University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Division

Project Title

How Recreation Therapy Increases Play and Inclusion for Children with Disabilities

Presenter Hometown

Elkton, KY

Major

Recreation & Park Administration

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Dr. Michelle Gerken

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

Play and recreation are an important part of a child’s development. Through play, children develop self-regulation skills, learn social cues and patterns, and build the ability to make friends and use teamwork. According to Morgan, Sibthorp, and Wells (2014) “Self-regulatory behavior primarily consists of a range of skills including the ability to a) set goals; b) plan out and pursue goals; c) monitor emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and motivation tied to goal pursuit; and d) evaluate one’s performance to achieve a goal.”

However, children with disabilities often lack the resources and ability to develop these skills through play. A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) may close these gaps for children with disabilities by working with them to increase imagination, creativity, and to promote inclusion. Studies have shown that children who work with a CTRS are more likely to participate with their peers and learn those important self-regulation skills (MacFarlane, 2020). McFarlane also mentions that recreation therapy helps build self-confidence and teaches patients how to make and achieve goals. The purpose of this study is to research the impact that a Recreation Therapy program can have in the school system.

Presentation format

Poster

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How Recreation Therapy Increases Play and Inclusion for Children with Disabilities

Play and recreation are an important part of a child’s development. Through play, children develop self-regulation skills, learn social cues and patterns, and build the ability to make friends and use teamwork. According to Morgan, Sibthorp, and Wells (2014) “Self-regulatory behavior primarily consists of a range of skills including the ability to a) set goals; b) plan out and pursue goals; c) monitor emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and motivation tied to goal pursuit; and d) evaluate one’s performance to achieve a goal.”

However, children with disabilities often lack the resources and ability to develop these skills through play. A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) may close these gaps for children with disabilities by working with them to increase imagination, creativity, and to promote inclusion. Studies have shown that children who work with a CTRS are more likely to participate with their peers and learn those important self-regulation skills (MacFarlane, 2020). McFarlane also mentions that recreation therapy helps build self-confidence and teaches patients how to make and achieve goals. The purpose of this study is to research the impact that a Recreation Therapy program can have in the school system.