School-Based Therapy

Many of UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Children’s Services clients can’t wait to go back to school to learn and see their friends. But it isn’t just the kids getting ready to go back to school, because a piece of UCP is going back to school too! Many UCP of Greater Cleveland physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), physical therapy assistants (PTAs), and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) work with local schools during the school year to better enable students with disabilities to participate in school-related activities. One of these therapists is Heather Hoffman, who has been a physical therapist with UCP for five years working at a local school district.

UCP-Cleveland-D1-10Heather works with children ranging in age from preschoolers to high school students. Since Heather has been working in the schools for five years, she has gotten the opportunity to watch the children she works with grow in many ways and increase their confidence and abilities. She gets to see and encourage this growth in the children she works with each year.

Each school year, Heather and the student’s team set functional goals and assist each student to achieve his/her goals in order to improve participation in school-related activities. For example, they may address seating and positioning to best perform classroom activities, or navigating a crowded hallway or stairwell. During a regular day at school, Heather provides therapy to children in a variety of ways, whether it is in the student’s classroom, the hallways or in the therapy room. The student’s teacher will often work with therapists to help work out the logistics of therapy timing, as well as identifying what the child needs in the classroom in order to have a successful school year.

Though the therapy room is a very useful “home-base” for school therapy, therapists often integrate a student’s therapy in a variety of locations on the school grounds. For example, if a student was in choir, Heather could go to their choir room and work on standing balance while singing. Both the therapy room and therapy in the classroom are customized to the needs of the student. Heather remarks that sometimes students thrive from the energy and presence of peers in the classroom setting and thus therapy being done in classes is very beneficial to them. For example, this is especially beneficial for group obstacle courses or during gym class or recess. Whereas, at times, it is also helpful to work in the therapy room where a student can focus entirely on their goals.

The goal for Heather and her fellow therapists is for the children to reach their full potential in school in order to best access and participate in their school environment. Heather, along with many OTs, PTs, PTAs, COTAs, Speech Therapists and teachers, work very hard to help children reach this level of independence and achieve success in the school setting and for the rest of their lives to come.

For more information about UCP of Greater Cleveland’s School-Based Therapy Services, please contact our Director of Children’s Services, Intesar Taye, at (216) 791-8363 ext. 1247 or itaye@ucpcleveland.org.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Team Alex

This week’s blog post was written by Debbie, mom of UCP of Greater Cleveland client Alex and captain of Team Alex. Below Debbie shares her experience about racing for the first time with her triplet boys: Alex, Austin and Brandon.

DSC_5342_WEB

This was Alex’s third time competing as part of Team UCP at the Cleveland Triathlon, however this year was different. At the end of the triathlon last year, Alex “called out” his brother, Brandon, to race with him next year. Mom decided the triplets, Alex, Austin and Brandon would compete in the triathlon this year. The day still belonged to Alex, but to see all three boys doing the triathlon was absolutely one of the best days of my life. They are all so different. Alex has cerebral palsy, Austin is autistic, and Brandon is a typical child, yet they came together on this special day. About 30 family members and friends came out to cheer us on. We all wore our shirts that said, “yes, yes, yes”, Alex’s saying from his favorite big time wrestler and yes, yes, yes, they did it. It is always great to see all of the other teams and congratulate each and every one of them for their individual success. I look forward to next year, but there is no way to top this year. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers that made this moment special for me.

If you would like to support Team Alex’s efforts, you can donate to their fundraising page at www.active.com/donate/teamucp2015/TeamAlex15.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas for Tyler Hold ‘Em Tournament – September 19, 2015

Join Team Tyler for their annual Texas for Tyler Hold ‘Em Tournament at Regovich’s Catering Center in Eastlake on Saturday, September 19 starting at 5:00pm. The tournament is limited to 125 players, so book early! For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Chris Spicuzza at chris.spicuzza@att.net or (216) 870-1640. Click here to download the flyer.

Tyler Poker Flyer 9.19.15

Posted in News & Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Team Devan

This week’s blog post was written by Julie, mom of Devan and co-captain of Team Devan. Below Julie shares her experience about racing for the first time with her husband, Scott, during the Cleveland Triathlon.

DSC_5383_croppedThis was TEAM DEVAN’s 5th year in the Cleveland Triathlon. This is the first year Scott, husband and Dad, competed. We worked together to allow Devan to participate in all three stages of the race. All three of us as well as our cheering section had a great time!

The swim was great! I pulled Devan in a raft for the swim portion. He loved waving to his fans. Daddy liked beating Mom in a swim race! Kudos to the strong UCP volunteers that helped lift Devan in and out of the boat!

The bike was next. We had decided that Dad would start with Devan for the first lap (8 miles) then I would take him for the second. Scott was strong throughout but realized that those hills really were challenging with Devan in tow! I had the unique experience of riding some of the hills without him and although the course is still hilly- not nearly as difficult! Scott was also amazed by the support and kindness of other racers on the course. This is something I haveIMG_3798_cropped experienced in past years but it is so incredibly helpful! For me the bike is the most difficult part and having other Team UCP and elite athletes shouting encouragement really spurs you on! I don’t know of another race that others are so supportive- never a negative comment. We made the switch with Devan at the halfway point and it was my turn. I felt really strong this year- probably because I got a bit of a rest the first lap! Scott decided to head into transition early and sped ahead on the last two miles. He was surprised when I showed up just a few minutes after him!

Then it was on to the run. The two hills are always a challenge on tired legs but we worked together to get him up! I just wish the hills were not in front of all the spectators- I feel like a wimp walking! I really did run the rest of the course! Then I remind myself that I am completing a Sprint triathlon with my 16 year old- that doesn’t really sound like a wimp! I was happy with my time for the run- just a few minutes slower than my 5k record (and it was after the swim and bike and I was pushing Devan).

DSC_5370_croppedThe finish was of course amazing! Devan loved running in with us, and his sisters joined us as well. A great family moment. Then we celebrated with our UCP family too!

I am already thinking ahead to next year and how to challenge TEAM DEVAN and support UCP! I’ve got big ideas, a big heart, and an amazing anchor for our team- Devan!

If you would like to support Team Devan’s efforts, you can donate to their fundraising page at www.active.com/donate/teamucp2015/TeamDevan15.

Devan already training for next year’s triathlon!

Team Devan

Julie and Scott training for the 2015 Cleveland Triathlon with Devan in tow.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hometown heroes are inspired at 2015 Cleveland Triathlon

By ZACHARY DZURICK
Special to The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Hometown heroes flooded the streets of Downtown Cleveland on Sunday for the 29th annual Cleveland Triathlon.

The winners of the headline Olympic race were two Greater Cleveland natives who have traveled the world but the true champions were the clients and families of the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.

For the last eight years the agency has used the race, which starts and finishes near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Voinovich Park on East 9th Street as a fundraiser. Using modified equipment, families swim, bike and run together in the event that not only raises money but spirits.

Six years ago, Willoughby native AJ Baucco competed in the Cleveland Triathlon as an amateur. He has spent the last five years competing as an Ironman professional. Saturday was his first return Cleveland race. He won with a time of 1:56:05.

“This is kind of a homecoming after racing all over the world,” Baucco said. “It means a lot to come back and do this race. It is also amazing to see these kids and families involved in the race. It is very motivating and it pushes me a little harder. Watching the families push the kids in the stroller carts was awesome. It is a great family event.”

Lakewood’s Katie Spotz was the female winner of the Olympic race with a time of 2:22.52. Spotz, who is also a regular Ironman participant, made worldwide headlines in 2010 when she set the world record for the youngest solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. This was only Spotz’s second Olympic length triathlon.

“Running a triathlon was on my bucket list that I made when I was 18,” Spotz said. “I also wanted to channel it into raising money for clean water.”

Spotz said she is just $500 away from her group’s $5,000 goal to provide clean water for two schools in South Africa. For more information, visit here website, katiespotz.com, where 100 percent of the funds go to the cause.

The Cerebral Palsy families also inspired Spotz.

“In each race there is point where you feel sorry for yourself and it is a reality check that there are so many other people that have challenges on a daily basis,” Spotz said. “It was so cool to see them run with the strollers and to see how happy they were to be on the race course.”

The highlight of the event was the cheers and smiles as each family team crossed the finish line. One of the loudest cheers came from Alex Lozano and Team Alex. This was Alex’s third race, but this year was extra special. Alex, who has Cerebral Palsy, challenged his autistic brother, Austin, and his brother Brandon to join him.

“I called out my brothers,” Alex said. “They did good.”

His mother was proud of the entire family.

“It was so inspiring to see them run together,” Debbie Lozano said. “We had over 30 family members come out at 7 a.m. to cheer them on.”

Team Rizzo has also been involved for the last three years.

“My six-year old daughter Julia loves the outdoors,” John Rizzo said. “So the training and the race are right up her alley. It is so inspirational watching her and the other kids participate and despite the odds stacked against them finish the race. It is a good check in with yourself that the things you think are important but really aren’t. It is about the kids and their smiles.”

Last year, Team Ethan and the friendship between Ethan Fairhurst and his classmate Rachel Prior inspired the community. This year, the team increased from 27 to 37 runners. Rachel and Ethan upgraded to the Super Sprint race.

“Because of her age, Rachel could have stayed in the kids race but she wanted a new challenge,” Ethan’s mother, Sarah Fairhurst said. “Being involved in the race has been an amazing experience. To go from being worried if Ethan would ever have friends to seeing the community rally around him, it is very overwhelming.”

UCP president and CEO Trish Otter said each year new families are inspired to join.

“It is contagious and they get a lot of support in our building,” Otter said. “They hear about it and start training. So on race day you see the families here with their kids being supported by the community. Seeing that support is the highlight of the day.”

Wadsworth’s Justin Crooks won the Super Sprint with a time of 44:45. It was Crooks’ third triathlon and second Super Sprint.

“It is so inspirational seeing people with Cerebral Palsy competing,” Crooks said. “If they can do it why not you. They give you so much energy. It was my first win and it was a lot of fun as it is a great charity to raise money for.”

Joshua Barry won the Sprint race with a time of 1:13:43 and Margaret McParland was the top female Sprint finisher with a time of 1:19:29.

Overall this year’s race had about 500 participants, with 120 being part of one of the UCP teams. Last year’s event, in conjunction with another event at the same time, raised over $175,000. The goal for this year’s event was $75,000, with the other event moved to the fall. Those wishing to learn more about UCP and how to get involved can visit their website.

This article was shared from Cleveland.com
By Zachary Dzurick on July 26, 2015
www.cleveland.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/07/hometown_heroes_are_inspired_a.html

Posted in News & Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
  • Upcoming Events

    August  2015
    MTWTFSS
     12
    3
    Events on August 3, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 3, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 6, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    4
    Events on August 4, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 3, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 6, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    5
    Events on August 5, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 3, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 6, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    6789
    10111213141516
    171819
    Events on August 19, 2015
    • Finance Committee Meeting

      Starts: 8:30 am, August 19, 2015

      Ends: 9:30 am, August 19, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    20212223
    24
    Events on August 24, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 24, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 27, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    25
    Events on August 25, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 24, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 27, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    26
    Events on August 26, 2015
    • New Employee Orientation

      Starts: 12:00 am, August 24, 2015

      Ends: 12:00 am, August 27, 2015

      Location: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States

    27282930
    31