The Benefits of Therapeutic Recreation on Children with Autism
by Neerja Anand
On 27 July, 2020
“Kids have to be exposed to different things in order to develop. A child’s not going to find out he likes to play a musical instrument if you never exposed him to it” – Quote by Temple Grandin, Spokesperson for Autism.
Young Amelia Cooper of Oakland County, Michigan has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Her parents have enrolled in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy for the past few months in a center dedicated to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her therapist and her parents have noticed an improvement in her behavior thanks to the customized therapy but most of all; it is the music program which has got her to bloom. This musical program has got her to open up and has aided her improvement a fair bit. This in theory sums up the benefits of therapeutic recreation on Children with Autism.
As Dr. Rhea Fernandes, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health explains: "Recreation is about engaging in activities and experiences which produce feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction; it connects us with opportunities to experience our own creativity and to achieve & master new skills and to build meaningful relationships with others in doing so. It’s needed as part of the human condition: we all value recreation; it's part of being human."
Let’s look at the benefits of recreational therapy in the form of art therapy, drama therapy, aquatics, equine therapy or for that matter music therapy. To begin with, these sessions are focused with specific aims, plus they work toward a wide range of physical, social, and emotional goals enabling these children to indulge in their interests and capitalize on their strengths.
Communication - Therapeutic Recreation programs aid in skills required for communication through playing, sports, music etc where there is interaction with others of the same age group in a fun setting.
Motor skills - Various recreational activities such as swimming, horse riding, playing an instrument facilitate motor skills, coordination as well as endurance. Physical activities in particular promote a healthy lifestyle, overcoming certain challenges such as limited motor skills and provide the supply of crucial Vitamin D in our bodies.
Acquiring skills – A benefit is the acquisition of social skills such as sharing as well as sportsman spirit. Regular participation in such wonderful and relaxing programs will aid the inculcation over time of such much needed skills for life’s long journey.
Self-esteem – It’s noticed that children with Autism tend to become more confident in life and feel a sense of achievement with such forms of therapy which they enjoy and indulge. It also makes them happier individuals.
Just at Amelia is enjoying her music program and benefitting from recreational therapy with time, so can your child. Give your child the chance to indulge in an activity which enhances the joy in their life. Contact us for our “Symphony music care” program today and know more about how it will help your child find symphony in their life.