Upcoming UCP-OC Events!

WOD for Wyatt

  • Saturday, March 2nd
  • 11:00am-2:00pm
  • 22600 Lambert St.
    Suite 1203
    Lake Forest, CA 92603

For children with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, simple tasks like standing, walking, and writing require hard work that takes them out of their comfort zone. To honor these children, we are proud to present the WOD for Wyatt – a CrossFit workout where all proceeds will help United Cerebral Palsy of OC provide therapy services to children in need. There are individual workouts and team/family workouts. For more information on the workouts and to register please visit legendary competitor. $20 Donation to Register! And free event T-Shirt.


Have a Heart for UCP: Fashion Show

  • Saturday, March 2nd
  • 10:30-1:00pm
  • Embassy Suites in Brea
    900 East Birch St.
    Brea, CA


Sea & Sky Guild’s Casino Royale

  • Saturday, March 9th
  • 6:00pm-11:00pm
  • Crevier Classic Cars
    365 Clinton St.
    Costa Mesa, CA
  • $125 per ticket


The Sea and Sky Guild of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) will present their Evening in Monte Carlo Casino Royale Fundraiser on Saturday, March 9 at Crevier Classic Cars in Costa Mesa.  An evening highlight is honoring Afshin Aminian, M.D. with the organization’s Humanitarian Award. Dr. Aminian is the Medical Director CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute and an internationally renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who offers invaluable medical expertise and support to children with disabilities at UCP-OC.

Life Without Limits Gala 60th Anniversary Celebration

  • Honoring Michael K. Hayde
    CEO, Western National Group
  • Friday, May 10th
  • 6:30pm
  • Balboa Bay Club & Resort
    1221 Coast Highway
    Newport Beach, CA
  • $250 per ticket


Come spend an evening with us as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary while honoring Michael K. Hayde. Spend an evening with our UCP-OC family and donors as we raise money for the children and families that we serve throughout Orange County.


  • Sunday, May 5th
  • Newport Beach, Fashion Island
  • Join us at the Water Station to cheer on our Team Jake Runners
  • Join Team Jake & walk or run for all the children served by UCP-OC and to celebrate Jake Robert



UCP Smart Brief: February

UCP Smart Brief

Disability Update

Children’s skills improve with cell treatment for cerebral palsy
Children with cerebral palsy who received transfusions of donated umbilical cord blood cells as well as erythropoietin and rehabilitation performed better in tests of motor and cognitive function, according to a study in the journal Stem Cells. The most progress was seen in children younger than 3. News.com.au (Australia) (1/31)

Study finds lack of efficacy for psychological, dietary ADHD therapies
A review of 54 studies in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed little evidence that nonpharmacological treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, such as psychological or dietary interventions, can reduce symptoms. Parents should not be discouraged because the findings only “demonstrate that what we once thought worked is more limited and more questionable,” study co-author Dr. Emily Simonoff said. WebMD/HealthDay News (1/30)

Other News

EEOC: Disability-related job bias claims were at record high in 2012
Disability Scoop (1/29)
Bioness’ device gets FDA OK for treating pediatric foot drop
Medscape (free registration) (1/25)
Class-action lawsuit targets lengthy waiting list for group-home placement in Maine
Portland Press Herald (Maine) (1/30)

Assistive Technology

CDC awards $10.2M contract for disabilities research
The CDC awarded RTI International a five-year, $10.2 million contract for research into the causes and prevalence of developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy. The research will support work by the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. WashingtonTechnology.com (1/28)

Fla. nonprofit offers instruction on iPhone accessibility
The Lighthouse of Broward in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers instruction to people who are visually impaired on how to use the iPhone’s accessibility features. The smartphone’s standard features such as navigation, a currency reader and other voice-activated functions make it accessible right out of the box, said Eric Barrette, technology specialist at the Lighthouse of Broward. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (1/29)


Minn. schools offer varsity sports through adaptive-sports leagues
Minnesota started an adaptive high-school sports league 40 years ago with floor hockey and now has 1,700 participants in four sports where students with disabilities can compete against other schools and earn varsity letters. Some say Minnesota offers a model for other states and districts. Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education called for schools to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in school athletics. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (1/31)

Wash. focuses on addressing effects of “toxic stress”
Washington state is charting a new path for improving educational outcomes for young children who have been exposed to toxic stress, including deprivation, abandonment, abuse and more. Such exposure can affect brain development and a child’s school readiness, researchers say. State agency officials, researchers and educators are working together to launch and monitor pilot programs in early-childhood settings across the state in hopes of developing a national model. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (1/30)

Other News

Ga. city builds park with slides, swings adapted for children with disabilities
The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.) (1/30)

Child of the Month: February 2013

Ordinarily when writing the child of the month feature I meet with the family to hear their story and then I write our post. This month’s child story came directly to my inbox thanks to Ms. Pati! Kai’s father was kind enough to send me Kai’s story. Sweet Kai’s story was too touching to re-write in my own words or even shorten; he truly has a story to be told.


February 2013: Kai

“Kai was found in a cardboard box near a water tower near Jincheng City, in central China. He was raised in an orphanage with over 300 children.”

UCP-OC Child of the Month_Kai“On February 20, 2012, Kai Min was united with my wife and I. He was 2 years 10 months old. It took my wife Lisa and I two years through the International Adoption process to get to this point. We had limited information on his health history except that he was born with rectal malformation and was abandoned by his parents at one day of age.

Our story unfolds from here. Lisa and I were given basic information on his psychosocial and motor development. Kai was described as “shy and kind.” He was described to be able to speak 5 words, sit alone but unable to walk. We were told he was potty trained and no longer had any bowel issues because of a surgical repair. It was recorded that he weighed 19 lbs. and we received 4 photos of him in the orphanage. Retrospectively, he looked very sad, and small compared to his fellow orphans.

Upon our “Gottcha Day”, the day orphans are united with their forever family, we saw a pale small fragile little boy that was expressionless. He showed no attachment to the caregivers that brought him to the Civil Affairs Office where we were united. Kai now entered into a new world.

UCP-OC Child of the Month_Kai
Kai’s Physical Therapist Cori uses an inverted half foam roll while he plays, reaches for toys and squatting to pick up fallen ones, in attempt to activate the muscles required for balance.  

On quick inspection, Kai appeared well cared for. It was not until we spent the next several hours to days that we realized his deficits. The back of Kai’s head was flat from spending all his time on his back in a “crib.” He could not roll, or lift his head off the carpet while lying on his stomach. Kai did not crawl or scoot, he could sit up if propped up. The smallest imbalance made him fall flat on his face. In fact, he had a permanent bump on his forehead from seemly repeated falls. Kai was 100% immobile at the ripe age of almost 3 years. When spoke to in Chinese, Kai had no response. We quickly discovered he had never learned the language. Surprisingly to us, Kai knew too well his toes and would play for hours with them by himself in the hotel room. Kai was a victim of his own body. We can only believe that he was left in social isolation in a small cradle that did not even allow him to move. Nonetheless, we were terrified, mad, and lived in disbelief.

Upon Kai’s arrival to the USA, I made multiple doctors’ appointments to have him formally tested for any congenital syndromes that might have been missed or misdiagnosed. After being evaluated by 7 specialists, and denied services by the school district, it appeared that Kai’s developmental delay was due to environmental issues. My wife and I were familiar with Help Me Grow, as our daughter was born premature. Out of the persistence to get Kai help, Help Me Grow directed us to United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County. UCP-OC welcomed Kai with open arms. They were the first organization that navigated the care and therapy that was needed for Kai.

 Today, Kai participates in 3 group sessions, and two individual therapies per week. Kai is blossoming into a boy that walks, runs, plays and climbs at every opportunity. He is beginning to put two words together. All these milestones in just 5 months of treatment! Kai is a new boy and no longer a victim of his own body. He has a long way to come, but nevertheless, he has been given the gift of a “Good Life” –a song my wife and I dedicated to him before meeting him.

Thank you UCP-OC for all your love and support of Kai.”


Dr. Joe & Lisa

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