Some Unconventional yet Effective Recreational Therapies for Kids with Special Needs

In recent years, recreational therapies are becoming mainstream with a lot of people going for it. Unlike traditional therapies or treatments, recreational therapy works towards enhancing a person’s independence and mental functioning through creative means.

Here are a few types of recreational therapies used for special-needs people.

Art therapy: Art therapy is given by mental health care-giver. In this therapy, the professional uses the patient’s creativity to develop motor skills, social skills, communication skills, and self-awareness. The practitioner aims at either improving the patients’ mental functioning or enhancing their personal well-being. The session is either in a group or held privately where their innate visual creativity is used as a medium to develop their emotional and mental skills.

Music therapy: Music Therapy is another unconventional and less known about recreational therapy, like special needs horse therapy. Very often, the treatment is mixed with speech and OT therapy. The goal of this therapy is to develop motor manipulation through the use of music and musical instruments. The practitioner tries to achieve conversational exchanges, eye contact, and visual tracking.

Pet therapy: Pet therapy is gaining popularity as an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, stress, and other such mental disorders. People with mental or physical disabilities can enroll in pet therapy. Pet therapies mostly involve certified therapy dogs, but don’t be surprised to see a horse or a cat greeting at your door ready to pamper you.

The best part about pet therapy is that it can be tailored as per the needs of the patient. This therapy aims to develop life skills and enhance social skills in patients.

Vision therapy: The act of seeing or visualizing requires coordination between muscles cognition, and perception. Visually impaired people experience trouble executing trivial tasks like reading, walking. This affects their learning process and slows skills development. Such patients are recommended vision therapy.

Vision therapy is given by a developmental optometrist who works towards developing visual-motor skills.

There are a variety of vision exercises that the patient has to practice. Some are reading comprehension, brain teaser games, prism glasses, logic games, maze and glasses, games, etc. These exercises also test the patient’s interpretation skills.

Therapeutic Horse Riding: Do you know horse riding is recreational therapy?

Horse riding is a wonderful exercise to strengthen multiple muscle groups, develop vestibular sensory, and enhance the rider’s sense of surroundings.

Therapeutic horseback riding is known by many names. The therapy involves a trained horse riding instructor and the patient. The instructor gives patients personalized therapy sessions depending on their conditions. One can even find handicapped riding programs for special-need patients.

The therapy session may involve anything from grooming the horse, feeding the horse, riding on the horse, or patting the horse. The instructor tries to teach a nurturing relationship between the horse and the patient.

Hippotherapy is another peculiar yet popular theory that involves horses. Professional rehabilitation therapists and trained horses give Hippotherapy. Here, the natural movement of the horse works as a treatment for the patient. One must have a prescription from a physician to enroll for a hippotherapy.