Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News

Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center Services

Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages to promote health and participation in life through their ability to engage in meaningful everyday activities known as occupations. When working with children, occupational therapists help clients with a range of functional barriers to participate fully in important occupations such as academic, social, or play situations.

Occupational therapists work with children who have difficulty engaging in the typical activities of childhood due to medical conditions, developmental challenges, or injury.  An occupational therapist helps children develop skills to enhance their participation in self-care, play and school activities.

RKSTC offers a wide variety of OT services to the community. Services include developmental screenings, consultations, evaluations, parent/caregiver education, and individual treatment. Parent/caregiver education is offered through support groups, home exercise programs, and handwriting tips. Treatment is typically one-on-one therapy, which aims to enhance a variety of skills that can be further explored below.

Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills require the ability to control small movements with one’s hands or fingers. A child who is struggling with fine motor skills may have difficulties with tasks relating to school, like handwriting, using scissors, coloring, and/or tracing. Fine motor deficits can also impact every day tasks like fastening buttons, tying shoes, using a zipper, and/or manipulating small object.
Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills involve the large muscle groups that help coordinate and control movement, strength, and balance. A child with deficits in gross motor development might appear clumsy, be fearful of their feet leaving the ground, and/or have trouble on stairs. 

Visual Processing
Visual processing refers to a person’s ability to take in information through the eyes and process it within the brain. A child with a visual processing disorder might have difficulty with recognizing letters, copying shapes, spacing while writing, and/or finding objects among other objects.
Sensory Processing
Sensory processing refers to the nervous system’s ability to receive and respond to information that comes in through the senses. This can result in overly sensitive or heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement. A child with sensory processing disorders might be under-responsive, constantly moving, easily distracted, emotionally reactive, and/or unable to calm themselves when upset.
Play Skills and Social Interaction Skills
During childhood, play is a child’s primary occupation. When children play, they should be imaginative, play purposefully, and understand the need to share and take turns. If a child does not naturally engage in play, he misses out on opportunities to practice evolving skills. Some children may also avoid playing with peers or siblings, which can negatively impact social interaction skills.
Other Skills Addressed
Childhood is a time of growth that allows children to develop and enhance their skills. Challenges with the various skills listed above can interfere with a child’s ability to participate in everyday activities. Other area impacted may include daily living skills, self-care, motor skills, oral motor, oral sensory, developmental delay, handwriting, and learning. Occupational therapists work with children, parents, caregivers, and teachers to enhance a child’s ability to achieve independence. The ultimate goal of occupational therapy is for children to maximize their full potential at home, school, and social settings.
Occupational therapy student painting in the Rachel Kay Stephens Therapy Center.


"Rachel was my roommate, friend, and classmate. She loved God, her family, and friends. She wanted to be a pediatric OT, which fit her perfectly because she was creative, patient, and had a warm smile. I have no doubt that she would have been successful because of her ambition, intelligence, and drive. Rachel was so full of love and compassion for others. She would have done anything for anyone. She was a devoted Christian and lived her faith by showing her love freely. Our class feels her absence everyday; that’s why she is our motivation to keep striving towards our goal of becoming Occupational Therapists. We miss her and know she is cheering us on." Amy Wagner, MOT Class of 2017 student and Rachel’s roommate

May 2, 2024