Programs & Services
 

Early Intervention

A central component of UCP-OC's services is our Early Intervention program. Recognizing developmental delays while children are still very young is absolutely crucial. All children develop rapidly from birth to five years of age, but for children with developmental delays this period is particularly important. A window of opportunity exists during the early years where these children, if properly cared for through programs such as Early Intervention, have the greatest hope of reaching their full potential. It is well documented that infants and toddlers who receive Early Intervention services are often able to reach developmental milestones and continue on to preschool without requiring specialized education. In fact, 94% of children in UCP-OC's Early Intervention program demonstrated clear progress in 3 out of 5 developmental areas. Early Intervention has proven itself a valuable investment in a child's future and in the well-being of their family.


UCP-OC's Early Intervention program supports families in stimulating their child’s natural curiosity and guiding his/her development by incorporating opportunities for learning into daily routines and activities.


UCP-OC’s Early Intervention program helps children with developmental delays reach their full potential by offering individualized services provided by qualified and caring Child Development Specialists and licensed occupational, physical and speech therapists.


Goals of the Early Intervention program are:

  1. To promote optimal development of children ages birth to three years who have, or are at high risk for, developmental delays.
  2. To increase the family's confidence and knowledge regarding their child's developmental needs.

In-Home: Child Development Specialists typically work for 1 hour per week providing developmentally appropriate activities for children within the natural environment of the home, and providing parent education. These services are generally funded by Regional Center of Orange County through their Early Start or Prevention Plan programs.

For more information, contact Lisa Kerfoot or call (949) 333-6403. To schedule an evaluation or appointment, contact Cindy Escobar at (949) 333-6425 or cescobar@ucp-oc.org.


In-Center: Here at Life Without Limits Pediatric Center in Irvine, in addition to individual therapy, a number of small groups are offered having a specific emphasis. These include:


A Specialized Feeding Group (Let’s Eat) - Our individualized, play-based, therapeutic feeding program systematically assists children who have a variety of feeding challenges. This creative feeding group brings together the unique but complementary expertise from the fields of occupational, physical and speech therapies which provide consultation and support families to assist each child with their unique feeding needs. Although the emphasis of this program is upon improving feeding abilities and enjoyment of meals, other developmental areas are addressed including social-emotional, adaptive, communication, fine motor and cognition.


This program is ideal for infants as young as 8 months and toddlers up to 36 months of age who are demonstrating feeding difficulties characterized by any of the following:

  • Problems progressing from thin liquids via bottle or cup, pureed to solid foods
  • Restricted food repertoire or unable to manage varied and textured foods
  • Oral sensitivity and hyperactive or absent “gag” reflex 
  • Having a limited food repertoire or avoidance behaviors
  • Poor weight gain or failure to thrive, those medically cleared to receive dysphagia facilitation
  • Craniofacial anomalies
  • Other conditions may be considered on a case by case basis upon review by UCP and RCOC specialist.

Children who are picky eaters, who have difficulty gaining weight, have a limited food repertoire, or those  who have difficulty transitioning between consistencies of foods can benefit from participating  in this group which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 - 10:30.

Program is funded by Regional Center for children who qualify for services Vendor (#H10420) or through private pay.

A Communication Group for toddlers (Let’s Talk) - This communication program utilizes a child-focused, play-based approach with parent involvement to stimulate language, communication and development through play, routine, and multi-modality cues. Each group is led by a Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech Pathology Clinical Fellow (CFY) or a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant. Communication-based toddler groups address and improve cognition, expressive and receptive language and play skills for children who have developmental delays and other communication challenges.


This program is ideal for toddlers up to 36 months of age who demonstrate:

  • Social-emotional developmental skills at least at a 12-18 month age range
  • Non-verbal and pre-verbal skills through sound to word approximations, signs and gestures
  • Cognitive precursors that show evidence of one or more of the following skills: turn-taking, cause-effect, object permanence, anticipation, imitation and shared gaze.

Program is funded by Regional Center for Children who qualify for services Vendor (#H10420) or through private pay.


A Communication Group for preschooler-aged children (Let’s Talk, Play, Learn) – This group program is designed for children who are aging out of their current group program (turning 3 years old) or are scoring too high to receive Regional Center funding or Special Education services. Many children may benefit from peer-to-peer interaction in a small group environment. A traditional child care or preschool program may be overwhelming for some children who have communication challenges and social-emotional, adaptive, physical or cognitive delays. This center-based communicative program utilizes a child focused, play-based approach with parent education provided. Therapists will stimulate language, communication and development through play, routines, and multi-modality cues while preparing children for successful participation in preschool or other group setting. Each group is led by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech Pathology Clinical Fellow (CFY), or Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. Occupational therapy and Physical therapy observation and consultations are provided if needed. The ratio of adults per child will be 1:5.


Participation in this group will help children with:

  • Increasing language comprehension (receptive language)
  • Increasing productive vocabulary (expressive language)
  • Increasing attending behaviors
  • Increasing intelligible speech
  • Increasing the pre- and co-requisite skills related to language content (i.e. pragmatics) including taking turns, referencing, and regulating
  • Developing preliterate and emerging literacy skills
  • Developing social skills that assist in developing positive peer relationships
  • Improving self-help skills
  • Gross and fine motor exploration


Cost for the program is $100 per month (4 sessions).


A Developmental Play Group (Let’s Grow) – This weekly, family-focused program is designed to provide parents and caregivers with the tools and guidance they need to optimize their baby’s development. Individualized suggestions for therapeutic interventions which enrich daily routines are provided to all participating families. Parents will self-select individualized goals for their child and receive periodic consultation from a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a speech and language professional. Play-based activities focus on enhancing sensorimotor development, stimulating growth in all areas – including gross motor, fine motor, feeding, visual development, sensory processing, cognition, adaptive, social emotional and communication. Parent education and support is integrated into play sessions.


All families are welcome, but this program is ideal for children who were born prematurely, multiples, infants who are at-risk for possible developmental problems and parents who want to learn about ways to help their babies develop optimally.


Cost for the program is $80 per month (4 sessions); $40 per month for each additional sibling.


For more information concerning any of the In-Center programs, contact Lisa Kerfoot or call (949) 333-6403.