Recreational Therapy for Cerebral Palsy: A Comprehensive Guide

Recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) is an important part of helping people with cerebral palsy access and participate in sports, arts, and other activities that improve their quality of life. Children with birth injuries can still take part in recreational activities such as sports, camping, and outdoor activities. Playing, doing exercises, and learning new activities can be very rewarding for children with birth injuries. These recreational activities allow them to make new friends, interact with the outside world, relieve stress and have fun. Recreational activities can help improve the physical and mental well-being of children with birth injuries by helping them make friends, relieving stress, and providing educational opportunities.

Outdoor activities such as going to the park, zoo, and beach are fantastic recreational options for children with birth injuries. Switching to recreational activities can be stressful for children with cerebral palsy, so therapists use techniques to motivate them and instill confidence in the child. The types of therapies vary depending on the individual's unique needs, the type of cerebral palsy, the degree of impairment, and any associated conditions. The National Center for Health, Physical Activity, Disability and Health (NCHPAD) has developed the Community Health Inclusion Index (CHII) to help communities gather information for planning purposes to include people with disabilities in existing structures and programs. Recreational therapy is recommended by professionals in a special education setting at the child's school; by behavioral counselors who work to build the child's self-esteem; or by concerned parents seeking better opportunities for their children. Dodd et al.

(200) completed a systematic review of the effectiveness of strength training for people with cerebral palsy and found that strength training programs increase muscle strength in children and young adults with cerebral palsy. In addition, therapists can obtain specialized licensing in specific areas of practice such as behavioral health, physical rehabilitation, or developmental disabilities. When everyone completes the same activity but participants are grouped with people with the same skill level. The child's medical team will help the recreational therapist design recreational interventions that meet the child's treatment needs and interests. Therefore, recreational therapy is an important step in helping a person with cerebral palsy become a well-rounded person who enjoys the benefits that physical, mental and social experiences provide.

While competitive sports and exercise offer valuable opportunities for physical activity, recreation can contribute to a long life of general health and well-being as recreational activities can become lifelong hobbies. A recreational therapist will thoroughly analyze the physical and cognitive functioning required to perform the activities of interest including the physical demands of mobility and function, the cognitive process of learning, processing, and decision-making as well as the emotional demand for performance, interaction, and competence. Verschuren et al. (201) explored in greater detail the factors that facilitate participation in sports and physical activity in children and young people with cerebral palsy. The certification is obtained through the National Council for Certification of Therapeutic Recreation which offers the certification of certified specialist in therapeutic recreation. Recreational therapy is provided by trained often certified professionals who are dedicated to empowering disabled children.