February is Recreational Therapy Month and at Easterseals Crossroads, we are dedicated to increasing awareness of recreational therapy services and the professionals who provide these services. February has been chosen as the month to start that conversation.
Recreation therapy is individualized for each person according to past and present interests and overall lifestyle. Recreational therapists evaluate the needs of the person by taking into consideration the social, physical and cognitive make up of the individual. Recreational therapists introduce the concept of healthy living into the therapy sessions to make certain that therapy relates to all aspects of an individual’s life.
“The recreation therapy program is one more way we provide opportunities to make positive differences in people’s lives every day through recreational and leisure activities, ” said Wendy Miers who is our director of Community Day Supports at Easterseals Crossroads. Recreational therapist Gina Schulz notices the differences on a daily basis with those with whom she works. “Individuals have told me that they look forward to recreational therapy because it makes them feel happy, helps them lose weight and gives them an opportunity to have fun. When incorporated into daily life, recreational therapy helps people work toward and achieve their goals,” said Gina.
Recreational therapy is provided by qualified professionals known as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). Requirements to be become a CTRS include a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university, a formal clinical internship and passing a national competency exam administered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
Easterseals Crossroads currently has five CTRS professionals: Jenny Weber, Cassandra Firchau, Alesha Barnette, Meg Lambertus and Gina Schulz. Our CTRS provide services to children, teens and adults at home, in the community and in our adult day program.