In many states, determining whether or not an adult with a disability qualifies for significant assistance comes down to one factor: IQ score. Trouble is that IQ and ability don’t always match up.

The conundrum is particularly pronounced among individuals with autism and mental illness who often have normal intellectual intelligence, but have significant social or emotional needs that prohibit them from living independently, advocates say.

States like Texas limit residential placements in so-called state-supported living centers to those with IQ scores lower than 70. Community-based placements in the state are generally only for those who score less than 75 on an intelligence test.

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In many cases that leaves bewildered parents to pick up the slack, often providing 24-hour assistance with everything from hygiene to managing behavior with no end in sight.

The reason for the bright-line test that an IQ score offers largely comes down to funding limitations, advocates acknowledge. However, they say the lack of care could actually end up costing states more money long-term since many of the individuals cut off from services have behavioral troubles that could lead to run-ins with the law, reports The Texas Tribune. To read more click here.

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