At United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC), our vision of a Life Without Limits for children with disabilities is central to all that we do. One of our core programs is Early Intervention, which helped Beau to overcome his developmental delays. This is Beau’s story.
At 9 months old, Beau’s mother Carrie began to notice developmental delays in her son. Beau was not crawling and Beau’s physician encouraged Carrie to contact the Regional Center of Orange County, where Beau was then referred for occupational therapy.
Carrie chose UCP-OC’s Early Intervention services, and she is extremely grateful that she did. Early Intervention takes advantage of the window of opportunity in child development from birth to 5 years of age to promote optimal development. Infants and toddlers, like Beau, in Early Intervention programs have a greater chance of reaching their full potential, and are often able to overcome developmental delays before they attend preschool.
Ria, one of UCP-OC’s occupational therapists, determined that Beau had sensory issues; he wasn’t crawling because he didn’t like the feeling of the ground and he was gagging because he didn’t like the feeling of food in his mouth. Ria worked with Beau to mitigate his sensory aversions, exposing him to different textures, such as beans, rice, and balls. He didn’t like this at first, Carrie notes, but within three weeks of starting therapy with Ria, Beau was finally crawling, and he now enjoys a well-balanced diet. He has also come to enjoy the sensation of different textures, and beans have become his favorite toy, even at home!
“At UCP-OC, I not only know that Beau is in good hands, but I also know I can count on the therapists and staff to support me as a first-time parent. UCP-OC has provided Beau with the therapy he needed and me with guidance to be a better parent to him.” – Carrie
At 14 months old, Beau had made some incredible improvements, but Carrie noticed that he was still only babbling. Carrie knew she could rely on Ria to give her guidance. Ria had Beau’s speech evaluated, and soon Beau started with 1-on-1 speech therapy sessions with Pati and joined UCP-OC’s Let’s Talk program, a toddler group aimed at improving cognition, language, and play skills for children who have developmental delays and other communication challenges. Let’s Talk helped Beau with his speech, and Carrie found the social component valuable to Beau as well as to herself. They have both made close friends, and Beau has also learned to help children with more significant delays than his, like his good friend Donovan.
Beau turns 3 years old today. Happy birthday, Beau! He loves music, singing, and playing the guitar. He plays baseball and basketball and enjoys watching hockey. He likes trucks, but his favorite toy is still beans, and he seems to love nothing more than to yell “beans, beans, beans”. Thanks to the services at UCP-OC, Beau will have no lifelong disabilities, and with his funny and charming personality, he is sure to be the jokester in class when he attends preschool in September.