Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation is offered through our rehabilitative behavioral health services contract under  psycho-social rehabilitative services through group sessions that assist the child in the restoration or strengthening of skills needed to promote and sustain independence and stability in their living, learning, social, and work environments.  It is a form of skill building support designed to improve the quality of life of the children we serve by assisting them to assume responsibility over their lives, strengthen skills, and develop environmental supports necessary to enable them to function as actively and independently in the community as possible such as basic living skills development, interpersonal skills training, therapeutic socialization, and consumer empowerment.

Positive use of leisure time enhances mental and emotional health, functional abilities, independence, and quality of life. When participating in recreation therapy services, residents discover hidden talents, understand the value of teamwork, and experience benefits of healthy leisure and recreation. They take part in planning activities and learn skills to make healthy decisions when they return home.

As part of their program, residents examine their past leisure lifestyle choices, how their treatment issues affected their leisure, how their use of free time played a part in their current problems, and/or how recreation and leisure has been and can be an effective coping skill. As residents progress through the program, the goal is for them to learn skills and develop insight that they can practice in treatment and continue to use when they return to their home environment and throughout their life.

Goals of therapeutic recreation activities:

  1. To develop and improve social skills.
  2. To develop and improve self-esteem and self-concept.
  3. To improve expression of feelings and self-awareness.
  4. To develop and improve physical fitness and motor coordination.
  5. To develop and improve cognitive skills.
  6. To develop and expand leisure skills.
  7. To develop the knowledge and skills to utilize leisure resources.
  8. To provide opportunities for voluntary independent recreation participation.

Educational Field Trips: Museums, Public Library,  Zoo.

Community Service: clean-up through Adopt-a-Highway

Cultural Events: plays and musicals, Spoleto, Piccolo, local parades and festivities.

Recreational Activities: fishing, nature walks, ROPES, Fitness trail and obstacle course bowling, roller-skating, ice skating,  swimming, trips to local recreation center, kite flying, baseball games, miniature golfing, movies, and other group sports and games

Horticulture: The benefits that horticulture therapy offers are varied form person to person.  This therapy enhances physical, mental and social health. People of any age can participate and the activities can be varied according to their abilities. Each season, the boys plant vegetable and herb gardens.  When the growing season is over, the boys are able to eat the vegtables they grew.

There are many  benefits of horticulture therapy:

Physical:  increase range of motion, improve fine motor skills, tone under used muscles, improve coordination and balance, increase muscular strength.
Mental:  Increases independence, increase self-esteem, increase observation skills, provides choices and ability to use problem solving skills, encourages creativity, provides outlet for stress, anger, and emotions.
Social:  opportunity to interact with others, commitment to a living thing, cooperation and team working skills, dealing with success and failure, provides an environment to learn and be inspired by others.

Advantages of participating in purposeful, supervised gardening activities:
•    Enhance self-esteem
•    Alleviate depression
•    Improve motor skills
•    Provide opportunities in problem solving
•    Encourage work adjustment
•    Improve social interaction and communication
•    Teach marketable horticultural and business skills

From the American Horticultural Therapy Association