Therapy is a necessary tool for children with special needs.
It is a tool for their personal, social and physical growth. However, sessions can seem mundane.
Good news is that you can help your child enjoy them. Fun heals; recreational therapy can boost your young one’s physical, intellectual, and emotional development. Special Needs Guru introduces recreational therapy and introduces you to the options available in Singapore.
What is Recreational Therapy?
According to the American Therapeutic Association, recreational therapy involves using leisure or activity based programs to manage the needs of those with disabilities or illnesses.
Recreational therapists help people with disabilities with restoring their self-esteem, coping mechanisms, and integrating into a mainstream environment. They do so by using the creative arts or other recreation programs.
Recreational therapists typically have Bachelors degrees in the subject. They study program planning, physiology, and the human anatomy.
Benefits of Recreational Therapy
The benefits of recreational therapy, though hidden, are real. You have every reason to make therapy fun for yourself and your child.
First of all, coping with unique needs is stressful for children and caregivers. It can leave them with chronic depression. Recreational therapy promotes emotional wellness and reduces stress.
It also increases independence. Taking part in a leisure activity motivates special needs children to fend for themselves. They do so because of increased self-confidence. Their quality of life improves as a result.
Next, it promotes community integration. Fun activities offer opportunities for special needs children to mix with others. Again, that boosts their self-confidence.
It also helps manage behaviors. Children act up when they feel bored, so associating therapy with fun will motivate them to attend regular sessions. The excitement will boost their communication skills. Consequently, a relaxed setting will prompt them to speak to others.
Lastly, play hones motor skills and physical development. Recreational horseback riding and adaptive swimming both develop a child’s coordination.
Types of Recreational Therapy
Recreational therapy aims to boost a person’s functioning. It improves when a person participates in enjoyable activities like sports, dance or adventure programs. The underlying belief of such therapy is that a person’s cognitive abilities and motor skills improve when he or she takes part in the activities he enjoys. Below are ten examples of recreational therapy.
1. Horseback Riding
First of all, learning how to ride a horse challenges major muscle groups. It, therefore, improves the physical development of disabled children. Therapeutic horseback riding offers tactile and vestibular sensory stimulation. Riding programs also include lessons in safety and grooming.
2. Adaptive Swimming
Swimming is another popular form of recreational therapy among people with unique needs. Besides its emphasis on security, it offers opportunities for sensory integration. It is also a vigorous, low-impact workout. These facilities in Singapore offer adaptive swimming lessons.
3. Art Therapy
An art therapist is a qualified mental health expert who taps on a person’s creativity, usually in art. The therapist uses it to help him manage his behavior and social skills. Therefore, the goal of this therapy is to restore a person’s functions and sense of well-being.
4. Music Therapy
Tunes soothe the soul and engage the mind. Music therapists do not merely introduce music to children with unique needs; they also incorporate techniques to improve speech, cognitive and social skills. Therefore, the rhythms teach turn-taking, vocalization and motor manipulation.
5. Animal Therapy
Having a unique needs is taxing and challenging, so nurturing, furry companions visit when they can. Certified Therapy Dogs often grace the homes of persons with disabilities. These pets fulfill therapeutic needs because they hone cognitive, social and memory skills.
Vision Therapy is probably the most complex recreation therapy. Besides developing cognitive and motor skills, it also improves perception. Consequently, Not nurturing these skills can lead to problems with reading, executive functions, and reading.
Exercises include wearing prism glasses and brain teaser games which prompt a person to follow what he sees.
7. Dance Therapy
The aim of movement therapy is to encourage sensory integration. Therefore, using music makes dance feel less like therapy.
Give your child a head start with therapy that is both fun and healing.