TR for Kids with Disabilities

kids TR


Doing martial arts is considered recreation therapy to Philip Denison, a six-year-old with cerebral palsy. He does it in Waterloo at KidsAbility. The recreation therapist, Megan Shirley adapts all her programs for children with disabilities. Therapeutic recreation can improve physical, communication and group skills.

Recreation therapy is more than just having fun. Kids with disabilities gain many life skills through activities that they enjoy. KidsAbility has qualified recreation therapists that improve the lives of children and their families.

Mannequins based on People with Disabilities

Differences among people should be celebrated and acknowledged. This video shows that people with disabilities really appreciate that the mannequins are more realistic in the depiction of human bodies. The fashion world needs to change their idea of what bodies should look like and what perfection is. In recreation therapy, practitioners are inclusive and adapt their programs to fit their clients needs. People are perfect the way they are. Being different is more than okay! Depictions of bodies in the media should include more diverse individuals to promote awareness and acceptance.

Doll Therapy & Dementia

Doll Therapy

Doll Therapy is getting popularized in Long Term Care home for seniors with dementia. It allows patients with dementia to socially interact and allows them to have the opportunity to care for someone again instead of just being the person that is being taken care of.  It is a distraction from upsetting thoughts and feelings.  This can be a bit controversial to families and visitors because it may look a little demeaning. However, doll therapy is done with a passive insertion of a doll where residents have a chance to choose to pick up the doll and take care of it. Also, traditionally, dolls are for children not grown adults. However, this facilitative technique has research evidence to support the use of doll therapy in Long Term Care home. It increases communication and decreases feelings of anger, anxiety and stress.

Training Dogs in Prison for Autistic Children

Dog Training


Chris Vogt is a prisoner and was sentenced to 48 years in Colorado prison for second-degree murder. He trains dogs for children with autism. By doing so, he has made a difference in their lives and the lives of their families. The program is called Colorado Cell Dogs, profiled in the documentary “Saving Castaways.” The dogs come from shelters. This features the story of Chris Vogt helping Zach, a child with autism by training a service dog.

This is a heartwarming story. It is not only a rehabilitation for the inmate but for the children with autism and dog. It is improving the lives of everyone including families of the children with autism. I see no arguments against this approach of the therapeutic use of animals.

Dementia Village

dementia village


Dementia village is a residency for 150 seniors with  severe dementia in Hogewey, in the Netherlands. It is established by two nurses and is locked and under 24 hour surveillance for safety reasons. It has physical health benefits because residents are free to walk around.  The residents take fewer drugs, eat better and live longer. 

This is an inside the box (residents reside in this facility) and outside the box (creative and innovative) idea. It gives the residents a sense of freedom and independence. It also gives them a sense of home and comfort. The only issue could be that residents could get loss in a large village. Hopefully, other countries including Canada can adopt this approach for caring for seniors with dementia.

Spinal Cord Injury: Standing & Walking

This is an amazing technological advancement that can change the lives of people with spinal cord injuries who are otherwise bound to their wheelchair. This is an innovative rehabilitation assistance device. I am curious to read more about this device. It must be very expensive but it is well worth it.

Alternative Schooling

This boy demonstrates that traditional schooling is not always the best for every individual. I agree with alternative schooling such as wilderness programs and learning through recreation and leisure can be just as much and more rewarding. Growing up, I had trouble with the structured format and 9-3pm schedule of public school. I also rather do my schoolwork on my own time instead of in class. Learning does not have to be done in a classroom with a chalkboard and desks. Students should be enjoying their studies and they can definitely do so through client-centred recreation. Teamwork and leadership can also be better learned through recreation experiences and programs.


“Person with a Disability”



This is a controversial subject because in the recreation therapy classroom, students are taught that when talking about people with disabilities they should acknowledge people first and then the disability. I understand that everyone is different and have their own preferences. We as recreation therapist and people should never generalize a group of people. If in doubt, ask the individual.