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Recreation Therapy

What is Recreation Therapy?

Recreation Therapy at CHEO is the practice of using purposeful recreation and leisure activities to address specific needs and goals of children and youth (6-18) diagnosed with a physical and/or developmental disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder. We place a strong emphasis on inclusivity, person-first language, adaptability and a positive attitude! Recreation Therapy provides leisure opportunities to our clients that are not always accessible to them in our community. Examples of our past programs include Cross Country Skiing, Teen Night Socials, Wheelchair Basketball, Drama Club and Rock Climbing. We draw on our clients’ abilities and assets to reach their recreation and leisure goals by focusing on the client’s strengths. We are educating, expanding skill-sets and building confidence through fun and exciting programs!

Recreation Therapy provides clients with a supportive environment where they can build skills in the areas of sports and physical activity, social integration, life skills and the arts. Programs are designed based on the goal areas identified by the clients/families that are on the Recreation Therapy caseload. Almost all Recreation Therapy programs take place in a community setting to provide clients with an authentic community recreation experience. Through partnered programs, we are also expanding opportunities in the community while supporting/educating our community partners to gain the skills, knowledge and comfort when working with individuals with disabilities.

Program Eligibility 

Clients must be between the ages of 6-18 and have an identifiable recreation therapy goal or a barrier to recreation and/or functional skill deficit that is preventing them from accessing recreation in the community. Clients must be able to communicate their wants and needs independently and have no significant behavioural needs. Due to the varying nature of our programs, we are not able to accept clients that require 1:1 support.

Intake Process

Referrals to Recreation Therapy must be made directly by the client/family through CHEO’S Access Team. For more information and to determine your eligibility for Recreation Therapy, please contact the CHEO Access Team at 613-737-2757.

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