Brett R. DeVore ’98 pursued a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy at Shenandoah because of the university’s “problem-based learning” approach. DeVore believes this type of learning suits him and his style of approaching occupational therapy. “It was a great learning environment for me when I was in school there and I am sure that it has done nothing but improve,” said DeVore. “It was an amazing place for me to do my studies.”
Some of DeVore’s best memories at Shenandoah are the friendships that were created there. “In the occupational therapy department, you are with 30 people, non-stop for three years,” said DeVore. “You develop bonds and friendships like no other. For me, they are friendships that have continued 20-plus years later.”
DeVore and his wife, Nell DeVore, have owned and operated Kiddos’ Clubhouse, a private therapy clinic in Alpharetta and Sandy Springs, Georgia, for 17 years. Kiddos’ Clubhouse provides occupational, physical and speech therapy to children with special needs. DeVore continues to have a caseload of children to work with, but a majority of his time is spent running the clinic. The couple has also built relationships with a few private schools in the area where they provide occupational and speech therapy to students that qualify for services.
The most rewarding part of DeVore’s career is making a direct impact on the life of a child and assisting the families of those children, and hopefully making positive changes in their lives, too.
What prepared DeVore the most for his career after graduation was the occupational therapy department’s implementation of “problem-based learning.” This learning style allows for multiple ways to get to the end result, and DeVore continues to use this method in his day-to-day treatment and business practices. “Our clinic primarily caters to children with autism and working with that population of children offers up something new every single second,” said DeVore. “You have to be able to think as you go to accomplish your goals. If you go into a treatment session with a single ‘canned’ approach to the session and the child, you won’t do well. The instructors while I was there continually facilitated ‘different’ thinking to get the optimal end result.”
DeVore’s advice to students is: “We are blessed with a profession that has so many facets to it. There are so many options for us to work and love being an occupational therapist. In the end, you have to find something where you love what you do and you do what you love.”