In more than 28 years of serving families through Rainbows, Occupational Therapist Laura Barnes finds joy in working with children as well as their families and caregivers. “I chose to work with children because I love them,” Laura said.
Laura has a degree from the University of Kansas and a special certification in the Brazelton Newborn Behavioral Assessment Scale.
Part of Laura’s role as an Occupational Therapist has been to learn to work with a wide range of people with different backgrounds, children with a wide range of diagnoses and abilities, and various professionals such as Speech and Physical Therapists, early childhood special education teachers, and social workers. “I have learned from each of the children and families I work with,” Laura said.
Each day is unique for an Occupational Therapist. Laura sees children daily for those she is the Primary Coach for, some days she has joint visits with other therapists. Therapists work with infants and toddlers and their families, daycare providers, as well as other caregivers such as foster parents.
Laura’s favorite Rainbows’ memories are the stories that families share with her such as videos of children performing milestones. “On one video you could hear the mom saying ‘Miss Laura will be so proud of you!’ as her son was taking his first steps,” Laura said. “I was happy and proud of their son, I felt honored they wanted to include me in celebrating their son’s special achievement.”
From the families she serves to her flexible schedule which has allowed her to spend important time with her own family, working at Rainbows has been a positive aspect of Laura’s life. Laura enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking, doing 5K events, crafts, reading, and taking pictures of her family. “My kids give me grief about it, but I love having actual pictures in albums.”