Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation is the purposeful utilization or enhancement of leisure as a way to maximize a person’s overall health, well being, or quality of life. Therapeutic Recreation programs for mental illness may have seasonal classes in many areas that may include exercise, swim, adapted karate and crafts. Therapeutic recreation programs are specifically designed for individuals with disabilities. Groups are usually small and the participant to staff ratio is appropriate to the needs of the group.

The activities are planned to meet the interest of the participants and can be individualized. In different communities there are different things for people with mental illness to do. In some community they even have jobs people can do to get them back in the community and working. Lamar Missouri has lots of programs that put people that have mental illness in jobs. I have even talked to the manager for Mc Donald and he has put to work people with mental illness and he said to me they are the best dam workers I think I have.

Even in Pittsburg Kansas they have programs to put clients into the work place and let them make some money. Some people see working in society are jobs but the clients see it as a way to get out of the house and they enjoy it to an extent I would say it is recreation. Some general recreation programs may be adapted to include a person with a disability using auxiliary aids and services, but the structure of the activity, group size and staff remains the same.

Making it a little harder on the staff and the staff are not able to provide one to one assistance or specialized support to an extent. Some places there are programs and activities that can suit all ages, interests, and skill levels. Activities include swimming classes, craft classes, trips, camps, children’s programs, special events, and varied offerings every season. One program I was reading about was dancing. It is for ages 15 and up with mental illness. You dance to a world of rhythm and engage in playful rhythmic movement for fitness and coordination.

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Includes line dances, circle dances, folk dances. Designed especially for teens, and adults with developmental disabilities, that one was for a person with higher function. There are programs a person with lower functioning can dance to as well. You can take that program and modify a little and make it for any one or any age very easily. The program I was reading made people pay for the programs but with some more modifications and some sponsors it could be all free. Some places they have ides facilitate the individuals with mental illness into programs at their neighborhood recreation centers, assuring that cities and parks and recreation programs are accessible and usable by all citizens. Inclusion aides conduct assessments, develop goals for participation, and provide necessary support, including increased supervision levels, adapting games and activities and training of recreation center staff, to ensure that the needs of the person with disabilities are being met.

Volunteers are a very important part of the therapeutic recreation services program. In many areas there are a variety of volunteer opportunities are available for those ages thirteen and up including students needing service hours. I don’t know if the program is in this area yet but there is a program Specialized Recreational Program Parenting with love and logic. This program is for parents, and teachers it is a user friendly and often highly successful program that is heavily wrapped in empathy but soles not shield children from consequences of their actions.

It empowers children to solve their problems and help parents change their behaviors to relieve stress and pressure. Of course nothing works all the time, but this anecdotal program and the expertise of your presenter will, in a safe and nonthreatening environment, invite you to change the only person you can change, yourself. I think that program would be great for parent that don’t really know how to deal with their children or even the ones that think they do even if it don’t work it still gave them a little more knowledge. It will give them another outlook on how to teach their child.

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