Child of the Month

March 2014: Ruby

 IMG_2638Ruby is sassy, determined and has a smile that can break down even the most stubborn of attitudes. Ruby joined her family through the loving choice of adoption. Her parents, Rebecca and Chris, patiently waited for a child with Down syndrome and feel very blessed that they were chosen to be her parents.

From the beginning of Ruby’s adoption, Rebecca and Chris knew they wanted their daughter to come to UCP-OC. At just 3 months-old Ruby began receiving Early Intervention services, which is one of the main contributing factors to where Ruby is developmentally today.

Ruby has experienced many firsts at UCP-OC including her first feeding off the bottle facilitated by her occupational therapist, Ms. Jane. Her strong-willed nature helps her to continue progressing and reaching for the next milestone! At 12 months, Ruby had a defining moment during physical therapy. Ruby had been observing how to stand for a while, and in that moment on the swing with Moira she conquered the motion of standing. The pure joy and certainty in her face will forever be a memorable moment for Rebecca; “in that moment she knew what she could do; she looked at me with eyes that said, ‘Look, I can do so much!’”

Ruby Standing
Ruby realizing she can stand for the first time!

Today she is developmentally on track in all disciplines with great thanks, Rebecca says, to her therapists Jane, Moira, Pati; and to UCP-OC’s proactive coordination to make sure she receives all the therapy she needs.

Occupational therapist Jane is working on improving her oral motor skills by; increasing tongue lateralization to both sides, increasing jaw movements for biting and chewing and decreasing tongue thrust for feeding. She is also working on improving her fine motor and visual motor skills for age appropriate play.

In physical therapy, Ruby is on the move! Her PT Moira works with her to crawl on all fours using both legs and arms reciprocally while going over obstacles and up stairs, pulling up to a kneeling positioning and starting to push up into a standing position. Most recently, she has started to take a couple of steps forward with trunk support!
During speech therapy Ms. Pati is working on having Ruby imitate single and two-syllable sounds while interacting with adult eye contact. She can say “bye bye” “hi” and “dadda.” She plays with cause and affect toys; for example, when she places a ball into a toy box she will wave and say “bye-bye.”

Outside of UCP-OC you will find Ruby very content and happy when on a walk saying “hi” to all who pass; and she is always ready to cuddle with her siblings Hayden, Vincent and sister Mei Mei.

Dennis Kuhl with Ruby
Ruby welcoming Dennis Kuhl with her mother Rebecca.

On Thursday, March 20th smiling Ruby welcomed Dennis Kuhl, Chairman of Angels Baseball, to UCP-OC. Dennis has been a tremendous supporter of UCP-OC for more than 7 years, and we are very proud to be honoring him at the Life Without Limits Gala this year. Ruby could not have been happier to welcome Dennis into her speech therapy session, which was taking place in the therapy room named in loving memory of Bud Kuhl, Dennis’ father.

“UCP-OC has and will always be an instrumental part of our lives. The love and support is  tremendous. I can’t imagine this journey without the therapists at UCP. They have really become part of our family celebrating the accomplishments and supporting a plan for the challenges”
–Rebecca & Chris


If you would like to make a gift to support the services that are helping Ruby and her family, please click here or contact Elizabeth Eckman at  for more information.


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