By Rebecca Rench
From a spark…a flame, from a flame… a fire.
Storeyland is the name created for the sensory room in Nashville that was started with the donations to the Angel for Autism campaign, honoring the memory of Traci Storey who lost her life far too soon in a tragic accident.
What started as a hometown effort has grown into an amazing, awe-inspiring program that is reaching far beyond the borders of Nashville.
The sensory room in Nashville provides an opportunity for children with special needs to relax, calm down, play and most importantly, feel safe, secure, and happy.
It is used for physical and behavioral therapy for any child who needs a time out from the stresses and distractions of life. Autistic children benefit greatly from the special equipment and environment that has been created, but any student with a need such as test anxiety for example, may use this room.
Speech therapists, occupational therapists, developmental therapists all utilize the benefits of Storeyland. Dawn Lietz, speech therapist sees about 20 students a week. Occupational therapist Bonnie Howard and Kimberly Stamps, developmental therapists both utilize this room through the Early Intervention Program. Kristen Storey heads up the Okawville sensory room.Michelle Kuhl, a social worker. Utilizes this room to help children work through emotions. Heather Maschoff handles the financial requests and donations, along with Cassie Varrel.
Parents make requests and there is a process to establish the needs of the child and what therapist will work with the child but this is easily accomplished.
There is a Storeyland in Okawville and Trenton and now one in Benton and Mt. Vernon.
The Nashville group offers scholarships and start up equipment and guidance for all of these sensory rooms.
This small town initiative is growing by leaps and bounds .When you donate to Angel for autism you are helping so many children with a wide variety of needs. You can also make requests for monetary assistance from the Nashville group for any special need. This information is easily accessible from their website.
Their only money maker is the 5K run held in September and donations and memorials.
Nashville grade school has been so supportive of this initiative. They have moved into a larger room and the transition has been smooth thanks to the efforts of the administration and teachers of District 49.
Imagine the smile on Traci’s face to think that five towns have Storeylands and we’ve only just begun. Angel for Autism depends on you. They need your help and in return can provide services to help someone you know.
It takes a village… or a small town with a big heart.
(photo by Rebecca Rench)
Brooklyn Stambaugh is just one of the kids taking advantage of the “Storeyland” Sensory Room at Nashville Middle School.