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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Rosenberg 2 19 07

Date: 
02/19/2007
Author: 
Deidre Rosenberg

Outcome: Eligible

Keyword: eligibility standards, DSM criterion

Hearing Officer: Deirdre Rosenberg

Counsel present for Appellant: Frederick M. Misilo, Jr.

Counsel present for DMR: John Mitchell

Hearing Officer decision: Feb. 19, 2007

Appeal confirmed by Commissioner: April 3, 2007

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1992

WISC III

6

80

75

76

 

1996

WISC III

9

74

74

72

Consistent with, but lower than scores in from 1992.  Testor described appellant as an easily motivated person who “put forth excellent effort as long as tasks were kept short and varied and interspersed with praise.”

1998

WISC III

11

66

80

71

Testor noted that due to appellant’s high level of excitement and cooperation during testing, the scores should be considered valid.  No explanation for changes from 1996.

2001

WISC III

14

69

68

65

Report states that scores were within the intellectually deficient range.

2004

WAIS III

17

75

73

72

Scores in all areas were lower than what was predicted for someone of her overall cognitive ability when compared to the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition.

 

SUMMARY

The issue is whether appellant is eligible for DMR services by reason of mental retardation, as defined in 115 CMR 6.03(1).

 

The department’s eligibility psychologist, Dr. Frederick Johnson, concluded that the Appellant was not retarded.  He based this finding on appellant’s high verbal score of 80 from WISC III in 1992.

 

The standard used by Dr. Johnson to determine whether Appellant was mentally retarded was taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  The DSM criterion is a full scale IQ score of 70 or below.  Under the DSM criterion, appellant would not be considered mentally retarded. 

 

The Hearing Officer held that the Department of Mental Retardation does not use the DSM standard.  Instead, the standard in effect when the Appellant’s eligibility was determined is that of the American Association of Mental Retardation.  Their standard is “an IQ score of approximately 70 to 75 or below”.  Under this standard, the Appellant is eligible. 

 

The hearing officer held that appellant also meets the criteria of needing specialized supports in at least two of seven adaptive skill areas (communication, self-care, home living, community use, health and safety, functional academics, work) and of being domiciled in the Commonwealth.

 

The hearing officer held that because appellant meets all three of these criteria, the Department’s decision that she is ineligible is incorrect.

      

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