Keeping It Real: Bringing Balance to Families

Keeping It Real: Bringing Balance to Families
Posted on Wed 17 Mar 2021

Keeping It Real: Bringing Balance to Families

When people think about cerebral palsy, they often focus on the physical. And that makes sense, since cerebral palsy affects muscle tone, balance, coordination, and posture in a wide variety of ways.

But cerebral palsy’s impact extends beyond that, with social and emotional ripple effects for people with CP and their families. Dr. Marybeth Grant-Beuttler runs the Balanced Families program at Chapman University aims to address all of this at once, while providing meaningful educational opportunities for graduate students.

In pre-pandemic times, Balanced Families ran dance classes for children with cerebral palsy, featuring support from licensed physical therapists, physical therapy students, and dance teachers. Children with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III-V received additional support. And while the classes were running, parents had a room of their own to go to, with counseling sessions run by licensed therapists and marriage and family therapy graduate students.

Once the world fully reopens, Dr. Grant-Beuttler hopes to add a sibling component, bringing even more balance to families in the area.

Learn more about this program run by Chapman University, our proud STEPtember partner.

This story is part of KEEPING IT REAL — a series of personal stories that will take you deeper into the lives of people with CP. Each person makes different choices based on what works for them, and we’ll showcase that — highlighting what life is like for them on a daily basis, what they care about, and the ways CP impacts them. 

The KEEPING IT REAL blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice, medical endorsement, or other endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

In the second of two blog entries, Katy Fetters Gaastra of Cerebral Palsy Strong shares the power behind storytelling, how it can bring people together, and how it can shift our perspectives — including our perspectives about ourselves.

Check out what we're doing and what's planned down the road.