MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The Rachel Kay Stevens Center within the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center is making an impact right here in Memphis, teaching kids valuable life lessons through one-on-one therapy.
Dr. Anne Zachry with UTHSC said, “This clinic was named after Rachel Kay Stevens who passed away when she was in our program here.”
Rachel Kay Stevens was a first-year occupational therapy student at UTHSC and devoted her life to helping children with special needs. She died in January of 2015. She was 21.
Since it opened on February 9, 2016, the hands-on program has helped special needs children requiring different levels of care. Some services include developmental screenings, evaluations, and parent or caregiver education.
Zachry said, “They come in for individual sessions with their parents and we work on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, handwriting, dressing themselves, anything to help them better participate in school and in life.”
The program is referral-based with the center being open two days each month. So far, it’s served 331 children, trained 56 adults, and worked with 184 parents.
The successful program integrates therapy and fun by doing things like teaching kids to paint, and we’re told it really engages them.
One student in the program said, “The boy who painted it [the painting] with me loved his painting so much, that his mom said that they would do it when they went home.”
The program holds events throughout the year, including their recent annual art show that showcased students’ paintings.