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Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy

Recreation therapists are health care professionals that assess and provide interventions to enable children, youth and their families to achieve their highest possible level of independence. They do so by incorporating the role of play, leisure and recreation as fundamental components for overall health and quality of life for children, youth and their families, and by promoting and supporting the participation of children and youth with disabilities in recreational activities.

Recreation Therapy Services

Recreation therapists at Niagara Children’s Centre work with children, youth and families to:

  • Assess the child’s current participation in recreation as well as the child’s and family’s leisure preferences
  • Develop a plan that includes recommendations for increasing participation
  • Refer and connect families with appropriate Niagara Children's Centre skill development programs and community recreational opportunities
  • Recommend and provide trials for adapted recreation equipment and provide information on accessing funding support for recreation programs and equipment
  • Provide group-based programming at the Centre or satellite site for children/youth and their families to engage in meaningful recreation activities, develop recreation skills, and build a community of friendships

In addition, the recreation therapist works with community providers to increase their ability to include Centre clients into community recreation programs.


Individualized recreational therapy services are available by referral to children and youth who:

  • Are age-eligible for school (after August 31 of the year the child turns 4) and under 18 years
  • Have specific recreation-based goals that can be addressed by individual assessment, consultation, and our recreation skill development programs:
    • Multi-week programs with targeted activities designed to promote social and recreational skill development
    • Examples: swimming, active movement, cycling, drama club, sports/parasports, cooking, yoga
Open Registration Recreational Therapy Opportunities are available to all school-age children under 18 with diagnosed or identified physical, developmental, or communicative delays or disabilities. The child does not need to be receiving active Centre services. Group-based recreation programs include:
  • Special Recreation Activities and Events
    • Hosted at the Centre, a satellite location, or within the community
    • Opportunities to try new recreational activities without specific goals and commitment to multiple sessions
    • Opportunities to gather in the Centre or community for informal interaction or focused on a specific theme or activity (e.g. Scavenger Hunts; Summer Picnics)
  • Eye Openers
    • Allows clients and families to try new community-led programs, hosted temporarily at the Centre or at the community venue

 Check our Programs and Events Calendar for Open Registration Child/Youth Opportunities.


Referrals for individual recreation therapy services can be made by internal Niagara Children’s Centre therapists only.