Child of the Month: April 2013

April 2013: Spencer

Spencer 1  Spencer has been a constant smile at UCP-OC for almost 4 years now. He is a happy, friendly, fun-loving  child who loves to be around adults and peers.  Spencer has a special fascination with airplanes and tunnels; which is good for his yearly trips to France where his mother is from. In the home, Spencer is exposed to both French and English and is learning to communicate in a dual-language environment. Over the years he has been seen by different disciplines at UCP-OC, but today he is here solely for speech therapy.  Through his speech therapy we at UCP-OC have learned that he is a very social boy, even obtaining the nickname of “the mayor” (a small hint towards his gregarious personality 🙂 .)

 Spencer’s first day of speech therapy was filled with huge smiles and excitement. Initially, Spencer was babbling and making sounds, but not communicating any true words such as “ball” or “swing.”  Spencer had a difficult time receptively and expressively identifying objects, and the imitation of sounds and words was challenging for him. Those who communicated with him would have to do trial and error approaches in order to guess what he wanted as it was tough to understand exactly what Spencer wanted. When we fast forward to today, he opens his arms for his speech therapist and excitedly exclaims, “Miss Jeanne!” He not only communicates to his family in French, but he also will switch languages and communicate with peers in English. Spencer can now follow multiple step directions and will spontaneously tell stories about his life to his clinicians. He will ask questions, describe events, and express his emotions.

His mother Muriel is elated that through his speech therapy, he is now becoming a more vocal part of his family and his siblings are incorporating him in their play time. He is very happy to be included! His family works at home with breaking down words and color associations, including real life applications such as, “red is stop, green is go.” Most recently his real life application involves surfing. He has started saying to others, “I surf” which definitely adds to his cool factor. His father takes him surfing with him on his board, which I am sure is a great opportunity to work on his sea life words!

Spencer has become our ultimate communicator and has made tremendous improvements in his ability to understand, process, and use both French and English. We are so happy he is at UCP-OC – he is his own speech super star!Spencer 2Spencer 3

If you would like to make a gift to support the services that are helping Spencer and his family please click here or contact Elizabeth Wylie at for more information.

written by: Elizabeth Wylie

Published by Life Without Limits: UCP of Orange County

The mission of UCP of Orange County is to help children with disabilities reach their full potential and improve the quality of life for their families.

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