Jake's SSI

We had a hearing before a judge and he denied Jake’s SSI.  Below is part of his report.

The claimant has the following severe impairments: autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Per report, the claimant was, at various points in his childhood, diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger syndrome, and autistic disorder.

In early 2009, Tracy Orchester conducted an EXTENSIVE psychological evaluation and diagnosed him with autistic disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  She spent many hours with and came to know him.

The claimant was referred to Susan Barngrover, Ph.D., who conducted a FIFTEEN MINUTE examination of his mental status and ability to manage funds.  Based on the claimant’s performance of relatively high functioning, Dr. Barngrover’s diagnostic impression was that the claimant had “long-standing Asperger rather than full blown autism”.  This despite the fact that Dr. Orchester’s report stated that it might appear that Jake has Asperger syndrome, but in fact he has autism.  His PCP stated in his report that the claimant has full syndrome of autism.  Children’s Mercy also conducted an evaluation and found that he did not have Asperger’s Syndrome, but in fact was autistic.  The only person that concluded that he had Asperger’s Syndrome was the person that only spent FIFTEEN MINUTES with him. 

Throughout the hearing, the claimant gave thoughtful, well-considered responses and testimony.  The claimant did not display any discernible lack of social graces.  On the contrary, the claimant tended to demonstrate better than average social poise and communicative skills.  The claimant’s testimony also appeared to be exceptionally straightforward, candid, and unexaggerated. 

Dr. Orchester emphasized that she could “not make any kind of evaluation off his current abilities or limitations.”  Based on notes that she took in 2009, Dr. Orchester opined that the claimant, when he was 15 years old had marked limitations with interacting with other people and with performing at a reasonable pace and moderate limitations in handling simple instructions and making simple work-related decisions. 

The Vineland II scores were quite low.  However, the Vineland scale does not involve the testing of the claimant, but is based upon the subjective responses of claimant’s parents.  Dr. Barngrover’s diagnostic impression and the claimant’s responsive testimony demonstrated a much higher level of social functioning. 

The vocational expert testified that given all of these factors the individual would be able to perform the requirements of representative occupations such as:  stubber of which about 1,800 jobs exist in Missouri and library age of which about 1,000 jobs exist in Missouri. 

Sherri R. Tucker
Cofounder and President Lee's Summit Autism Support Group
Cofounder MOAFAA (Missouri Advocates for Families Affected by Autism)
In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”
-Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.”― Carl T. Rowan


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