The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Rosenberg 6 23 07

Date: 
06/23/2007
Author: 
Rosenberg

Outcome: Ineligible
Keyword: IQ, age at time of examination, testing behavior, performance scores depressed

Hearing Officer: Deirdre Rosenberg
Counsel present for Appellant: Tim Sindelar
Counsel present for DMR: John C. Geenty, Jr.
Appellant present: Yes
Hearing Officer decision on June 23, 2007
Appeal denied by Commissioner on July 16, 2007

Appellant is an 18 year old man living with his mother and older sister. He received special education services pursuant to Chapter 766 from the time he was 3 years old until he completed high school. In addition, for the past 11 years he received services from DMR to provide in-home services to handicapped children.

Appellant has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and ADHD. Appellant was also diagnosed at the age of 8 with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive neurological disease that causes both physical and mental symptoms. Appellant relies on a motorized wheelchair and a personal care attendant. Appellant also displays ongoing behavior problems, such as impulsivity, disruptiveness, and unwillingness to cooperate.

The summary of the evidence is in the following table:

Year

Test (for ex., WISC-III, WAIS-III, ABAS-II)

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1991-92

WPPSI-R

3

69

78

71

-

1995

WISC-III

7

69

66

65

Clinician determined that appellant was functioning within the intellectually deficient range of intelligence.

1998

WISC-III

9

71

57

61

A full scale IQ score was computed, despite the large discrepancy between appellant's verbal and performance scores. Nevertheless, the clinician stated that the assessment was an accurate estimate of appellant's intellectual functioning.

2002

WISC-III

14

90

60

73

Clinician noted that the full scale score was not valid because of the significant difference between the verbal and performance scores.

2005

WAIS-III

17

99

74

87

Clinician did not ask appellant to perform tasks that assessed manual motor speed because of appellant's physical condition. She noted the large discrepancy between the verbal and performance scores. She also noted that appellant's intellectual functioning was within the low average range.

 

The hearing officer found that appellant did not meet the definition of "mental retardation" based on his IQ scores. She gave the most weight to his last three evaluations (the 1998, 2002, and 2005 exams) and no weight to the first IQ exam because of the appellant's age at the time of the exam. The hearing officer also gave little weight to appellant's 1995 exam, which was conducted when appellant was 7, because of appellant's young age at the time of the exam.

The hearing officer focused on appellant's verbal IQ scores in his 2002 and 2005 evaluations, noting that both were in the 90's. She also observes that appellant's performance scores were probably depressed because of his Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy.

The hearing officer discounted the appellant's low IQ score from 1998 - which meets the Department's standard for mental retardation. She attributed the low score to his behavior (his difficulty maintaining attention and concentration and his low tolerance for frustration) and not to his abilities.

To save files, right click and choose 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'
File Attachment: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Rosenberg decision 6-23-07 WO_0.pdf740.13 KB

Limit Offer