Skip to main content

Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy in Kids’ Rehab promotes quality of life for children and youth who have a physical or developmental disability by providing the opportunity to develop leisure skills, knowledge, and behaviour contributing to a healthy leisure lifestyle. 

How we help

Recreation Therapy supports children, youth, and their families work toward their leisure and life skill goals individually or in therapeutic recreation programs. Group-based programming is offered in response to child/family goals. Recreation Therapy can help you connect to community-based recreation program; navigate the community; connect to physical literacy resources; borrow adapted equipment to support outcomes in physical education and participation in school activities (school skates, field trips, access to the playground). 

Recreation Therapy teaches life-long leisure skills and attitudes by:

  • Increasing awareness of resources related to recreation in their home, school, and community
  • Teaching skills to enhance participation in recreation activities
  • Introducing adapted equipment for trial and use in recreation activities, including gym and extra-curricular school activities
  • Teaching fundamental movement skills to promote physical literacy (agility, balance, coordination) 
  • Providing opportunities to try new recreation activities of interest, with recommendations for modification as needed
  • Working with community service providers to increase opportunities for children and youth who have a disability and promote inclusion

We have an Adapted Equipment Loan Program to help you support your child’s activity at home, in school/pre-school, and in the community. Recreation Therapy can help families and their children in any number of ways, including:

  • A variety of adapted bikes are available to support children aged 18 months+ with physical disabilities, motor impairments or coordination disorders
  • Equipment is available to make it easy to access the beach, trails, campgrounds, and playgrounds if you currently use a wheelchair or other mobility aid
  • Sport wheelchairs can help children and youth reach their physical education outcomes in school
  • Your child can skate from a seated position on a sledge if currently having difficulty skating
  • Equipment can be borrowed for school trips and activities
  • Adapted swim equipment can make it easier for your child to move more freely in the water

What to expect

A referral can be made to Recreation Therapy from any allied health provider, physician, early interventionist, pre-school or school, or from the family directly (See below for referral). The family will then be contacted to book an initial appointment with the Recreation Therapist to discuss goals. An initial visit can occur at the IWK, in your home, or at your daycare or school. We encourage the child, their caregivers and any other supports to participate in this appointment. If helpful, your child may also be introduced to adapted equipment for trial or play activities to assess fundamental movement skills (FMS).

A Recreation Therapist will meet with the caregivers and the child/youth to discuss strengths, recreation participation, interests, values, obstacles, adapted equipment, community recreation resources, fundamental movement skills, and physical literacy based on the individual needs of the child and family.

Who you’ll meet

Currently two Recreation Therapists work as part of the Kids’ Rehab Service. A Recreation Therapist holds a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification).

Currently one Recreation Therapy Associate works as part of the Kids’ Rehab Service. Recreation Therapy Associates have a minimum of a two-year diploma in Therapeutic Recreation, including two placements (four-week and five-week) from a recognized program. The Recreation Therapy Associate supports scheduling of requests to borrow from the Adapted Recreation Catalogue.

Accessing this Clinic, Program or Service

Children’s Building - IWK Health Centre

Enter through Link Building Entrance (located in the Gallery).
Proceed down hallway and take first hallway on the left, which will bring you to the Children's Building Elevators (Blue Elevators). 
Take the Blue Elevators up to the 4th floor - the Kids Rehabilitation Clinic Reception will be on the left in the Joyce Family Kids' Rehabilitation Centre.

5850/5980 University Avenue
Halifax , Nova Scotia