700 Children's Blog

Recreation Therapy: Give Your Kid a Break!

Feb 18, 2016

When was the last time you and your family did something for yourselves that you all enjoyed? Often, it’s easy for families to get caught up in the stress and responsibilities of everyday life, forgetting to take time for a little fun! But it’s important to do so, because our mind and body send us red flags signaling that we need a break. Leisure activities can help refresh the mind and body and bring about positive experiences for your child and family.

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) use a unique skill set to help children and families develop and use their leisure time in ways that enhance their health, functional abilities, independence and quality of life. We focus on putting the FUN in functional!

Therapeutic recreation specialists serve a diverse population of patients with varying illnesses, disabilities and other conditions within the hospital or community. Some of the places you’ll find us at the hospital include Behavioral Health, Crisis Intervention, Cardiac, Burns, GI, Pulmonary, Physical Rehab, Acute, Neurology, Endocrinology and Hematology/Oncology.

Here are a few interventions that CTRS’s incorporate in their treatments to promote overall wellness through recreation and leisure pursuits for patients and families:

  • Leisure and Recreation Wellness: We show patients and families how to increase leisure awareness through self-assessments and how to apply new leisure skills at home, school or within the community.
  • Physical Wellness: Our goal is to educate on ways to adapt daily routines to be more active.
  • Emotional Wellness: We help identify current stressors and teach healthy coping strategies for stress, anxiety and depression, along with practicing healthy communication skills and overall self-management.
  • Community Wellness: There are many ways to become involved in the community, and we show how to get started.
  • Social Wellness: We help patients practice skills for positive social interactions and opportunities to connect with peers.
  • Intellectual Wellness: We teach activities that promote self-awareness and diversity/inclusion.
If you find that your child and family are in need of making positive life changes while having fun engaging in leisure and recreational activities, a referral to Therapeutic Recreation may be beneficial! Nationwide Children’s offers a Wellness through Recreation program at the Philip Heit Center in New Albany that takes place right after school. For more information about specific programs and services, please email Melissa.McMillen@NationwideChildrens.org or contact (614) 685-6345.

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700 Children’s features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.