TULSA, Okla. — It took a local mom more than a decade to finally get state services for her son with developmental disabilities and now she’s being forced to wait even longer to get the modifications to her home her son needs.
She says there aren't any contractors, in eastern Oklahoma certified to make developmental disability service modifications for 15-year-old Wyatt Martin.
He and his mom Elaine Swanson have lived in the Bartlesville area for seven years. Martin was born with Down Syndrome and later developed epilepsy.
When he was one year old, Swanson put him on the Developmental Disabilities Service Division waitlist. DDS helps provide specialized services to those diagnosed with a developmental disability.
But just like thousands of other Oklahomans, the wait for this family was long.
“It took 13, 14 years before his name came up and they got him services,” says Swanson.
DDS has provided them with resources, like an occupational therapist and a dietitian, but being off the waitlist hasn’t solved some of the biggest issues the family faces.
“The doors need to be widened, the bathtubs, we need a bathtub that’s more of a standing shower and the bathroom doors have to be opened up. But there’s a lot of things that have to be addressed.”
Swanson also says the flooring needs to be replaced, so Martin can crawl around more comfortably. However, she says there aren’t any licensed contractors in eastern Oklahoma, certified to make DDS modifications to her home.
“We got new flooring. I have new flooring to go in. but myself and my daughter are going to be putting it in. I guess because there’s nobody to do it.”
Swanson is now trying to find a contractor willing to become DDS certified. She says if someone out there is willing, the home improvements could be life-changing not only for her but for other families as well.
“The difference that they make in the families, that just need to be able to function as a family, would be huge. It would be a monumental change and could make all the difference for one little family.”
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