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About Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy, also referred to as therapeutic recreation, is defined as a profession of specialists who utilize activities as a form of treatment for persons who are physically, mentally or emotionally disabled. Differing from diversional or recreation services, recreational therapy utilizes various activities as a form of active treatment to promote the independent physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning of persons disabled as a result of trauma or disease, by enhancing current skills and facilitating the establishment of new skills for daily living and community functioning.

  • Treatment Modality:  Our Recreational Therapists typically use the client’s recreation or leisure interests as a modality to address their individual needs, such as organized sports, exercise, games, aquatics, arts/crafts, and community integration. When the client has few interests, the therapist may provide leisure education to help them simply discover new and meaningful activities to engage in during their leisure time and also promote an active lifestyle. The therapist may also assist with adapting recreational activities to assist the client in being more successful and independent in activities they already enjoy. The therapist may recommend 1:1 or group therapy based on the client’s needs. MDS Recreational Therapists will also:

    • Complete an initial and annual skills assessment

    • Complete a leisure interest survey to identify past and current interests

    • Develop goals and objectives based on the client’s assessed needs

    • Provide support with organizing, directing or adapting recreational activities

    • Provide regularly scheduled services (typically weekly) in the home or community setting

    • Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings

    • Write quarterly progress reports

  • Population Served: Individuals of all ages and abilities with developmental disabilities, including but not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities and Behavior Disorders.

  • ​Setting for Services: Therapists providing Recreational Therapy may do so in essentially any environment that is deemed beneficial to the client. Skills may be trained in the clients’ home, community, or at a facility.

  • Hours of service: There are no standard hours for Recreational Therapy Services. Services are typically scheduled to meet the needs of the client. Evening and weekend hours are limited.

  • Days of Service: Services are typically provided Monday-Friday. Weekend services are limited.

  • Frequency of Service: Frequency of service is based on funding, recommended hours based on the client’s assessed needs, and the client’s availability for services. Clients are typically seen weekly for Recreational Therapy. Services are scheduled no less than biweekly so that the client is being seen frequently enough to gain therapeutically.

  • Credentialing of staff: Recreational therapy services are delivered by qualified professionals with training and education in therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy service delivery and professionally certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). All Recreational Therapist must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and obtain their CTRS credential by successfully completing an internship and passing a national certification examination.

  • Payer Sources: Funding for Recreational Therapy is available through the Indiana Medicaid Waiver and Private Pay contracts.

  • Fees: There is no direct cost to clients when services are reimbursed through the Medicaid Waiver. Private pay rates are available. Clients may be responsible to pay their own expenses, such as admissions or rentals, when required by a public establishment in the community where therapy takes place.

  • Referral Sources: Most referrals for Recreational Therapy come through word of mouth by existing clients, Case Managers, or through the Medicaid Waiver "pick list", which identifies providers within a geographic area.

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