The case of Samantha C. v. State Dept. of Developmental Services decided if an applicant for regional center had a condition that required treatment similar to that required by persons with intellectual disability.185 Cal.App.4th 1462 (2010). The case said that people with intellectual disability need treatment such as help with cooking, public transportation, money management, rehabilitative and vocational training, independent living skills training, specialized teaching and skill development approaches, and supported employment. The case said the applicant did not have an intellectual disability, but she qualified for regional center services because she required all of these types of treatment.
The case of Ronald F. v. State Dept. of Developmental Services also decided if someone had a condition which required treatment similar to that required by people with intellectual disability.5 Cal.App.5th 84 (2017). The Ronald F. case disagrees with Samantha C. The Ronald F. case said that treatment required by people with intellectual disability differs from services people can get under the Lanterman Act. The case said that “treatment” is listed separately as one service people can get in Lanterman Act sections 4512(b) and 4502(b)(1). The case said treatment must be something different and more specific than services. The Ronald F. case suggests that none of the services in 4512(b), other than “treatment,” can be examples of treatment required by people with intellectual disability. The Ronald F. court did not say what treatment is. It said only that services provided to people with developmental disabilities are not treatments required by people with intellectual disability.
Ronald F. is not consistent with the ARCA Guidelines. The ARCA Guidelines say “habilitation” is an example of training that can be a treatment required by persons with intellectual disabilities.See ARCA Guidelines, Section II.C. Ronald F. cites section 4512(b) to support its conclusion that services are not treatment, but 4512(b) also lists “habilitation” as one service persons with developmental disabilities can get. Section 4502(b)(1) is the other Lanterman Act section cited by Ronald F. It states: “Treatment and habilitation services and supports should foster the developmental potential of the person…” Ronald F. says habilitation services could not be treatment, because if they were treatment, they would not have been distinguished from treatment in the law. If no service in the law, other than treatment, can be a treatment required by persons with intellectual disability, then “habilitation” cannot be a treatment required by people with intellectual disabilities either. But the ARCA Guidelines say it is.
The Office of Administrative Hearings is the agency that provides administrative law judges to decide hearings over regional center eligibility. They have adopted the Ronald F. court’s position that treatment required by people with intellectual disability is different than services provided to people with developmental disabilities in at least one decision.Claimant v. Inland Regional Center, OAH Case No. 2018061194.1
The ARCA Guidelines provide information on treatments required by people with intellectual disability. But, like Ronald F., they provide more information on what these treatment needs are not than on what they are. The ARCA Guidelines say these are not treatments to increase motivation or address deficits caused by socio-cultural deprivation. They are not short-term remedial training. They are not rehabilitative (unless the skills are lost and trying to be regained before age 18).
The ARCA Guidelines do say the treatments required by persons with intellectual disability are habilitative. The goal of habilitation is to help people with disabilities gain, improve, and keep skills used in daily living. The ARCA Guidelines say a few things could be treatment required by persons with intellectual disability. One is treatment to address skills deficits caused by intellectual limitations. Another is long-term training with steps broken down into small pieces taught through repetition. Another is educational supports for children who need supports with modifications across many skill areas.
Supplement F of this manual contains a list of treatment needs of people with intellectual disability. Some of these treatments have been recognized as treatments required by people with intellectual disability by regional centers, the ARCA Guidelines, administrative law judges, and courts. But many have not. Whatever treatment needs you have, they must be caused by your intellectual impairment and not by some other disability or condition you have.