if you would like to add your child to one of “Our Children” please contact email@example.com
Meet Keyon & Kendrick
Keyon (3) and Kendrick (4) are brothers, and are both diagnosed with autism. Early on in their childhood, their grandmother, Gretchen stepped in as their mother, but was in need of help. UCP was able to open the doors to our Special Sitters/Saturday Club program to this family and eventually helped them to qualify for respite services. This gift really helped Gretchen recharge her batteries and have enough energy to keep up with these too dynamic, active boys. Gretchen said, “I never dreamed I would ever be able to spend a Saturday alone while at the same time my boys could be having even more fun with friends. I was introduced to Saturday Club, took my boys once, and now they are hooked. I am amazed at the young people that UCP has trained and all the activities available. Everyone is so kind, loving, patient, and fun. You know you’ve made a good choice when you go to pick them up and they don’t want to leave! Honestly, Saturday Club and Respite Connection have changed the quality of our lives in the last 6 months. I am very thankful for everyone that has made our lives so much more enjoyable.”
This 17 month-old cutie was born with Jeune syndrome, which is a type of dwarfism in his rib cage and limbs. His small rib cage restricts his lungs from expanding fully. The crowding of his chest organs exacerbates his reflux and had created an aversion to food. His short limbs and the fact that he tires easily caused him to avoid crawling.
The family has recently come to UCP-OC for therapy and help with Granden’s unique needs. Since then, UCP has provided physical, feeding and speech therapy, and his development has improved drastically. He now crawls and cruises around, puts things near his mouth, has improved communication skills, and socially interacts with other children. His parents state, “We are not just grateful to UCP for what they have helped with in his development, but we also appreciate their comforting, supportive and encouraging nature towards Granden’s improvement. We can truly see their sincere care for their patients during therapy. We are thankful to UCP and their therapists for the difference they’ve made in our son’s life.”
Kick! Punch! Block! Trevor is our Martial Arts Guru. Despite being diagnosed with autism, Trevor loves UCP’s Martial Arts Recreation class and is a motivated student. In fact, Martial Arts has helped Trevor become more focused, task-oriented and helped Trevor mature as both a student and human being. Trevor no longer requires constant reminders to remain on task and shows leadership skills by helping other peers in class. He recently received his white belt and is now learning kata (a choreographed pattern of movement). Trevor’s parents couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments and are grateful for the programs and staff at UCP for helping him along his way.
Meet Marina and Kaitlyn
Two teenagers have created a bond that is truly unique and special. Marina was born with bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia and autism. Kaitlyn has become her eyes and helps Marina to see the world around them.
Kaitlyn was born with cerebral palsy and utilizes a wheelchair throughout her day. Kaitlyn is unable to navigate herself throughout their after-school facility, so Marina has become her legs and is often seen pushing Kaitlyn from one activity to another (with the support of UCP’s Inclusion Facilitator).
UCP’s Childcare Connection program supports these girls as they participate on the handball courts or soccer fields, during arts and craft activities, or simply sitting with a group of kids engaging in a conversation as two teenage girls would. Two beautiful young ladies, each with their unique abilities, nurturing a friendship formed at an after-school program, but one that will last a lifetime.