Therapeutic Recreation

What is Therapeutic Recreation?

Therapeutic Recreation (TR) helps people with disabilities to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will allow them to participate in, and enjoy recreation and leisure opportunities.

Benefits of Recreation

  • Participate in activities and learn new skills
  • Make new friends
  • Increase self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Increase independence
  • Reduce stress
  • Experience feelings of competence
  • Increase overall quality of life

 What does a Recreation Therapist do?

  • A Recreation Therapist works with children to help them develop the physical skills, emotional skills and group skills they will need to be successful in community recreation programs, family leisure activities and independent leisure.
  • A Recreation Therapist works with families to help them identify activities and programs that are a good fit for their child. A Recreation Therapist also helps families find recreation supports that will help their child participate in recreation programs in a meaningful way.
  • A Recreation Therapist works with community recreation providers to help them develop the skills to include children with special needs in their programs. This may include education and training, advocacy, awareness and new program development.

What services can I access for my child?

Consults:  Meet with a Recreation Therapist to discuss recreation program options, family and peer leisure options, supports, recreation funding and recreation equipment loans available in your community. More information on when it might be helpful to request a recreation consult and eligibility can be found on our website.

Advocacy:  Support if your child is experiencing challenges participating in, or is at risk of removal from a community recreation program.  A Recreation Therapist can work alongside you and the program leader to explore participation strategies, provide education or inclusion training, as well as problem solve to help your child participate in community recreation programs.

Clinics:  Recreation Therapists offer bike and swim clinics. For more information, check our website.

          Swim Clinic:

  • Recommendations on suitable community swimming lessons
  • Provide teaching strategies that can be shared with a community swimming instructors
  • Support options and how to access these supports
  • Funding options
  • Swim floatation options (adapted lifejacket, head float)
  • Home program (ideas you can try when swimming with your child, incorporating therapy into swimming at home, etc.)
  • Safety and swimming in your backyard pool

Bike Clinic:

  • Tips to encourage/support your child in riding a two-wheel bike including strategies and problem solving
  • Two-wheel bike modifications and balance wheel options that may make it easier for your child to ride a bike
  • This clinic is not for clients who need a specialized bike  
Programs: Recreation Therapists offer programs such as iCan Bike and Find your Passion, as well as partnerships with community recreation providers to offer or support programs such as Drum Club, Arts Express or Play Who You Are.

Education: Recreation Therapists offer workshops such as Summer Camp planning and Getting Started. Families can request to receive Seasonal Planning handouts as well as reminders about registration dates or new recreation opportunities by email. Many recreation resources are available on the KidsAbility website including the Community Recreation Program Directory (formally KidsAbility Program and Activity Guide) at

How do I access these services?

Contact Intake 519-886-8886 or 1-888-372-2259 ext. 1214 or speak to your KidsAbility Therapist.