For individuals living with disabilities, recreation opportunities and a sense of community may not be easy to come by. That’s where the Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) Division of the Department of Regional Parks comes in!
One way to provide these individuals with recreational opportunities is through recreation therapy, which utilizes activities such as arts and crafts, dance, exercise and more to improve and maintain cognitive, physical and emotional functioning in order to facilitate full participation in life. TRS is in the business of delivering recreation therapy, and they have been since 1975.
February is recognized as Recreational Therapy Month, and TRS is celebrating the role that recreation therapy has played in the lives of its participants and their families by sharing testimonials.
Gabriel, TRS Participant
“Having Autism has made it hard for me to make friends. TRS programs help me to mingle with other people and learn about friendship.”
Caroline, TRS Participant
“I’m so happy I got involved with TRS. I’ve been with them one year as of Feb. 1. I love the staff and participants I’ve met and gotten to know personally. TRS is definitely like a second family to me!”
Brendan, TRS Participant
“TRS has given me a chance to belong to a group/team and participate to the best of my ability. The older I get, the harder it is to find things to do. TRS welcomes me with smiles and understands my limited ability. I am so fortunate to have such a caring group to be a part of.”
Cat, Mother of a TRS Participant
“In the spring of 2021 TRS did a science fair. Participants in the science club could volunteer to share an experiment over Zoom. Roland, who is usually a conversational minimalist, volunteered. We were so surprised! He made note cards for himself. He practiced his experiment several times. When it was his time to present, he nailed it! We were so proud of him and so pleased that he took a risk to stand out. He was also so happy with himself.”
Christopher, TRS Participant
“It is wonderful that we are able to stay connected with our TRS family during this difficult time. I feel very blessed to be part of such a wonderful program!”
Robin, Mother of a TRS Participant
“TRS has been so good for my son since he was 12. Everyone is so great and helpful and make all the athletes feel good about themselves. Thank you.”
Hermanda, TRS Participant
“Since I started TRS this program has impacted my life in a good way. From the day I started, with my first trip to camp, I remember how shy I was. At the talent show, they didn’t have my music for somewhere over the rainbow and I had to do it acapella; that was my very first challenging moment and they helped me through it. Since then, I have overcome my shyness and developed so much more confidence in myself and now, 10 plus years later, I am more confident, more independent and a stronger person. I am so grateful for TRS and all of the programs I have the opportunity to be involved in. They have helped so much.”
Martha, Mother of a TRS Participant
“TRS has been a great blessing for my son and me. He has friends and a group of great staff that know and understand him. He enjoys all of the activities even if he just sits and watches. As a parent, I have learned so much from watching Jenn and her staff interact with him; I’ve learned to refrain from ‘helping’ so much which makes him more responsible and independent.”
TRS programs focus on abilities while encouraging people to attain their highest level of independent leisure functioning by increasing leisure skills, improving social skills, increasing independence and increasing their awareness of and involvement in community recreational activities.
For more information on the great programs TRS provides and how you can get involved, volunteer with and support TRS, visit the TRS webpage. For more testimonials, check out their YouTube channel.
KEN CASPARIS, SACRAMENTO COUNTY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, 916-874-1319