Recreational Therapy is a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.
Recreational therapists work with clients to restore motor, social and cognitive functioning, build confidence, develop coping skills, and integrate skills learned in treatment settings into community settings. Intervention areas vary widely and are based upon client interests. Examples of intervention modalities include creative arts (e.g., crafts, music, dance, drama, among others), sports, adventure programming, dance/movement, and leisure education.
Therapeutic Recreation Specialists:
- Assist people with disabilities or disabling conditions that interfere with their ability to participate independently in daily life activities, including recreation and leisure.
- Help individuals overcome physical, social, emotional, psychological and environmental barriers.
- Provide support for the individual to achieve leisure participation and an increased quality of life.
- Individualize programs to each person by his or her past, present and future interests and lifestyle by incorporating individual and family interests.
- Incorporate the concept of healthy living into treatment to ensure not only improved functioning, but also to enhance independence and successful involvement in all aspects of life.
- Utilizes a wide range of activity and community based interventions and techniques to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure needs of their clients.
- Assist clients to develop skills, knowledge, and behaviors for daily living and community involvement.
- Works with the client and their family to incorporate specific interests and community resources into therapy to achieve optimal outcomes that transfer to their real life situation.
Child Life Specialists:
- Conduct assessments of cognitive, motor, language, and psychosocial development and needs.
- Design, implement, and evaluate individual and group activities based on child development.
- Promote optimum development of children, adolescents, and families to maintain normal living patterns while minimizing psychological trauma.
- Provide opportunities for gaining a sense of mastery, play, learning, family-involvement, self-esteem, and peer interaction.
- Promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities.
- Provide preparation and support for various medical tests, procedures, and surgeries.
- Utilize therapeutic play, medical play, group, and bedside developmentally appropriate interventions and activities.
- Provide resource materials and bereavement support for families.
- Provide information, guidance, and emotional support to siblings, parents, and caregivers.
- Advocate for children and families.
- Educate caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.