-point discrepancy.  Therefore, she concluded that the appellant was not eligible for

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