Therapeutic Recreation is recognized to be a valuable tool in the treatment of special needs children. Therapeutic Recreation is a means of teaching children the positive role of activities and interaction in their lives. It is an effective alternative and accent to the traditional means of therapy for the youth in residential facilities. Through recreational activities, children who are unable or unwilling to react to traditional means of treatment have the opportunity to improve negative behavior through a different treatment approach. Through recreation children at Kemmerer have the opportunity to improve both self confidence and self-esteem through music, art and athletics. These structured activities aid in improving social skills and peer interactions. The expressing of feelings and how to positively respond to these feelings can be achieved through dance and drama. Fundamental decision making skills and cognitive thinking can be improved through cooperative games. Therapeutic Recreation also works to broaden these children’s awareness of appropriate leisure activities in their community helping to foster positive time management skills.
The Therapeutic Recreation program at Kemmerer Village is designed to offer children all of these opportunities. The program is based on three types of recreational activities: treatment, leisure, and recreational participation. Each of these have target behaviors upon which they focus. Recreation participation, for example, provides opportunity for independent recreational activities. This type also allows voluntary choice of participation to occur. This also permits the children to make decisions as to what type of leisure activity in which they want to participate. Leisure education is used to expand leisure skills, awareness and knowledge of community based leisure activity. Due to the lack of resources near our community, this type of recreation is somewhat limited. However, with the help of other staff members, every off-campus activity can nourish these goals. The most often utilized type of Therapeutic Recreation used at Kemmerer Village is treatment. These activities improve self-esteem, cognitive skills, physical fitness, motor skills, expression of feelings, and many more. Through these three major types of recreation, children with special needs can be treated effectively.
The Therapeutic Recreation Program plays an integral part in the children’s growth and development at Kemmerer Village. The program consists of a wide range of activities, which can be grouped into eight main areas of concentration. These areas are: 1) Sports Program; 2) Arts and Crafts; 3) Horsemanship; 4) Physical Fitness Activities; 5) Independent Living Skills; 6) Leisure Education Awareness; 7) Spiritual Activities; 8) Special Activities; and 9) Peer Interaction Time (PIT) Activities. Each of these provides the children with the opportunity to work on Target behaviors in a positive, self-rewarding manner.
7. Residents are offered spiritual activities that can be attended at least twice a week. A local Pastor leads Bible study class and a choir class. Residents are able to rehearse songs and scriptures from their on grounds worship service.
Additional Recreation Alternatives, which do not fall under any of the above categories, are also available to the residents. Some activities include model cars, aerobics, tennis, drama, poetry, dance, and therapeutic drumming. These activities are designed to target specific goals that residents are in need of treatment.
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