Bank Of America Grant Helps Expand UCP's Autism Center For Excellence At Sacramento State

Top Quote Bank of America gives $17,500 to UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. End Quote
  • Sacramento, CA (1888PressRelease) December 14, 2010 - Children with autism will have more opportunity to join standard community programs, thanks to a $17,500 grant from Bank of America to UCP of Sacramento and Northern California's Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State. The grant will help UCP hire a community liaison to form partnerships with children's after-school programs and train leaders on working with children with autism.

    "Bank of America is helping us change the course of children's lives," said Doug Bergman, president and CEO, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California.

    "Children with autism are usually isolated or segregated with other children on the autism spectrum. Our goal is to give these kids the skills they need and then connect them with programs where they can meet typically developing children through activities such as soccer and ballet."

    Using an interdisciplinary approach, UCP's Autism Center for Excellence professional staff includes occupational therapists, speech therapists, adaptive physical activity specialists and behavioral analysts. Participants, ages 8-12, take part in a large group activity to practice communication skills before dividing into smaller groups that help them see the inter-relatedness of the people in their lives. Parents are then instructed on techniques to use at home.

    "Our ultimate goal is to help children with autism connect to standard community programs, but that requires established relationships with program personnel, as well as training for the child with autism, the parents and the program leaders," Bergman said. "Bank of America is going to be a pivotal partner in helping these children make friendships and avoid isolation while doing something they're interested in."

    Each month, 2,600 children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families are empowered to live life without limits at UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. UCP is the leading provider of comprehensive services to children, adults and families with developmental disabilities in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter and Yolo counties. Programs include Saddle Pals therapeutic horseback riding, UCP's Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State, adult day programs, independent living services, transportation and in-home respite care for families. For more information, visit

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