Balancing act

Cindy and Hannah LaBar.

Cindy LaBar, Matheny’s director of physical therapy, is also the parent of a child with a disability. Her eight-year-old daughter Hannah was born with a rare chromosome anomaly. LaBar’s experience with Hannah has helped her understand “what families of our students and patients are faced with.”

In an article she wrote for the July/August 2014 issue of NDTA Network, the magazine of the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association, LaBar outlined several key points for parents of children with disabilities to keep in mind:

• “Find balance between therapy goals and family time.”

• “Maintain open, ongoing communication with your child’s school team and within your family.”

• “Integrate physical and academic functional skills into your daily routines at home.”

• “Place importance on skills and have expectations for your child.”

• “Be creative and create a positive, peaceful environment for your child and family while having fun!”

LaBar acknowledged in the article that, during the first year of Hannah’s life, “I forgot one very important thing: I was her mom first, not her therapist. I struggled tremendously to find a balance. I have often thought how ironic it is that I specialize in helping children just like Hannah learn to move. I have wondered why it is that my work and personal worlds are so similar. I wonder why Hannah was chosen to be with our family. Of course, I cannot fully answer any of these questions, but I do feel confident that Hannah has included me in her journey so I can help other families find this balance that I have been searching for.”