Oklahoma Watch: Time on list for state services can seem like lifetime for Oklahoma residents

Daniel Ferguson spent many of his short 11 years of life on the waiting list. Just two months after he left the list and was granted access to state-paid services, he died.
BY CLIFTON ADCOCK, Oklahoma Watch Modified: April 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm •  Published: April 27, 2013
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For some people, time spent on the waiting list to get aid for developmental disabilities can seem like a lifetime.

For others, it practically is a lifetime.

Daniel Ferguson spent many of his short 11 years of life on the waiting list. Just two months after he left the list and was granted access to state-paid services, he died.

When Daniel was born, it was clear he had developmental issues, said his father Rob Ferguson, of Oklahoma City.

“From the first moment, we knew he was going to have a hard time,” Ferguson said.

Daniel had a chromosome disorder, cerebral palsy and profound epilepsy, and he was severely delayed in development, Ferguson said.

Daniel never spoke, but loved to try singing along with opera. He loved classical music, watching football and golf on television, meeting new people and going on car rides.

Around age 6, however, after Rob and Kathleen Ferguson had signed up Daniel for the waiting list, he began to regress. He no longer made progress on sorting skills, and he began to lose interest in achieving goals.

“At that point, we really began to think we could use some help here,” Ferguson said.

“That's when we really started to hope they could get to us with some kind of services that would enable us to feel like we could keep him at home and less like we might have to send him away.”

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