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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins 5 15 04

Date: 
05/15/2004
Author: 
Hudgins
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Keyword: intellectual function, Asperger's, learning disability, IQ increase 

Hearing Officer: Marcia A. Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: No

Counsel present for DMR: Kim LaDue

Appellant present: No

Hearing Officer Decision on May 15, 2004

The appellant had been diagnosed with PDD, autism and Asperger's syndrome.

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1989

WPPSI

5

81

67

72

-

1990

SB

6

-

-

-

The report stated that the appellant had a complex set of learning disabilities.

1995

WISC-III

11

73

58

63

The examiner noted that the appellant had significantly below average ability but that despite the discrepancy between the scores, his language skills were closer to the low average range and he was able to function in a school setting with support.

1998

WISC-III

14

80

72

74

The examiner noted that the higher verbal functioning was a consistent pattern over the previous testing.

2002

WAIS-III

18

77

68

71

-

2003

WAIS-III

19

86

78

80

The examiner concluded that the appellant was not mentally retarded and that he likely had mild Asperger's syndrome.

The DMR expert stated that the appellant had learning disabilities more related to his diagnosis of autism and Asperger's syndrome than to mental retardation. He noted that IQ scores must be uniformly low and could not change more than 15 points, and he stated that a person with mental retardation would not have experienced such growth, which would be possible for a person with autism or Asperger's syndrome. Additionally, he stated that some scores that were in the range of mental retardation were related to specific impairments, such as visual spatial problems, due to Asperger's. He also attributed the appellant's low scores on the ABAS to Asperger's syndrome.

The hearing officer found that the appellant was not mentally retarded.  The hearing officer gave great weight to the testimony of the DMR's expert witness and especially the 2003 report because of its level of detail and the evaluator's level of education.  She also noted that there had been no diagnosis of mental retardation on the records.

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