Have you ever met someone who changed what you thought you knew was true? My next guest RT blogger did just that. I first met Deborah, another licensed Recreational Therapist, at a conference. Well, I saw her to be more exact. There was a woman confidently walking down the hall with several others. Not unusual at a professional conference, except walking with her were 2 cats on leashes! I know cats. I own a cat. Or rather, my cat tolerates me! : ) But you can’t walk cats like a dog and they definitely don’t do tricks or respond to commands. Wanna bet! These cats would sit, shake paws, and walk quietly down the hall…really enjoying all of the attention they got. To the cats, they were just acting like they do when they help with therapy for nursing home patients. They even ride in boats. As I got to know her, Deborah told me more about her program at Kopper Top Life Learning Center. It is amazing. RTs use therapy animals frequently, but at Kopper Top they have it down to a very fine art. It shows the diversity of Recreational Therapy and how it meets the many needs of people who have disabilities. But I’ll let Deborah tell it:
“Recreation Therapy can be provided through all types of avenues to those who need it. At Kopper Top Life Learning Center, we provide Recreation Therapy and therapeutic services through the use of animals, most of who have been rescued from abusive or neglect situations. The animals are cared for, rehabilitated, retrained and loved, so that they can in turn share their unconditional love back to others once again. The animals, volunteers and staff of Kopper Top provide services throughout the Piedmont to individuals with and without disabilities.”
Kopper Top Life Learning Center was founded in 1990 by Deborah Meridith, LRT/CTRS, to provide services to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in leisure services.
Kopper Top is a recreational therapy center located in Guilford County, NC., serving all people ages 2 and up. We specialize in therapeutic horseback riding, inclusive day camp, animal-assisted therapy, horticulture therapy, and many more opportunities for hands-on recreational therapy experiences! At Kopper Top, we work with people of all ages and abilities, giving you exposure to various types of recreational experiences available in the field.
Services that are provided by Kopper Top include:
Healing PAAWS (People and Animals We’re Serving)
Healing GROWTH (Gently Reaching Our World Through Horticulture)
Healing HOPE (Helping Our Partners Excel)
Healing HEARTS (Helping Educate and Reach Through Service)
Camp FreeSpirit (An Inclusive Day Camp)
Farm Tours (Visiting the animals and the farm)
Please contact Deborah Meridith, LRT/CTRS for more information at:
6657 Kimesville Road
Liberty. NC 27298
I’ve been waiting for this week. Today’s the day. It’s the first day of Therapeutic Recreation Week July 10-16, 2011. Yipee!!! This is the week to let the world know about Therapeutic Recreation. The blog is up and running. First, maybe I should let you know what this blog is all about. All professions and businesses have a belief system. Part of Therapeutic Recreation Consultants‘ belief is that all people have a right to fully participate in their communities and in their chosen activities. In the schools and social services arena this is called inclusion. In Therapeutic Recreation, this is called quality of life. I would call it living the life
you want to live.
Its a simple concept, really. Whether you have Autism, are a Wounded Warrior, have an intellectual disability, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, stroke, an amputation, Asthma, are blind or deaf, or have a mental impairment, are family members of a child, sibling, spouse, or aging parents with a disability, or any other limitation or condition, you have the right to a life of quality. This includes going on vacations with your family, out to eat, fishing, the movies, golf, theater, whatever you want to do. It also includes having friends, going to Worship where you want, and any other type of social activity.
Back to TR Week. This week I will be highlighting TR/RT programs which are innovative and help illustrate what this profession is all about. After this week, I will be discussing issues which may impact quality of life. Don’t be surprised if there is a lot of tourism and photos on this blog. Therapeutic Recreation Consultants is located by the beach in an area that can be truly welcoming to those with disabilities with many opportunities to relax and have fun if you have an inside scoop on the area! (That’s us-the scoopers)lol.
That’s enough about our philosophy for right now. Since this is my first time blogging, I’m learning as I go, so bear with me. I’d love to hear any helps or hints, too.