Heart of the High Plains: Turn Center

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Turn Center serves a special purpose here on the high plains as the only non-profit in the panhandle that provides therapy services for children.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about one of my kids on my caseload and how I can serve them better and I think that goes with everyone here at the Turn Center,” said Kalea Irwin, Turn Center Occupational Therapist.

For the past seven years, Irwin has served as one of the occupational therapists with the Turn Center.

“I work with kids on basic living skills. One of their main functions is play, so we do a whole lot of play around here for occupational therapy,” said Irwin.

But that’s not the only type of therapy they offer.

“We offer speech, feeding, occupational and physical therapy in addition to counseling. So we added that mental health component and we feel that really rounds out our programs,” said Callie Holton, Turn Center Director of Communications.

One of the greater challenges that The Turn Center faces is creating plans for each individual child that comes in for services.

But it’s also their greatest opportunity to help out.

“Just making sure that we’re catering our services to meet their needs and just helping them carry over those services at home and guiding them through that process of getting their kids to be the most independent person they can be,” said Irwin.

Irwin says that when the pandemic hit last year, they were fairly new to telehealth.

But they were able to adapt and now it’s become almost a blessing in disguise.

“For a lot of our out-of-town parents now, if we have weather troubles come up or hiccups in the day to where they just can’t make it here, we offer that still to them. That way the child is still being served and we can still meet their needs during that week if something comes up. It’s given our parents a chance to be a little more hands-on with their child’s therapy because we’re really coaching them on the the things to do at home,” said Irwin.

Which just re-iterates their mission of helping out however possible.

“We want to enrich their lives and provide better quality of life, no matter how big or small their challenge is or how long they’re with us,” said Holton.

“It’s so great to see them have some independence and be able to do things on their own because that’s all we want to do. We want to be independent and do things on our own,” said Irwin.

There’s a number of other services The Turn Center provides as well.

For a look at that and to learn more about The Turn Center and what they offer, click here: https://www.turncenter.org/

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