How can recreation be included as a "related service" in
my child's IEP?
Segments from the Therapeutic Recreation in
Public Schools (Project TRIPS) web site: http://perth.uwlax.edu/hper/RM-tr/trschools.htm Are
you aware that recreation has been identified as a related service
ever since The Education for All Handicapped Children's Act was authorized
in 1975? Many parents are not. The basic entitlements of P.L. 94-142
provide for a free, appropriate public education for all children.
In providing appropriate educational services to all students with
disabilities, the local education agency must ensure that these students
receive all related services necessary for the child to benefit from
special education. Related services as defined by the law include:
speech pathology and audiology, psychological services, physical
and occupational therapy, recreation, early identification and assessment
of disabilities in children, counseling services, and medical services
for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. (Federal
Register, 1977, p.42473)
Recreation is identified in P.L. 94-142 as a related service which
enhances the educational goals of a child with a disability. If
recreation is included in a child's IEP, it cannot be completed
by a curricular service such as special education or physical education. Recreation
should be provided by a trained Therapeutic Recreation Specialist as
specified in the EHA [sections 1211.126(b)2, and 121a.382(a)3].
The actual role of the TRS varies dependent onthe actual school
in which he/she is employed. Generally, the TRS serves as a direct
service deliverer and/or as a consultant depending on the needs
of the students.
Under IDEA, Recreation as a related service includes:
1. Assessment of Recreation and Leisure Functioning
Assessment of recreation and leisure functioning is a procedure to determine
the current functional strengths and needs of students with disabilities
in terms of skills, abilities, and attitudes relative to recreation and leisure.
2. Leisure Education
Leisure education provides students with recreational and educational instruction
to promote positive attitudes toward leisure, recognition of the benefits
of recreation involvement, the development of skills necessary for recreation
participation (such as social, decision making, and planning skills), knowledge
of recreation resources, and attitudes and skills that facilitate independent,
satisfying leisure experiences.
3. Therapeutic Recreation
Therapeutic recreation is the use of recreation activities to habilitate
or rehabilitate functional abilities, which contribute to behavioral change.
'Therapeutic recreation is a process involving assessment, development
of goals and objectives, and the implementation, documentation, and evaluation
of intervention strategies.
4. Recreation in Schools and Community Agencies
Recreation in schools and community agencies involves the provision of recreation
services that facilitate the full participation of children and youths
with disabilities in school and community programs. Activities are used
to promote health, growth, development, and independence through self-rewarding