Child of the Month: April 2012

Dylan

Dylan is a determined 4 year-old boy, who has a spirit filled with joy, and a face that is always adorned with a smile and the cutest dimples. To match his determination, he is quite the accomplished daredevil. Despite his young age and physical restrictions, at the age of three he learned to ride a bike so that he could ride with his older brother Max, who is a tremendous inspiration. He has also enjoys learning to ski with his twin sister, Maya. His big sister, Carly, keeps him inspired to play soccer as well.

After trying various therapy centers, Dylan’s family finally found UCP-OC and settled in immediately. In the past year and a half Dylan has been coming to UCP-OC, he has been working on relaxing and strengthening the compromised muscles that accompany his CP. Dylan’s cerebral palsy presents itself through resistance on the left side of his body in his foot, ankle, leg, scapula, arm, wrist, and hand, making some daily activities more difficult for him to accomplish.

At UCP-OC, he receives occupational and physical therapy to stretch and strengthen his affected muscles. His occupational therapist, Kristy, helps him with his fine motor skills, such as writing, coloring, working with Play-Doh, scissoring and buttoning shirts. She plays a game with him which she places a penny in the palm of his hand and he must try to grasp it with his fingers to strengthen the muscles in his fingers and hand.  Dylan’s physical therapist, Emily, helps Dylan’s flexibility and strength with activities like walking on the treadmill, “skateboarding” on his belly, and ascending and descending stairs. His mom, Sarah, says both therapists make sessions fun and engaging for Dylan and that he responds to the creative ways they find to keep him interested and challenged to do the work he needs to do.  She finds comfort in their genuine care and expertise. As an extension to the work UCP-OC does with Dylan, his mom does a variety of stretching exercises with him, and tries to keep him surrounded by a variety of other activities at home,  such as rope climbing and jumping on a trampoline. Dylan also enjoys other mainstream sports outside of UCP-OC, and has excelled in swimming, as well as gymnastics and dance.

His parents are very grateful for the genuine care and concern the therapists have for Dylan, and how they look out for him and his active future. His mother, Sarah, also appreciates UCP-OC’s administrative help managing insurance and financials. Another thing Sarah highlighted is how she appreciates the spacious, bright and clean lobby waiting area. This provides a place where she can take a moment to relax and connect with other parents. It also provides a place where Dylan’s twin, Maya, can play while waiting for her brother.

It is Sarah’s hope that with the help of therapy, Dylan will continue to participate in daily activities and enjoy a variety of sports (and hopefully music!) without CP getting in his way. To continue truly living his Life Without Limits-riding his bike with Max and his dad, skiing with Maya and playing soccer with Carly.

If you would like to make a gift to support the services that are helping Dylan and his family please click here or contact Elizabeth at ewylie@ucp-oc.org for more information.

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