The HSC Health Care System logo: Blue diamond with a white half heart, yellow stylized stick figures of man, woman, and child standing in the heart and the HSC Pediatric Center written at the bottomThe HSC Pediatric Center, The HSC Health Care System and Health Services for ChildrenA set of three pictures: the one on the left shows a social worker hugging a child, the one in the middle shows a girl smiling and the third one shows a group of standing children clapping
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A child participating in a recreation therapy session being watched by a center's therapist.What is Recreation Therapy?

The purpose of Recreation Therapy (or Therapeutic Recreation) is to provide treatment and recreation services to individuals with illness or disabling conditions. The primary purposes of Recreation Therapy interventions are to restore, remediate or rehabilitate in order to improve functioning and independence as well as reduce or eliminate the effects of illness or disability. Recreation Therapists are dedicated to helping each patient function as independently as possible in recreation activities.

What do we do at The HSC Pediatric Center?

The Recreation Therapy department works as a vital part of the interdisciplinary team. After medical orders are received, our therapists evaluate the patient, and then write and implement individualized treatment programs. Treatment plans and goals are determined with the input of the patient (as they are able) and their family. Therapeutic goals may include; teaching recreational skills and ways of modifying activities to meet his/her needs, reinforcing and teaching social skills including how to interact with others, improving developmentally appropriate play skills, improving self-esteem, gaining confidence in him/herself and his/her abilities, improving leisure education and awareness, returning the patient to the community through community outings, and making referrals to community recreation therapy programs.

Treatment Interventions May Include

  • 1:1 Treatment sessions
  • Developmentally appropriate peer groups
  • Pet Therapy
  • Horticulture Therapy
  • Community Reintegration Outings
  • Community and Home Skills Group
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Assistive Technology

Recreation Therapists are involved in the following programs at The HSC Pediatric Center

  • Assistive Technology Team
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Nero-Cognitive Rehabilitation Team
  • Transitional Care
  • Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Feeding Management Program

Professional Credentials

All Recreation Therapist employed by The HSC Pediatric Center have earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in Therapeutic Recreation from accredited colleges or universities. Each of the therapists have met of all of the requirements and passed the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification examination or are eligible for certification and are waiting to sit the examination.

Additional certification held by members of the Recreation Therapy Department includes Assistive Technology Practitioner.

Professional Affiliations

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)

Chesapeake Area Therapeutic Recreation Association (CHARTA)

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC)

The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)

Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute


For more information, please call Recreation Therapy at (202) 635-4489


© 2009 The HSC Pediatric Center
1731 Bunker Hill Road, NE • Washington, D.C. 20017 • 202-832-4400 • 1-800-226-4444
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