We are beyond grateful for UCP's Friday Night Respite services! My boys get to do something fun, and my husband and I get the break we need. The program is unique in that it takes all ages and siblings, too. The staff are amazing - they are truly passionate about what they do and always make it a welcoming, fun environment for the kids. They're experienced with the type of behaviors my boys might have, so we can have peace of mind when we're out.
My youngest son first received services from UCP 3 years ago. A developmental therapist came to our home once a week. I was impressed right away by how she was able to get my son to open up and actually try things (which were cleverly disguised as fun!). Eventually, my son started attending the inclusive preschool program at UCP's Capital Area Children's Center. A shy boy with speech delay graduated the program to enter kindergarten with great social skills and is up to speed with the other kids and beyond! We are so proud of him and so thankful to UCP! Both my sons have benefited from the Family Services activities, such as the Fall Fun Fair and Dance Night.
I don't know what we'd do without UCP's respite! This is a place where my son with autism is completely accepted and well-cared for, and my "neuro-typical" son has a great time with friends as well. It is very difficult to find people to care for a special needs child, so when we learned about UCP's respite program, we were thrilled. We've used it for years and both our boys still love "respite night"! We parents get to spend a few peaceful, uninterrupted hours out on the town! Thank you, UCP, for this amazing program and to all the workers who make it possible.
UCP Central PA has been amazing for our family. Our youngest son attends Sibshop and gets so much out of that program. He has learned he's not alone in the struggle of dealing with a sibling who has autism. He has gained friends and a greater sense of confidence. Our family has attended many UCP sponsored programs like Family Fun Fair, picnics, and movie nights. These are all great programs to enjoy in an accepting and nonjudgmental atmosphere. We are very grateful for all UCP has done for the betterment of our family unit.
Daily caring for 4 ASD kids + 1 typical kid: exhausting
Preparing kids for an outing: tears and stress
Driving kids in van for an hour to reach UCP respite: hair-pulling madness
Date night with my husband knowing that my children are safe and properly cared-for: PRICELESS.
I can not begin to express how much UCP's respite program has done for my family. It is incredibly hard to be a care-giver for someone with disabilities. I love my children deeply, but my energy and patience are taxed to the max daily. It is because of this program my husband and I get the break and space we need to continue our labor of love as parents. I know that while I am out, my children's specific needs will be met. I know the staff working with them are capable and have experience with many behaviors. I don't have to worry if my children are going to have problems because these staff are so loving, giving and capable... my children had no problems accepting this new environment and, after a number of years, are never bored and enjoy going. Thank you for providing this phenomenal service!
Our son receives services from UCP's LifeFit program and he LOVES it! His trainer takes him to the YMCA twice a week where they work on strength training and cardio. Last week they participated in the Insane Inflatable 5 K together! We always know when they return home...you can hear them jamming out in the car to the loudest music ever! Awesome program!! Awesome Agency!
I have been receiving services from UCP for many years. I have had the same coach for Lifefit for 6 years and she is the best LifeFit coach ever. My first hab aide helped me to get back into horseback riding, after not riding for 20 years. She helped me to become friends with people at the barn. I am very grateful for what she did. She and my other hab aides help me with cooking, reading, cleaning, and budgeting my spending money. My job coach at UCP trained me on how to use the office shredder. I really like everyone who has worked with me in the past and all those who are working with me now! Everyone is very nice and supportive.
UCP offers a variety of events for families with children with disabilities. Our favorites are Family Fun Fair, Bowling, Monkey Jones and Christmas crafts. They are a wonderful opportunity for us to come in contact and maintain old friendships with other families that have kids with disabilities. The kids love these events, because they are a lot of fun, with a lot of attention for the little ones and low expectations for their performance.
We want to thank all the support you have given our family. Our family goes to all the family Activities, its a great way to meat families that have simular issues as you might have, they might know something you dont and pass it on to you. Its a great way to get more resorces and have fun with the family at the same time. My kids get to do things that they might not get to do other wise.
so thank you from the bottom of my heart, you make my kids smile and have fun
The children that I am raising all have special needs and UCP gives them opportunity to do things as a family to enjoy activities with out being hindered thank you very much.
I've been attending their family activities for the last 2 years and i find it and the people working behind the scenes to be a welcome break. my son who is now 6 1/2 has high functioning ASD and ADD and sometimes being out in the community and activities is harder because i have to make sure he is "not jumping all over the place". the family activities set up by UCP have always been fun and a safe zone. my neurotypical younger daughter also always has fun when we go!!! also, when i have reached out to them to ask about books or other help, they have been nice enough to share their own experiences in their own special needs journey.
I love to take my children to events hosted by UCP!! Everyone is SO KIND to us - all of the volunteers and families have been so wonderful. When my children need to have the activity altered or adapted, the volunteers go way out of their way to help make their experience great. We have done bowling, Monkey Joes, and holiday crafts.
I love coming here to Pathways a new program at UCP because to learn new things like how to use money in different ways. Helping me to become independent to live on my own someday. coming here to Pathways I am doing really well on my skills that I wanted to work on before I came like my money skills , social skills , being independent. I really like it here at Pathways.
UCP has helped us in various ways through their Family Support Services, which are very helpful. We have a six year old son with an autism diagnosis, and their family fun events and parent trainings have helped us not only feel better connected to other families, but has also helped make us feel stronger as parents. The gamut of services is unmatched anywhere else. The staff show a true understanding of what it's like to have a loved one with special needs. They have supported us unconditionally whether it be through educational advocacy, or general support that helps remind that we can overcome any obstacle that comes in our way. ALL of us (not just our son) have greatly benefited from these services!
Our third child has a global developmental delay and we are fortunate to be involved for the last 4 years with UCP central PA. We have attended community events and workshops, SibShops., received advocacy for school placement and other family support services. Our child attends the options program and we are so proud of her achievements. I can't imagine this journey without the support of UCP central PA. We have been able to meet other families and learn from their experiences. We are learning balance and how to have fun and appreciate each of our kids and their different abilities.
I go to UCP’s Sibshops and also Respite night on Fridays. I like Sibshops because I get to be with other kids going through the same thing as me and it's fun. I'm glad i can be at Respite because you can play whatever you want and it's somewhere my brother can go. There is lots of fun stuff to do and they have crafts.
I just wanted to thank you for sending out the bike information back
in July. We could not be more grateful for the wonderful bike that
Maddie received! You have all been so wonderful and accepting of our
family. So thank you again from the bottom of our hearts :)
Felicia Mahan and Family
All 3 of my children went to Options Childcare - awesome! 1 participated in Early Intervention services - also awesome! Great organization. Great people. Great volunteers.
Both of my children have received services from UCP Central PA and their help has been invaluable to our family. The providers and staff are generous with their time and they truly care about the children (and families!) they are helping!
I have been volunteering for UCP Central PA for over 5 years. I am an active member of the Magic Night Committee, which supports UCP Central PA's annual black tie fundraising effort. Through my involvement with the committee I was able to learn of the wonderful services the organization provides to children and individuals in our community. When our children were born my husband and I signed them up immediately for UCP Central PA’s inclusive day care facility (Capital Area Children’s Center). CACC provides a stimulating and nurturing environment for all of the children it serves.
Our wonderful and amazing son was born with a rare brain malformation. Not knowing what to expect we turned to early intervention to help evaluate and educate him. We picked 5 therapists that worked with our son and 4 of those came from UPC. We had the best experience with each of the therapists. Not only did they give therapy to our son they taught us as well. We have learned so much from what we need to do to help our son to where to go for resource material and help. The biggest most valuable thing our therapists helped us with was how to appreciate and cherish our son's accomplishments and not compare him to any other child. That means the world to us because we no longer dwell on what he can't do and are truly happy and blessed for our son being who and where he is today. Our son has benefited the most from our experience. It is because of the dedicated, caring, and talented therapists that he is able to now meet some awesome milestones. He can roll, high five, eat by mouth, activate toys, give hugs, give doggie kisses, and take steps in his gate trainer all because of the therapists that worked with him. This is only the beginning, because of the awesome foundations he received he will be able to build off them and we know he will achieve much more in life. The therapists are like family and we couldn't ask for more knowledgeable, wonderful people.
UCP is the only place anywhere near me that offers Sibshops for siblings of children with disabilities. It is well worth the 45 minute drive once a month for my daughter to be able to interact with a group of other kids who have differently abled siblings. The people who run this program are fantastic, truly caring people. We also utilize a respite program that uses one of UCP's adult day program centers, and we have always been pleased on how the UCP staff works with both our children....special needs or not. Highly recommend UCP!
My entire family has been blessed by the work of UCP. We have participated in a variety of activities, as a family, including the Christmas Craft Party and Swim Parties. My younger son has participated in a wonderful program called Sibshops for the siblings of children with disabilities. Both my boys have enjoyed trips to Monkey Joes as well as the Fall Family Fun Festival. All of these programs have been available to us for a nominal donation. We have definitely been blessed by the work of UCP and the terrific people that work there.
As a parent with a special needs son, UCP has been invaluable to not only our son, but to our entire family as well. We have been to UCP's many family functions as well as Sibshop for our neurotypical son. This is an amazing organization that is well run, always striving to improve, frequently seeks parental input, and is very supportive of the family as a whole, not just the person with special needs. We have recommended different programs within UCP to friends because we see the value in those programs and wish to pass the help along. We are so appreciative of all the work UCP has done over the years!