Summer Program – UCP

Maria on bus

Maria on bus

Maria started in the summer program this week at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), which luckily is only 4-5 miles from us (which, in Phoenix, is unheard of. Typically everything is across town!) We’ve been trying to get into this program for years, can’t believe we finally lucked into it. Now, fingers crossed, maybe we can get into the after school program when school starts.

Transitions are usually difficult and this one does not disappoint! Day 1, the bus was 70 minutes late. Day 2, 50 minutes. Today, about 35 minutes. Maybe tomorrow it will get here before school starts. First day, bus driver was an older woman. She got lost, very lost. 2 wheelchairs on the bus, had to move the 1st wheelchair to fit Maria’s in (poor planning). Second day, bus driver left the door open while she was getting Maria in and one of the kiddos escaped. Fortunately, Manolis noticed and we corralled him and led him back in the bus. (Same kiddo ran out into the fenced-in courtyard when I was talking with the teacher by the open classroom door.)

Day 2 I went to visit the class and the teacher to ask/answer questions — it’s tricky when you have a non-verbal, super challenged child. Their policy (vastly different than the schools) is an open-door policy — parents can visit their kids anytime. I went to the front desk where 3 women were standing. I said I’m here to see Alexa’s class. Blank stares. My daughter Maria is in her class. Nothing. She’s expecting me. Nothing. This went on for much longer than it should with me trying to explain what I was doing there and the 3 of them just staring at me like I was speaking Greek. SUPER ANNOYING!

Finally I get to Maria’s class and she was sitting alone. It’s supposed to be a 3 (kids):1 (adult), and perhaps I got there precisely when the teacher walked away, but…. A lady was teaching them to fold paper, so why wasn’t anyone helping her? I grabbed a piece of paper and helped Maria fold it. Trouble with a kid like Maria is she’s not a runner or a screamer or someone who lashes out if she’s ignored, she just falls asleep and is sweet and quiet, so if you have the choice between keeping a runner from escaping the classroom and monitoring the sweet quiet one, Maria will lose out every time.

So I will need to visit frequently in the beginning to get us all used to each other. It will be easier when Chris (OT) comes back from vacation and helps them get to know Maria while giving her therapy. In a couple weeks, she’ll start feeding therapy so the new therapist can help them feed her, etc. I’ll pop in tomorrow (Day 4) to take Maria to the dentist, so we’ll see what’s going on then. She has to get 3 teeth pulled :-(. I finally got the dentist’s attention so she thinks Maria needs 7 teeth pulled, one quadrant at a time, starting with the upper left, which has the most teeth to be pulled.

boot on foot


And apparently I have a broken foot. To be more precise 2 bones by my left ankle are swollen (swollen bones? ew!), bruised, fractured, and maybe oozing bone marrow? And I have a complete tear (class 3 out of 3 classes) in a ligament. And some other stuff. So I have to wear a huge boot and shouldn’t carry Maria anymore, which is a bit challenging but at least it’s not my right foot or I couldn’t drive.

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