Parents Of Special Needs Children Bracing To Lose Support From State

Wednesday, November 15th 2017, 7:09 pm

As lawmakers continue to examine the latest budget plan, time is running out for families who depend on the state. Many will lose services the end of this month.

26-year-old Joseph goes to adult day care at the Oklahoma Foundation of the Disabled. His family receives financial support from the state to help pay for it. But come November 30th that help will end and Joseph's family will have to come up with the $1,045 a month to keep him here.

“Something’s going to have to suffer that doesn’t need to suffer,” said his step-mother Angie McKenna, who is also a teacher. “There’s other children in the home that are under 18 that need things. That’s a house payment.”

McKenna says her family has already cancelled Christmas.

At the Foundation for the Disabled, they say most of their parents are in the same situation.

“Since I’ve been here it’s one of the most devastating hits we’ve had,” said Lola Shannon Social service coordinator at the Foundation.

Shannon estimates they will lose about half of their clients because their parents can't afford to keep them here anymore.

“I had one mother say I don’t know what I’m going to do the day I have to say you can’t go back to school,” said Shannon. “It’s really hitting home.”

Lawmakers still have two weeks to come up with a plan to avoid the cuts but right now it looks like it if they do it will not be a long term solution.

“They’re just going to do this small fix to make it work for now and then it’s going to fall apart again later,” says McKenna.

McKenna is gathering a group of parents with special needs children to rally at the Capitol tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.