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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Hudgins, August 17, 2005

Date: 
08/17/2005
Author: 
Marcia Hudgins
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Appeal of T.J.G.

Appeal allowed -- eligible

Keyword:  subtest score discrepancy, verbal versus performance scores

Hearing Officer: Marcia A. Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: No

Counsel present for DMR: David Fleischman

Appellant present: Yes

Hearing Officer Decision on May 26, 2005

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1992

WISC

9

72

48

57

The examiner stated that the appellant declined to take some subtests. There was no diagnosis offered by the examiner.

2003

WAIS-III

19

82

64

72

The examiner stated that it was difficult to forward a full scale IQ score due to the 18-point discrepancy between the verbal and performance IQ scores.

2004

WAIS-III

20

80

67

72

The evaluator stated that the appellant’s IQ testing indicated mild mental retardation and global limitations.

 

The DMR expert argued that the appellant did not meet the adult eligibility criteria, stating that the 24-point difference between the verbal and performance IQ scores in the 1992 testing was unusual. However, the expert noted that most people with mental retardation did not have such a discrepancy in their capacities and that the appellant’s verbal information subtest result rather indicated an average level of functioning. Despite a full scale IQ score of 57, the expert stated that even if the appellant were still functioning as if he were at age nine, he would be ineligible based on his verbal score of 72 and his capacity in verbal tasks, which would not meet the requirement for retardation.  The expert also noted that although the 2003 evaluation showed the 18-point discrepancy, one would not expect to see an individual whose overall verbal comprehension fell in the average range to be mentally retarded.  He further stated that people with such a wide range of scores between verbal and performance IQs usually fell within the diagnosis of Asperger’s or PDD.  As to the 2004 test results, the expert stated that the results would not be relevant to the question of whether the appellant was mentally retarded before age 18 because the testing was done at his current age.

 

The hearing officer found that the appellant met the DMR eligibility criteria. All the appellant’s IQ scores, obtained prior to and after the age of 18, were 70 to 75 or below. In addition, the hearing officer noted that most people did not have such a spread between the verbal and performance IQs but that the AAMR definition did not require comparable scores on both subtests.  She further stated that the DMR’s expert did not say that it would be impossible to find someone mentally retarded receiving such scores, also noting that the appellant’s relatively high scores in the verbal area did not preclude a finding that he was mentally retarded.

 

 

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