RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Upcoming RT Meetings

In a post yesterday I provided a friendly reminder on the dates and location of the upcoming 2011 ATRA Annual Conference to be held in Indianapolis. Today I thought I should provide a list of all the meetings that have been featured in prior RT Blog posts. So here they are:

May 6, Oregon State Hospital TR Forum in Salem, Oregon
May 18 – 20, Florida TR Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
May 18 – 20, Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium in Gatlinburg, TN
June 1 – 3, Therapeutic Recreation Ontario Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
September 18 – 21, ATRA Annual Conference in Indianapolis

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Forget Indy in September!

Just a quick reminder to be sure to put September 18 - 21 on your 2011 calendar as the dates of the ATRA Annual Conference in Indianapolis.

Danny Pettry: Story on Treatment for Insomnia

Danny Pettry, M.S., CTRS sent me a link to Danny Pettry's Rec Therapy Blog where I found a March 29th post on acupressure, yoga, and Tai Chi being used in the treatment of insomnia.

It seems to me that Tai Chi and yoga are getting a great deal of attention in the press these days as means to treatment. If you look back at RT Blog posts over the past month or so, there are several posts on Tai Chi.

To access Danny Pettry's Rec Therapy Blog go to http://dannypettry.blogspot.com/

To access the original article Danny referred to, "Get Some Sleep: Using Acupressure, yoga, and tai chi," go to the CNN Health website at http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/category/sleep

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scam Artist Alert for RT Facilities

The ATRAnet Listserv published a post today from Allyson Dedic, CTRS. I thought I should pass it along on the RT Blog as it warns of possible scam artists. It follows:

I wanted to send this email out as an alert for those of you who have entertainers at your facility in FL. There is an entertainer who is an Elvis impersonator who goes by: Fred Denmark, Fred Alberts, and now Johnny Ray. I have heard rumor that he was a “scam artist” and preyed on vulnerable people. After research, I did find that he has a criminal record in Tampa, FL and the charges were related to grand theft and organized fraud. There are many accusations that are floating around on ripoffreport.com but I am only sticking with the facts that I know are verifiable.

I send this out because after we no longer allowed him to return, he used a ‘manager’ and a different name to try and return to our building. I am attempting to contact them now to let them know that we are not permitted to allow someone with that background to interact and engage in activity with our residents.

In these difficult economic times, I am finding more and more people desperate for work and will do whatever takes (even if that means being dishonest) to ‘make a buck’. My advice: if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t and take the time for extra precautionary measures to protect our clientele.

Allyson Dedic, CTRS
Director of Therapeutic Recreation
Whitehall Boca Raton
7300 Del Prado Circle South
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 237-3818 direct
(561) 392-6031 fax

TR Directory Close to 2 Million Visits: Thanks Charlie!

Yesterday I received the TR Directory Newsletter from Charlie Dixon, M.S., CTRS. The lead article follows:

"Who will be the 2 millionth visitor to the Therapeutic Recreation Directory?

Sometime within the next several weeks will be the unofficial two millionth visitor to the Therapeutic Recreation Directory. This web site was started in the November of 1995. I now receive over 23,000 visitors a month to the Directory. Thank you to all supporters and users of the Therapeutic Recreation Directory!!!!"

Having 2 million visits to the TR Directory is a real milestone. I want to congratulate Charlie on this achievement. It shows what a valuable contribution he has made to our profession. All of us need to thank Charlie for all he has done for our profession!

Social Media Websites can Help and Harm Kids

Nanci Hellmich authored a USA TODAY article yesterday on possible effects of soical media on children. The article states "Facebook and other social media websites can enrich children's lives, but they could also be hazardous to their mental and physical health, says a report today from the American Academy of Pediatrics."

The article discusses a new phenomenon termed "Facebook depression," that children may get when they don't find social connections online. "Cyberbulling" is another concern that can lead to depression, anxiety, isolation, and even suicide, according to the article. "Sexting" is still another conern discussed in the article.

I wonder if RTs have had experiences with clients who have experienced "Facebook depression" or other problems as a result of social media. The area of social media seems like it may become an area that RTs will need to become more involved with in the future. What do you think?

Internship Opportunity for RT Students with Disabilites

From Disability.gov on March 28, 2011, comes an announcement on the John Hudson Internship Program. It appears the program is for the state of Virginia only -- but the information is not clear. Below follows what was posted.

The program provides summer internship opportunities for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Five internships are available in emergency management, accounting, interpretative aide, policy research and implementation and therapeutic recreation. Application deadline is April 15, 2011. For more information visit https://www.disability.gov/state/virginia/employment.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How About a Clinical RT Master's Degree?

Earlier today I posted information on the Recreational Therapy Administration master's degree program at East Carolina University. I'm pleased ECU offers this program.

In my mind, a more needed master's degree would be for those who wish to become advanced practitioners in clinical settings. Master clinicians are the RTs who, I believe, really will advance our profession.

Perhaps ECU prepares RTs for advanced clinical practice under their Recreational Therapy Administration program. If they do, this is great. But they need to let us know that they have master's level master clinician prepartion if they do.

At any rate, I would sure like to see universities offer distinct master's degrees in Recreational Therapy Advanced Clinical Practice.

CTRS Position Opening

Via the ATRAnet Listserv comes this position opening:
Recreational Activities Coordinator; Wyoming State Hospital; Evanston, WY.

Preferences: Bachelors degree; Therapeutic Recreation or emphasis
in Therapeutic Recreation, One year
experience required, with CTRS (Certified
Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) from
NCTRC (National Council for Therapeutic
Recreation Certification).
Hiring Range ($3,861.00 - $4,542.00 Per Month)

Contact Kathy Argyle, CTRS kathy.argyle@health.wyo.gov for more information. (If you complete the on-line application please send me a quick email so I can make sure it comes through!!) Thanks!

***To apply on line, go to the link below. You will have to create a profile. The recruitment i.d. is 17953 & the position is HSRA09.

Click on the Department of Health & the location is Evanston.

Distinct Master of Science Degree in RT at ECU

From ATRAnet comes information on a distinct Master of Science Degree offered at East Carolina University.

Master of Science Degree in Recreational TherapyAdministration, East Carolina University

We believe the RTA degree to be a premier program in Recreational Therapy. We have eight CTRS/LRT faculty teaching in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Services. The graduate degree in Recreational Therapy Administration focuses on usingrecreation as a therapy in clinical settings to improve the health and quality of life for patients, and others who are have physical, emotional, or cognitive impairments. Faculty and graduate students are engaged in research and outreach projects with the extensive therapy division of ECU’s Brody School of Medicine as well as with partners working on community integration, aquatic therapy interventions, biofeedback, and adaptive sports. Our graduates are prepared to meet national certification and state licensure standards and are trained to administer recreational therapy departments in a variety of settings.

Academic Common Market

Students interested in the MS in Recreational Therapy Administration are eligible for the Academic Common Market. The Academic Common Market (ACM) a program of the Southern Regional Education Board which allows qualified students from the 16 partner states to pay in-state tuition and fees. Participating states include: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MI, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and students apply through their own state ACM Coordinator (www.sreb.org)

Application Requirements

For application, three letters of reference are required as well as original transcripts, a statement of purpose, application fee and acceptable GRE or GMAT scores, (TOEFL score is also required for international applicants). All candidates offered admission will be considered for financial support and graduate assistantships as they are available. Currently funding is available in selected projects and programs.

Applications received by June 1, 2011 will be given priority review with rolling reviews of subsequent applicants into early summer as space is available. We anticipate admitting 12-15 new students into each M.S. program for the fall.

For additional information, please see the information at the following web sites:

MS in Recreational Therapy Administration www.ecu.edu/rcls/rta
Graduate School, East Carolina University www.ecu.edu/gradschool
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies www.ecu.edu/rcls

Should you have any specific questions regarding the program or the application, please contact:

Kindal A. Shores, PhD
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
East Carolina University, North Carolina, USA
Phone:(252) 328-5649

Disability Awareness Month

I became aware only recently that March is Disability Awareness Month.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update on a Favorite Former Student

I received an unexpected call last week from Dr. Michael Crawford, CTRS. For those who don't know Michael, he is the RT Director for the University of Nebraska Medical Center that is located in Omaha.

I am really impressed by what Michael is doing in RT at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Among other things, Michael told me about the RT internship program that he has had for a number of years.

I am so glad that there are such high quality RT programs as the one that Michael runs and that our RT students have the opportunity to complete internships under such a fine professional as Michael in a top medical center.

There is much good news about our profession and I'm pleased to be able to share some of it in this post!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

IU Wheelchair Sports Day Announced

Time Saturday, April 23 · 9:00am - 1:00pm
Location Wildermuth Gym - Indiana University
Created By Indiana University - Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Recreation Park Tourism

More Info It will be held Saturday April 23rd, from 9 am to 1 pm in the Wildermuth Gym. We will have approximately 12 wheelchairs for playing a variety of games. And we will also have 4 players from the RHI Pacers Basketball team coming as well.

New Book Announcement from Sagamore Publishing, LLC

Below follows the announcement that appeared on ATRAnet:

Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners
David R. Austin, Ph.D.

Description: Lessons Learned provides a personalized approach and a fresh, bold guide for students and practitioners in recreational therapy. This thought-provoking, inspiring, and accessible text will help the next generation of recreational therapists to find purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in their own lives and to bring health and happiness to their clients.


Understanding Recreational Therapy
1 Recreational Therapy is a Lot More than Diversion!
2 Our Mission Includes Health Promotion
3 What Makes RT Therapeutic?
4 Do You Know Who We Are?
5 Recreational Therapists Need a Philosophy of Practice
6 The Importance of Recreation and Leisure

Approaches to Recreational Therapy
7 Recreational Therapists Use a Strength-Based Approach
8 Client Strengths Include Traits and Resources
9 Recreational Therapy is Action Oriented, but the Emphasis is on the Client and Not on the Activity
10 Recreation and Leisure Activities Offer Fun with a Purpose
11 The Therapeutic Relationship is at the Heart of Recreational Therapy
12 Recreational Therapy Offers a Unique, Caring Atmosphere
13 Recreational Therapy is Customized Care
14 Recreational Therapy as a Dress Rehearsal for Life

Conceptual Foundations for Recreational Therapy
15 The WHO Definition of Health and Its Acceptance by Recreational Therapists
16 Carl Rogers: The Grandfather of Recreational Therapy
17 Positive Psychology and Recreational Therapy
18 Freud and Skinner Weren’t Completely Wrong

Working With Groups
19 The New Recreational Therapist’s Anxiety in Group Leadership
20 Recreational Therapy Groups Offer Participants Numerous Benefits
21 Group Processing Should Be Regularly Completed with RT Groups
22 Techniques When Clients Don’t Participate in Group Discussions
23 Get a Background in Group Dynamics, Because You’ll Need It

The Recreational Therapist
24 Recreational Therapists are Models for Clients
25 Is Recreational Therapy an Art or a Science, or Both?
26 Enthusiasm
27 Extroversion
28 Dare to Share
29 Learn to Relax
30 Value Values
31 Gaining Cultural Competence
32 Maintaining Confidentiality
33 Burnout
34 Why Clients Like RTs: The Norm of Reciprocity
35 Clinical Supervision
36 Self-Awareness
37 Being a Team Player
38 Being Professional
39 Being an Advocate for Our Profession

Techniques for Recreational Therapists
40 Learning by Doing
41 It’s Good to Give Feedback
42 When Clients Change
43 Engage Your Clients
44 Aggression Begets Aggression
45 Use Self-Disclosure Sparingly and in a Timely Fashion
46 Be Supportive of Clients
47 The Use of Gimmicks Can Be Good
48 Employ and Foster Intrinsic Motivation
49 Here and Now
50 Build Self-Esteem
51 Leisure Counseling
52 Activities Spur Conversation
53 Use Touch Therapeutically
54 Therapeutic Recreation Skills Are Not Esoteric
55 My Favorite Approaches to Effective Listening
56 Top Teaching Principles

Social Psychology and Recreational Therapy
57 Recreational Therapists as Applied Social Psychologists
58 The Overjustification Effect
59 Self-Efficacy: Why Some Clients Try and Others Don’t
60 Social Facilitation
61 Self-Handicapping
62 Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
63 Learned Helplessness

What to Do and Not Do as an RT
64 Evidence-Based Research: A Concept RT Should Embrace
65 Say “Yes” to RT Research
66 Never Become Sexual with Clients
67 Never Become Anti-Intellectual
68 (Almost) Never Make Choices for Clients
69 Cherish the Opportunity to do Recreational Therapy

What people are saying about this book:
“I think this is a 5-star/ must-read book for any student in a TR/RT degree program or recreational therapist. If you've not done so already -- read this book.” -Danny Pettry, CTRS

“It is a short and readable introduction to recreational therapy where you feel the "fire and enthusiasm" from a professional with many years of experience.” -Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, & University of Kentucky

"I am using Lessons Learned in my foundations of TR class this semester. I require the students to read 6 lessons every week, and I have a quiz each week on one or more parts of what they have read. It is a positive addition to the other TR books I use. Lessons Learned has given the students in my course some very good first hand information and I think it makes it easier for them to relate to things they do and see in their volunteer experiences." -Joe Wilson, Ed.D., CTRS, CPRP, University of Northern Iowa

“The outstanding features of this text include personal insight by Dr. Austin based on decades of his passion for recreational therapy; 69 lessons (chapters) that cover a breadth of issues that all practitioners encounter during the course of their careers; and the manner in which the lessons are written provides an opportunity for readers to feel that it is written specifically for them from someone in the know.” -Victoria Dawn Shelar, Ph.D., CTRS, Middle Tennessee State University

“This is an excellent read – every recreation therapist, either starting out or a veteran, should read this wonderful book.” -Charlie Dixon, CTRS, Therapeutic Recreation Directory


Price: $19.95
Size: 7 x 10, Paperback, 147 pp
Copyright: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-57167-582-8
Lessons Learned is also available in eBook format via Sagamore and Amazon.com.


Sagamore Publishing, L.L.C.
1807 North Federal Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 359-5940
Fax: (217) 359-5975

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ATRAnet Post on Lessons Learned book

There was a nice announcement on my new book, Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners, posted on ATRAnet, ATRA's listserv.

I will try to post the announcement on the RT Blog tomorrow.

Sporadic Exercise, Even Sex, May Boost MI, Death Risk

The headline of an article in this morning's Medpage Today reads "Sporadic Exercise, Even Sex, May Boost MI, Death Risk." The article summarizes research that suggests episodic bouts of physical or sexual activity may carry a risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

The risk does drop with regular physical activity -- so RTs may wish to mention this to clients who need motivation to maintain their physical activity programs!

The research appeared in the March 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tai Chi seems to really be the "in thing"

I just received a mailing from the Consortium for Older Adult Wellness (whatever that is!) in which they promoted 5 different Tai Chi courses for instructors.

The 5 courses included: Tai Chi for Arthritis I Instructor Training; Tai Chi for Arthritis Recertification; Tai Chi for Arthritis Updates; Tai Chi for Diabetes Instructor Training; and Tai Chi for Osteoporosis Instructor Training.

Thus it seems Tai Chi must be gaining wide usage for arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Tai Chi has also been recommended for use with clients with Parkinson's (see March 13, 2011 post).

With the wide use of Tai Chi, perhaps university RT curricula should provide Tai Chi instruction for students. ATRA may wish to do a pre-conference workshop on Tai Chi.

1,333 Posts on RT Blog

I just read that there have been 1,333 posts on the RT Blog. Hardly seems possible.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ATRA Deadline is This Friday

From Heather 'Hartman' Sedletzeck of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association via Facebook:

Just sending a reminder that the deadline for the 2011 Peg Connolly Scholarship program is this Friday, MARCH 25, 2011!

Ft. Lauderdale Conference, May 18-20

From Allyson Dedic, CTRS, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at
Whitehall Boca Raton, Boca Raton, FL, comes the following via the ATRAnet:

If you live out of state or know someone out of state who would like a brochure for the conference, please feel free to email me and I will send one out! Again, the conference is at the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale, FL May 18-20, 2011. The cost is $100 for all 3 days!!! You can earn up to 18 hours of CEU’s, meet other CTRS’s at the networking social or enjoy the vendor exhibit!!

Allyson Dedic, CTRS
Director of Therapeutic Recreation
Whitehall Boca Raton
7300 Del Prado Circle South
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 237-3818 direct
(561) 392-6031 fax

East Carolina University One-Year Position

ECU has announced an opening for the position of "Teaching Instructor," effective Augist 15, 2011. Application screening began March 15th and will continue until the position is filled.

RESPONSIBILITIESThe successful candidate for this position will be primarily responsible for teaching courses in the undergraduate core curriculum with opportunities for additional instructional support to the graduate programs. Undergraduate degrees include Recreation and Park Management, and Recreational Therapy; graduate degrees are Recreation and Park Administration, and Recreational Therapy Administration. In addition to teaching in the RCLS BS and MS degrees, professional service is expected.

QUALIFICATIONSMaster’s or Doctoral degree (preferred) with at least one graduate degree in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services,or Therapeutic Recreation. Relevant college/university teaching experience, professional practitioner experience,and appropriate professional credentialing are desired.

THE UNIVERSITYEast Carolina University is the third largest institution in the 16-member University of North Carolina system with an enrollment of approximately 28,000 students. A research doctoral intensive institution, the University offers 104 undergraduate degree programs, 73 master’s degree programs, 18 doctoral programs, and professional degree programs in medicine and dentistry. ECU is a national and state leader in distance education and the use of technology in the classroom. The University is located in Greenville, N.C., a diverse and progressive city of approximately 82,000. It is within two hours driving distance of the Atlantic Coast to the east and the Research Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill to the West.

COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCEThe College of Health and Human Performance is home to five departments: Health Education and Promotion,
Exercise and Sports Science, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Military Science (US Army ROTC), and Aerospace Studies (US Air Force ROTC). There are excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations within the College and across the University. The College employs a full-time instructional technology consultant.

THE DEPARTMENTRecreation and Leisure Studies, comprised of eighteen full-time faculty members, is one of three departments within the College of Health and Human Performance. The NRPA COAPRT accredited curriculum has approximately 200
undergraduate majors within two degree programs: Recreational Therapy and Recreation and Park Management. The Department’s Master of Science program offers two degree programs: Recreational Therapy Administration and Recreation and Park Administration to approximately 50 graduate students. See ecu.edu/rcls for additional information.

SALARYSalary is competitive and commensurate with professional background and experience.

APPLICATIONSApplication screening begins March 15, 2011 and will continue until the position is filled. In order to apply for this position, applicants must provide: 1) a letter of application; 2) a current vita/resume; 3) contact information for three references specific to this position; and 4) transcripts of all academic work online at www.jobs.ecu.edu.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obesity a Problem for Children with Chronic Conditions

Evidence has been published that indicates children with chronic conditions are at increased risk for obesity compared to children without a chronic condition. This suggests RTs need to develop obesity prevention programs for children with chronic conditions.

Details can be found in an article by A.Y. Chen and colleagues that appeared in Obesity in 2010 (18 (1): 210-213). The article is titled "Prevalence of Obesity Among Children with Chronic Conditions."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day to All RTs!

May you have the luck of the Irish!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Congrats to Marcia and Glen

Marcia Carter and Glen Van Andel are to be congratulated on producing another edition of thier intro textbook.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ATRA Annual Planning for Indianapolis

I just read on Marieke Van Puymbroeck's Facebook page that she will be meeting with her local planning committee tomorrow. Knowing Marieke, she will do a great job with planning efforts.

If you haven't been to Indianapolis for a few years, you may not recognize it. Indy has a wonderful downtown - where the ATRA Annual Conference will be held. Within walking distance are the Circle Center Mall, world class museums, and a top zoo. Not far away are the Children's Museum (that many rate as the top children's museum in the USA) and the 500 Track (with its museum).

The great thing about the location of Indianapolis is that it is the "crossroads of America." The vast majority of RTs are within driving distance of Indy. If you fly, the Indianapolis Airport is one of the newest in the United States.

Indy is no longer "Naptown." The "Circle City" is a going place and a terrific choice to host the ATRA Annual Conference!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tai Chi, Yoga, & Dance for those with Parkinson's

Disability.gov recently provided links to materials published by the National Parkinson Foundation. These materials suggest Tai Chi, Yoga, and dance for those with Parkinson's. In the article "Why Dance for PD?" it is written: "For people living with PD, exercise is a vital component to maintaining a sense of well being, balance, mobility and daily living activities."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mike Also Says ATRA Mid-Year was Great

Did you read his comment? Mike Sutherland said he agreed that this year's ATRA Mid-Year was great. It is nice to get such positive feedback about an RT professional meeting.

Here is hoping that there will be carry over to Indianapolis and that ATRA members will make this year's ATRA Annual Conference in Indy the best and biggest!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ATRA Mid-Year was "Great"

I just heard from Professor Lin Buettner of UNC Greensboro that the ATRA Mid-Year Forum was "great." I had posted earlier that Sharon Nichols gave a similar positive assessment of the ATRA meeting.

Shank Retiring from Temple

I recently heard from Professor John Shank, Ed.D., CTRS, of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University. In his communication John confirmed that he will be retiring from Temple in June.

Those of us who know John sure hope he will stay engaged in our profession because he has been a prime player in our profession throughout his career at Temple.

Just the other day I was talking with colleagues about the Temple consensus conference that John, Terry Kinney, and Kathy Coyle put together. The resulting publication from the conference has gone down as a classic. This is but one illustration of the many contributions that John has made to our profession.

We wish you the very best in the future, John, and hope that in your future you will found within RT.

Compton Steps Down as Chair

I just received a communication from David Compton that he has decided to step down as chair at Indiana University. He has indicated that he will stay on as a faculty member in the HPER School.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Use of RTV Videos

Today I received an email from a college librarian in Ontario, Canada, asking if the Recreation Therapy Videos (RTV) could be shown for classroom use. I emailed back that there are no restrictions and that I was glad the college would be using them.

So to be sure there is no confusion and that everyone realizes that the Indiana University Library wishes everyone to have free access to the RTV videos, I am making this post.

All 23 RTV videos are available at no cost via streaming from the Indiana University Library at https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Exergames (e.g., Nintendo Wii) Produce Results

Today's MedPage had a story "Exergaming Provides Real Exercise for Kids." The story reported: "Exergames, like those played on the Nintendo Wii, get kids up and moving -- burning energy at levels comparable to the moderate to vigorous exercises recommended to keep children fit, according to a small study."

The original research study was published online March 7,2011, in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in an article by B.W. Bailey and K. McInnis titled "Energy Cost of Exergaming: A Comparison of the Energy Cost of 6 Forms of Exergaming." These researchers reported: "All games used in our study elevated energy expenditure to moderate or vigorous intensity."

In an article in the same issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Sallis remarked on Bailey and McInnis' research saying: "We can conclude that a wide array of exergames on different video game systems have the potential to increase physical activity and energy expenditure, especially considering how many adolescents are likely to have the equipment at home."

It seems to me that RTs should use these findings in several ways. First, these findings would lead RTs to encourage their young clients to get exercise via the exergames. Second, those in RT may want to conduct their own studies on the use of exergames. Finally, the use of exergames, it would appear, should be extended to older clients as well.

ATRA "Great Success" -- Nichols

From Sharon Nichols via Facebook comes a report that the ATRA Mid-year in Providence has been a great success.

Monday, March 07, 2011

New Rebab Journal

From Norma Stumbo via the ATRAnet Listserv:

Some of you may be interested in this new on-line journal Rebabilitation Rsearch and Practice --


NPS Accessiblity Website

The National Park Service is establishing a website "National Parks: Accessible to Everyone." The address is http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/access/index.htm


I just saw an announcment about Ability Online where young people with disabilities and illnesses can connect with others like them. I thought some RTs might be interested in this communications tool for their young clients.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Activities Improve Sleep in Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents

Thanks to Carla Tabourne, Ph.D., CTRS, via an ATRAnet post, I was alerted to the article “Strength Training, Walking and Social Activity Improve Sleep in Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents: Randomized Controlled Trail,” that appeared in the February, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 59, No. 2).

The research team headed by Kathy C. Richards, Ph.D. wrote in their conclusion: “High-intensity physical resistance strength training and walking combined with social activities significantly improved sleep in nursing home and assisted living residents. The interventions by themselves did not have significant effects on sleep in this population.” (p. 214)

This seems to me to be good research to support Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) by RTs in long-term care facilities.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

McCormick Among 5 IUB Fulbright Award Winners

Professor Bryan McCormick, Ph.D., CTRS, was featured in the March/April Indiana Alumni Magazine as one of five faculty from Indiana University Bloomington to receive a Fulbright Award for the 2010-11 academic year. McCormick’s Fulbright included giving lectures and doing research on mental health in Serbia.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Review of Lessons Learned from Amazon.com

The following is a review from Amazon.com of Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners.

David R Austin is professor emeritus from Indiana University with many years of experience as a practitioner and academic and in this book inspired by Irvin Yalom (The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients) he is giving his core beliefs on recreational therapy.

In 69 short lessons (chapters) he is able to make an all round picture of recreational therapy for both people starting their work in this field and also for practitioners already working in the field.
It is a short and readable introduction to recreational therapy where you feel the "fire and enthusiasm" from a professional with many years of experience.

Review by: Professor Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of the Medical Director, Health Services, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem and Kentucky Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky, United States. E-mail: jmerrick@zahav.net.il

Congrats & Happy Anniversary NCTRC

Yesterday I received NCTRC’s electronic newsletter where it was announced that NCTRC is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having been established in 1981.

It hardly seems possible to me that 30 years have passed since the inception of NCTRC. Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to establish and maintain our certification program!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Impressive Job Candidate Qualities

I believe it is critical that RTs and RT students pick up interview skills. With that in mind, I try to pass along interviewing tips when I see them.

The following was taken from the MSN website on 3-3-2011 from an article by Rachel Farrell for CareerBuilder.com. The title of the article was: “The Wow Factor: Impressive Job Candidate Qualities.” I have condensed the article which features 12 qualities identified by hiring managers.

The information is probably best suited for candidates for professional positions – although students may also benefit from the comments of the hiring managers.

1. Results Candidates with experience should talk about the things they do best. As C. Daniel Crosby of Cosby Performance Consulting stated: “Talking about measurable outcomes separates the contenders from pretenders." CEO of CJP Communications, Jennifer Prosek, said: "Candidates that can tell me an anecdote about how they got something done, against all odds, really impress me the most. Those who understand the rules and conduct of business but are not afraid to push the envelope a bit in the name of a job well done."
2. Good fit Candidates should display the position provides a good fit for their skills and interests.
3. Preparation Candidates questions should display that they have done their research by knowing about who they are interviewing with and the agency.
4. Initiative Candidates should display that they can function independently with minimum supervision. Of course, student interns need supervision so they probably should indicate that they have initiative and can be creative in finding ways to get things done.
5. Sense of humor Displaying a sense of humor breaks the ice and produces a more relaxed atmosphere.
6. Passion Candidates need to show passion about the opportunity to be at the agency. Said Betty Gilmore, Program Director, Lift-The Bronx:"Passion is energy, drive, motivation and commitment. Candidates who are infused with this quality demonstrate an enthusiasm and aliveness that is contagious to their colleagues and clients." Jennifer Prosek, author "Army of Entrepreneurs" and CEO, CJP Communications commented on passion and resourcefulness. She said:"You can see right through robotic folks who 'say the right thing.' It's those who come specifically prepared to tell you exactly why the position is right for them that impress me the most. Very few folks lean across the desk and tell you 'I really want this job, and here is why.'"
7. Confidence “Humble confidence” is a quality that the candidate should project by showing “knowledge, humility, skilled verbal and written communication, friendliness and appreciation,” according to Stacey Hawley, principal and owner, Credo.
8. Professionalism Candidates need to project an image of professionalism by displaying dedication to the profession, enthusiasm and motivation for the position and by being good at listening to questions and answering them well. Said Emma K. Viglucci, founder and director of Metropolitan Marriage and Family Therapy, "Presentation, presence, energy -- how they carry their personal power. They need to be engaging and personable."
9. Body language "The hand shake: it has got to be strong and firm from the get-go," according to Muriel Alloune, recruitment and training specialist, Federation CJA. Marissa Wright of Europe for International Studies Abroad, added: "Body language, including a good handshake, confident shoulders, a smile [and] eye contact. I know it's cliché, but it really helps."
10. Longevity Candidates need to display that they have long-term stability.
11. Communication Some good advice came from Dana Leavy, career coach and founder of Aspyre Solutions. She stated: "You need to be a creative, proactive problem solver. Hiring managers want to know how you (and only you) can solve the needs of their organization. Read between the job description lines. What are you bringing to the table that the next person with a similar background is not? If you educate yourself and build awareness around what keeps your next potential boss up at night, and you clearly communicate how you can help to solve that, chances are you've got their attention."
12. Attitude From Carol Quinn, the author of "Expert of Hiring High Performers" comes this:"The most impressive quality is to be a 'high performer,' a package of the right attitude, a passion for doing the work and the skill. 'Attitude' may mean different things to different people, but it boils down to having an 'I can' attitude. Everyone thinks his or her attitude is fine, however, some of these same people think it's OK to blame, make excuses and declare something cannot be done. That's the attitude employers are looking to expose during the interview and avoid extending a job offer to."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Position Opening for Activity Director

Via the ATRAnet Listserv comes this announcement from Tenesha Burns, CTRS

Hello, my name is Tenesha Burns, CTRS (teneshab@gadsdenhealthcare.com). I am currently working out my notice here at Gadsden Healthcare & Rehab (Gadsen, Alabama, is near Birmingham.). We are currently looking for someone to fill the position of Activity Director. I don't know if you are able to help, but let your students who are about to graduate or have graduated and are seeking work in this area know of the position. You can find the information on indeed.com. I really want them to get someone with the knowledge and educational background of RT.

Wilson's Reaction to Lessons Learned

I am in the habit of posting on the RT Blog reactions to Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners.

Here is a reaction from an old friend, Professor Joe Wilson of Northern Iowa:

"I am using Lessons Learned in my foundations of TR class this semester. I require the students to read 6 lessons every week, and I have a quiz each week on one or more parts of what they have read. It is a positive addition to the other TR books I use. Lessons Learned has given the students in my course some very good first hand information and I think it makes it easier for them to relate to things they do and see in their volunteer experiences."

Lessons Learned is published by Sagamore Publishing Inc. and can be found on the Sagamore Publishing website.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

IU is Among the Top Universities in the World

Did you know Indiana University is among the top 100 universities in the world. In 2010, the Academic Ranking of World Universities gave Indiana University a world rank of 90 and a national rank of 50.

I would add that the RT faculty at IU is among the very best in the world!

Reactions to my New Book Lessons Learned

My personal reaction as the author of Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners: is that the book offers an entirely different approach from past RT books in that it uses a format of very brief chapters that raise issues as well as provide practical tips and advice. Tips and advice, by the way, gained from nearly 50 years in RT.

Here is what others have said about Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners:

From Professor Victoria Dawn Shelar, Ph.D., CTRS:
“The outstanding features of this text include personal insight by Dr. Austin based on decades of his passion for recreational therapy; 69 lessons (chapters) that cover a breadth of issues that all practitioners encounter during the course of their careers; and the manner in which the lessons are written provides an opportunity for readers to feel that it is written specifically for them from someone in the know.” (Taken from the back cover of Lessons Learned)

From practitioner Danny Pettry, M.S., CTRS: “I think this is a 5-star/ must-read book for any student in a TR/RT degree program or Recreational Therapist. If you've not done so already -- read this book.” (Taken from Danny’s Rec Therapy Blog)

From recreation therapist and webmaster of the TR/RT Directory Charlie Dixon: “This is an excellent read – every recreation therapist, either starting out or a veteran, should read this wonderful book.”

From Professor Kari Kensinger: “Great book, Dave.”

From practitioner Sally Brindle: “It is great! Especially for a new person in the field or one thinking of going in. It is telling me that I chose the field of RT for the right reasons.”

From Professor Youngkhill Lee: “I enjoy your new book a lot. Students like to read as each lesson was short but easy to read. Plus, they like it as you took a conversational style in your writing. We sometimes use 4-5 lessons at one time; at other time, we use 1-2 lessons. Last week, we talked about definitions of TR and the lessons 1-6 contain a lot of good stuff to talk. We'll be talking about practice models tomorrow. Again, your lessons include your thoughts and reflections on this matter and I am expecting lively discussions tomorrow. Again, thank you for writing this book for us.”

From practitioner Pam Higginbotham: " Awesome book!!!Thank you soo much again! Having learned the lessons now, so later on the mistakes are not repeated! :)"

From Professor Jeff Witman:
“I like the book Dave, important content presented in a thoughtful and engaging format. I've used several chapters as readings with my RT seminar students and plan to adopt it for my programming/leadership class next year. Appreciate all that you do for the field, Jeff.”

Copies of Lessons Learned may be purchased directly from Sagamore Publishing's website. Faculty may also request copies from Sagamore’s website. Amazon.com also offers the ebook version of the book.

Should you wish to share your reaction to Lessons Learned, please do contact me at daustin@indiana.edu

“Nature Prescriptions”

Yesterday there was an interesting article in USA Today newspaper titled “Program gives families ‘nature prescriptions’” on page 3A.

The article described a program funded by a two-year $75,000 grant project by the National Environmental Education Foundation to improve family health. The program has doctors direct families to eat better and to get involved in outdoor recreation activities in order to engage the families in healthy living. The families are given “prescriptions” that say “Rx for healthy and active outdoor living.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a part of a consortium supporting the program. In the article, a Dr. Owyang, at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, California,is mentioned as someone who has written 67 prescriptions to the Don Edwards Preserve.

I wonder if an RTs were involved in developing this program or have any firsthand knowledge of it?