Are you often asked by your fellow co-workers what Recreation Therapy is? And then after explaining they still give you a puzzled look? Here is a brief explanation you can share with them.
According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), Recreational Therapy means 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
Recreational Therapists help people who are injured to get active again. They use sports, games, arts, crafts, and music to help patients build confidence and get back into life. Diversion activities are conducted by individuals who focus on games and pastimes for fun.
Recreational Therapists find out what patients need. They do this by looking at medical records and talking to other staff. They also listen to the patients and their families. They then make up a program to help the person. For instance, they might help a right-handed girl who can’t use her right arm any more to throw a ball with her left arm.
Let’s look at bowling; while one may look at this activity as just a fun outing for our clients, as Recreational Therapists we incorporate the needs of the client through their care plan. With bowling a Recreational Therapist can assist a client who may have balance issue regain strength. Bowling incorporates social skills, leisure education, cognitive functioning and self esteem.