Monday, January 23, 2012

Dr. Stephen Greenspan on the definition of MR/ID: The definition is all (or mostly) wet.

In his speech when accepting the 2011 APA Division 33 Jacobson award, Stephen Greenspan made the following comment

Unfortunately, the typical Atkins hearing is less a quest for the truth about individuals than it is a quest for the truth about IQ or adaptive behavior test scores. This is not a new concern, but the much higher stakes in capital cases bring the inadequacies in defining and diagnosing ID into greater relief. Unfortunately, the “physics emulation” phenomenon seems to be getting worse rather than better, in part because the same “scientistic” (superficial embrace of scientific trappings) emphasis on SD‐based cutting scores that has characterized the prong one (intelligence) now seems to have taken over prong two (adaptive functioning), as reflected in new wording in both AAIDD‐11 and in a DSM‐5 draft. Concern about the need for a more responsible approach to testifying in Atkins cases has brought about efforts by myself and colleagues about how ID should and should not be evaluated in criminal proceedings (Greenspan, 2009d, 2011b).

Dr. Greenspan has been an extremely vocal and consistent critique of past and current definitions of intellectual disability. An abridged version of his complete speech was printed in the latest APA Division 33 newsletter (click here and go to page 4), with a note at the end indicating that those who want a copy of the entire speech should contact Dr. Greenspan.

Kudos to Dr. Greenspan for his continued efforts to improve the definition of MR/ID

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