University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Recreation Therapy


Recreation and Park Administration




Michelle Gerken, Ph.D., CTRS

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors” (2018, para. 1). The prevalence rate for autism spectrum disorder is about one in fifty-four children and does not discriminate among backgrounds (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Several methods have been used to treat ASD; however, recreation therapy stands out because it focuses on improving the quality of life in its clients. According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), recreation therapy is a “…treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition” (n.d., para. 1). The purpose of the study identifies the benefits of recreation therapy for people with ASD and acknowledge the implications for future service delivery. For this study, several articles were analyzed in an attempt to identify benefits of recreation therapy for people with ASD and acknowledge some interventions and/or activities that have proven to be effective in delivering recreation therapy services.