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DMR Eligibility Decision by H.O. Marcia Hudgins 11/09/06

Date: 
11/09/2006
Author: 
Marcia Hudgins, Esq.
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Outcome: Ineligible

Keyword: IQ, IQ testing after age 18

Hearing Officer: Marcia Hudgins

Counsel present for Appellant: No

Counsel present for DMR: John Mitchell

Appellant present: Yes

Hearing Officer decision: 11/09/06

Commissioner letter: 11/20/06

 

 

Year

Test

Age

Score

Diagnosis in report

Verb.

Perf.

Full

1999

WISC-III

13

95

104

99

Tester noted appellants cognitive abilities fall within the average range, with some difficulty in the area of auditory attention and short term auditory and visual memory. She did not offer a diagnosis of mental retardation.

2004

WAIS-III

17

94

94

94

Tester reported that the Appellant’s overall level of functioning is within the average range with no significant discrepancy between his verbal and non-verbal functioning. Tester concluded that she doubted that the Appellant has a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but questioned the presences of some type of genetic disorder with behavioral, reading, written language and attention impairment. She did not find a diagnosis of mental retardation,

2004

WAIS-III

 

18

96

110

102

Results of the evaluation indicate that the Appellant’s overall intellectual functioning falls in the average range. Tester pointed out that test results indicate that the Appellant presents with Aspergers disorder and with an academic profile consistent with a specifics learning disability in reading. She did not offer a diagnosis of mental retardation.

             Appellant is a 20 year old male who resides with his family in Massachusetts. Two evaluations of the appellant’s intellectual functioning before the age of 18 were entered into evidence. When the appellant was 13 years old he completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Third Edition (WISC-III). On this test the appellant received a verbal IQ score of 95, a performance IQ score of 104 and a full scale IQ of 99. The tester concluded that the appellant’s cognitive ability fell within the average range and did not offer a diagnosis of mental retardation. When the appellant was 17 years old he completed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – 3 (WAIS-III). On this test he received a verbal IQ score of 94, a performance IQ score of 94 and a full scale IQ score of 94. The tester concluded that the appellant’s overall intellectual functioning was within the average range, and she doubted that the appellant had a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

            Additionally, one evaluation of the appellant’s intellectual functioning after age 18 and one behavioral assessment completed when the appellant was 18 years of age were entered into evidence. When the appellant was 18 years old he completed the WAIS III. On this test the appellant received a verbal IQ score of 96, a performance IQ of 110 and full scale IQ score of 102. The tester concluded that the appellant’s overall intellectual functioning fell within the average range and she did not offer a diagnosis of mental retardation. She pointed out that test results indicate that the appellant presents with Aspergers disorder and with an academic profile consistent with a learning disability in reading. When the appellant was 18 years old he also completed the Scales of Independent Behavior- Revised (SIB-R), and earned an age equivalent ranging from 8 to 13 years in each domain tested.

            The DMR expert stated that the appellant was found ineligible because of his IQ testing, which had consistently been out of the range for a diagnosis of mental retardation. He stated that in order to have a diagnosis of mental retardation an individual must have an IQ score of 70 or below, and the appellant consistently scores in the average range. The DMR expert said in making a determination of eligibility he first looks at IQ scores. If the scores do not fall with the mentally retarded range, the individual is automatically ruled out. He stated that he did not need to consider the appellant’s functional capacity because the first criteria needed to meet the diagnosis was not met. The DMR expert concluded that based on the appellant’s IQ scores, the evidence in the appellant’s record and the evidence presented at hearing he could not find the appellant eligible for DMR services.

            The Hearing Officer found that the appellant did not meet the DMR eligibility criteria because he does not have significantly sub-average intellectual functioning. The Hearing Officer considered the two IQ tests administered prior to age 18, where the appellant received full scale IQ scores of 99 and 94 respectively. Both testers found the appellant to be within the average range of intellectual functioning. The Hearing Officer also gave consideration to the IQ test administered after age 18, where the appellant achieved a full scale IQ of 102 and was found to be functioning in the average range of intelligence. The Hearing Officer stated that none of the test scores presented met the definition of significantly sub average intelligence. And since the appellant failed to show that he met the criteria for the first prong of the three pronged AAMR definition of mental retardation, the Hearing Officer did not find it necessary to consider the appellant’s functional limitations in reaching her decision.

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