UCP is currently enrolling children for the 2012-2013 school year for the following programs: infant, toddler, preschool, elementary (second through fourth offered exclusively at the East Orange/Bailes campus), middle, high school and college experience. Free tuition is available for eligible students meeting criteria for select programs. Physical, speech and occupational therapy is offered to children who attend UCP’s schools and on an outpatient basis at all six campuses. Medicaid, commercial insurance and private/prompt pay options are available.
UCP of Central Florida specializes in maximizing student potential for children of all abilities by integrating various learning styles. To begin the enrollment process, visit ucpcfl.org or call (407) 852-3300.
Central Florida children are excelling at all UCP locations. Here is a glimpse at the local successes:
Downtown Orlando: Gage’s Story
Three year-old Gage was born with hydrocephalus, literally meaning "water on the brain." After medical intervention eliminated the buildup of fluid putting pressure on his brain, his family worried about Gage’s unknown future, the challenges he would face, and where he would fit in. However, today, Gage is progressing wonderfully thanks to the services of UCP of Central Florida.
Almost immediately after starting at UCP, Gage’s parents saw enormous strides in his physical and emotional development. “His vocabulary quickly tripled and he met friends who accepted him despite his limitations. In fact, he feels like the most popular kid in school since all children and staff cheer him on as he learns to walk independently, and doing so with a smile,” said Colin, Gage’s father.
As a supportive environment of children with and without disabilities, Gage often sees his younger sister in the school hallways; she’s a fellow student even though she does not have any special needs. UCP provides Gage the onsite support, education and therapy he needs to unlock his potential and the reassurance his family desired for Gage to have the bright future he deserves. UCP experts understand the unique potential of individual students and strive to develop a specialized plan for every child.
East Orlando: Chase and Kailyn’s Story
Chase, who has cerebral palsy, and Kailyn, who doesn’t have any disabilities, are twins who have been learning side-by-side for several years in an inclusive classroom at UCP. Because of this natural learning environment, these two and hundreds of other children like them are learning to embrace differences. This inclusive environment is laying a strong foundation for our children’s future and for our world, creating a place where our children are learning empathy and kindness while encouraging others of all abilities to reach their potential.
Kissimmee: Isabella’s Story
Three and a half year old Isabella, diagnosed with mild autism, struggled to develop her language skills and appeared uncomfortable with physical engagement. Experiencing UCP’s set of services including support, education and therapy has significantly helped Isabella improve her speech delays and socialization skills. Previously, Isabella could only verbalize approximately six words and instead utilized physical gestures such as pointing to communicate. Now she is learning numbers and counting out load. Formerly avoiding interaction with other children, happy Isabella now listens and plays with her classmates and cousins. Her mother, Rosa, says Isabella is blossoming and appreciates the dedicated setting helping her daughter reach her true potential.
Lake Mary: Cameron
Parents Alisha and Simon were concerned when their then two-year old son Cameron lacked speech development, displayed obsessive behaviors and struggled emotionally. After Cameron was diagnosed with autism, a diagnosis also shared by his older brother Aiden, UCP teachers and therapists helped him to improve his verbal communication, ability to self sooth and socialization skills. Alisha says she never thought Cameron would be able to play with other children and now loves that he can verbally tell her about playtime with his schoolmates. Alisha, a UCP substitute teacher, credits UCP with helping Cameron transition from a specialized sensory classroom to a VPK classroom.
Pine Hills: Maria’s Story
Four year-old Maria was born with severe scoliosis and spina bifida and has faced many surgeries in her short lifetime. UCP physical, speech and occupational therapists have helped Maria improve her biggest challenge of holding herself in an upright position. She is now able to engage with her environment and independently move around to participate in pre-k classroom activities such as circle time, playing with blocks, and feeding herself. Maria is now working on strengthening her lower body so she can eventually walk independently. Her progress over the past two and half years shows that Maria could overcome her physical limitations and unlock her potential.
Winter Garden: Hunter’s story
Six-year-old Hunter, diagnosed with Down syndrome, battled frustration because he lacked the ability to communicate verbally. In less than a year at UCP, through speech and occupational therapy, Hunter learned to recite his ABC’s, colors, and numbers in a classroom with an average of 10 children (typically classes can accommodate up to 16 students with an added assistant instructor and educational volunteers).
“Finally hearing my son say “mama” for the first time this year felt like a miracle granted by UCP experts,” said Philesha, Hunter’s mother. She has learned from UCP how to better participate in the focused development of Hunter, who is now thriving with educational computer programs. Philesha says Hunter’s progress has had a positive impact on the entire family unit.
About UCP of Central Florida: UCP of Central Florida, a tuition-free public charter school and therapy center, is the experts for children with special needs and provides support, education, and therapy services for children with and without disabilities, ages birth through 21. Services are offered at six locations throughout Central Florida: downtown Orlando, East Orlando near UCF, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Pine Hills and Winter Garden. More than 2,400 children and their families received services provided by UCP last year. For more information about programs and services, visit www.ucpcfl.org or call (407) 852-3300.