Kristen’s Story: Always Grateful

Kristen Groseclose knows first-hand how important county board support can be for a family.

Kristen’s 14-year-old son, Jack, was born with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). Since day one, the family has required extra support in order to help Jack live the most fulfilling life possible. Jack is a fortunate recipient of a SELF waiver through the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The SELF waiver is participant-directed, which means Jack has the authority to make his own decisions about services. The waiver, which includes Medicare, has provided Jack with all his medical needs.

“The waiver has not only helped him with his physical needs, but also his social needs,” says Kristen. “It helps us focus on the business of taking care of him.”

During one of his growth spurts, Jack experienced frequent falls and had a hard time getting up. The family was worried that he would soon lose all mobility and be wheelchair-bound.

Because of his waiver, Jack was able to receive physical therapy and leg braces, and can now walk just like before. The family took a trip to Universal Studios recently and Jack was able to walk around for the full day — something that would have been impossible two years ago.

In addition to helping with Jack’s medical needs, the waiver has also helped with his social growth. Jack attends Camp Stepping Stone, an overnight camp for children with disabilities. He’s experienced things at this camp he never would have before — hot air balloon rides, swimming, archery, and fishing. Kristen is beyond grateful for the caring staff and the opportunities Jack has had at camp. “He gets to be himself and is accepted for who he is,” she says.

Recently, she and Jack met with aides from Rep. Warren Davidson’s office to advocate on behalf of those with developmental disabilities. Kristen wants Jack to be aware of his needs and give back to the community in ways he is able.

“We have been given the gift of help with the waivers in this county, now we need to pay it forward,” she says. “Butler County has given us everything we need to take care of Jack.”

Reflecting back on the help from the Butler County Board, Kristen doesn’t know what she would’ve done without the help. She is especially grateful for the caseworkers that have devoted their lives to helping those with developmental disabilities.