Child of the Month: June 2013

June 2013: Knightly

Knightly Spring AppealAfter three years of desperately trying to start their family, David and Drexelle learned that they were going to have a baby. “We created a hope for the future and an image of what our children would look like and two days after our son was born it felt as if those were stolen from us” David recalls.

“The nurse picked up our baby, turning him over like a ragdoll, and pinpointed everything on his body that looked like Down syndrome.”

Left with a diagnosis and anxious for a place to go, Regional Center guided the Park family to United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) for in-home early intervention services when Knightly was only 1 month-old. Ana Reyes, UCP-OC’s early intervention specialist, entered the Park’s home and started working with Knightly immediately.

The first years of a child’s life are critical to their development. For a child with special needs early intervention is the main line of defense to remain on the track with their developmental goals. In-home services allow UCP-OC to work on Knightly’s goals in his natural environment using tools at the family’s disposal to stimulate the different areas of global development such as fine and gross motor skills, sensory and tactile stimulation and cognitive development.

For Drexelle, Ana Reyes has not just been a specialist for her child, but has helped her through the grieving process. “I look at her and I am inspired. She sits and listens, and is truly an inspiration. She gives me confidence as a mother that I can do this. Most of all, she loves Knightly and that is a gift, especially in the beginning when we were worried if people would love our son. We mourned for what we thought our child was and now we experience what he really is and how beautiful he is.”

With Ana’s dedication, early intervention and the resources UCP-OC provided the Parks, at 9 months Knightly is now on target to meet all his developmental goals and is learning to crawl. UCP-OC is monitoring his development; and remains vigilant and aware of what services he will need to continue thriving.Park Family 2

“We are giving back to UCP-OC this spring in gratitude for all Ana and the organization have provided our family. With help from UCP-OC, Knightly can fight to have a great life, a Life Without Limits.”
–Drexelle & David Park

In-home therapy is a cornerstone of UCP-OC’s robust 60 year history in Orange County. This service enables UCP-OC to reach families who are unable to leave their home either due to lack of transportation or medical frailty of the child. Of the 4,000 families UCP-OC impacts, 20% of our therapy families receive services in-home. Many of whom are low-income families. Funding for early intervention services continues to be cut and your support is needed to guarantee these families are served.

Your gift will help inspire a mother and father and assist a child in fighting for a Life Without Limits.

By sending in your gift or going online to, you can help build a child’s future.

Thank you for making a difference in the life of a child.

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Child of the Month: August 2012

Elizabeth: August 2012

Elizabeth is a laid back and fun-loving 1 year-old that meets with Ana Reyes, one of our in-home early intervention specialists. Elizabeth “Bethie” was born with Down syndrome and spent her first 2 months of life in the hospital learning how to feed. When she finally got home she began to thrive!

Wherever Elizabeth goes, she is everyone’s favorite. She loves being held by all the different women at church. He mother Denette says, “Elizabeth is perfect for our family, she is our second child and makes our family feel complete.”

When Ana comes to work with Elizabeth they work on different activities to stimulate Elizabeth’s brain to continue growing and thriving. This includes working on fine & gross motor skills, cognation, communication, social & emotional interactions and other different areas of development. Some of the activities Ana does with Elizabeth are taking pegs out of a peg board to work on fine motor, strengthen cognitive skills by encouraging her to imitate facial gestures and making works of arts through finger painting to increase tactile stimulation. She has taught Bethie new skills and in turn taught her parents how to continue to develop those skills when Elizabeth is not in therapy.

Ana Reyes has been with United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County for 25 years this month, and we are so grateful for her commitment to our families. Elizabeth is one of more than 2,500 children & families that Ana has worked with.

“We have been blessed with the opportunity to work with Ana. Ana is an angel sent to us; we absolutely love her! She has opened our eyes to the abilities Bethie has. Bethie is able to do much more than I thought!” -Denette, Elizabeth’s mother

Thank you Ana for all you do with our children, Happy 25 Years!!

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