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special needs teen being instructed for swimmingFrequently Asked Questions

Is financial assistance available to participants who cannot afford program fees?
Many SRA’s provide financial assistance. Parents are typically asked to complete a scholarship application prior to being considered for a scholarship.  Private or corporate donations often make Scholarships available and they are awarded based on financial need.  Individual Care Grant monies or SASS flex funds may also be applied to community recreation opportunities.

What are the transportation options for special recreation programs?
Special Recreation Associations provide different transportation options based upon the participants needs and geographic location of various programs.  Some options that may be available through your local SRA are:

  1. Door-to-door transportation for individuals with physical disabilities.
  2. Pick-up points at various community locations
  3. Public transportation through PACE
  4. Private transportation through carpools or arranged rides.

What behavior management and modification strategies are used in special recreation programs?
When SRA staff are developing behavior plans for participants, they try to incorporate the same elements that have been successful at home or at school.  Most SRA staff is familiar with Board Maker, visual supports and schedules, timers, social stories for transition, 1-2-3 Magic, token/reward strategies and Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Can special recreation be written into a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?
Special recreation can be written into an IEP, but the school district must then be willing to fund the programs.  Therapeutic Recreation professionals may be invited to IEP meetings to suggest programs that will help reinforce and achieve the IEP goals.

How do you determine if SRA programs or Park District programs are most appropriate for the students or clients?
This is ultimately a decision that the family would make based on the specific circumstances surrounding their child and the recreation opportunities that are available in their community.  Inclusion at a Park District or Village Recreation Department is one choice that the family has, and if necessary inclusion assistance can be provided by the Special Recreation Association in the form of training, adapted equipment, or program aides. 

What is the clinical referral process?
To simplify the process for everyone involved, the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section (ITRS) of IPRA has developed a standardized Therapeutic Recreation Discharge and Referral Process.  This document is available through your local SRA and may be adapted to ensure it is appropriate for your setting and situation.

How is Recreation Therapy different from the Occupational or Physical Therapy that the client may already be receiving?
Therapeutic recreation takes place in a much more social environment.  Participants are able to learn life-long leisure skills while interacting with others of similar age and ability. The activities have social, emotional, intellectual and physical benefits that go beyond the fine and gross motor skills addressed in PT and OT.

 

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