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A Day in the Life of a Special Tree Recreational Therapy Intern

aquatic therepy pool rehab

Did you know that Special Tree is a sought-after placement for therapists, nurses, and other disciplines for completing their clinical education rotations? Each year we have students from various colleges and universities shadow our clinicians over days and weeks to learn about neurorehabilitation. As part of Therpeutic Recreation Awareness month, our fabulous TR intern Erik Weston created this Vlog giving us a snapshot of his day

Highlights from the SCI Mobility + Recreation Expo

People from all over metro Detroit gathered at the NeuroCare Campus seeking inspiration and greater independence at Special Tree’s 5th annual SCI Mobility + Recreation Expo.   The Expo brought together 30 vendors who provide products, services, and recreational activities to help benefit and enrich the lives of people living with spinal cord injury and other disabilities.

Attendees enjoyed beautiful weather as they explored all the Expo had to offer.  They learned about mobility options including wheelchair accessible vehicles and all terrain wheelchairs.   They networked with vendors that provide home modifications and driving rehabilitation.  They tried out hand-cycle bikes and adaptive tennis equipment.  They watched hard-hitting, fast-paced games of wheelchair rugby and basketball.   Some got their wheelchairs tuned-up while others learned more about traveling with disabilities.

Special Tree’s Adaptive Sports Experience Shows What’s Possible After Life-Altering Injury

Once an avid golfer, Gerry hadn’t touched a golf club since a spinal cord injury left him in a wheelchair six years ago.  But all that changed when he picked up an adaptive golf club at Special Tree’s Adaptive Sports Experience on June 28th at Willow Metropark.

“I can still swing and miss,” he said with a chuckle.  But there was much more to Gerry’s swing than hitting the ball.  “Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I’m here to see what I can do,” he said.  

Helping Gerry and others to see what’s possible after a life-changing injury is what the Adaptive Sports Experience is all about says Recreational Therapist Kristin Claerhout.  The annual free event is organized by Special Tree’s Recreational Therapy team to showcase outdoor activities that can be adapted to accommodate all ability levels. 

Out of the Chair and Into the Air!

delta airlines volunteer

Airport Tour Shows Clients How to Travel By Air in a Wheelchair

 

These days, flying anywhere is a hassle for anyone. But air travel can be especially challenging for wheelchair users. One way Special Tree is helping clients and their families prepare for future air travel is taking them to Detroit Metro Airport for a behind the scenes tour of the disability services available through Delta Airlines.

Recreational Therapists Kristin Claerhout and Courtney Fankhauser recently organized a TR outing where representatives from Delta Airlines Disabilities Support staff went with clients and their families through every phase of the airport experience. Delta reps took clients through TSA security and onto a gate where they boarded a plane and transferred to a seat using a special aisle wheelchair. Clients also went down to the tarmac to see how their wheelchairs were loaded onto the aircraft.

Adaptive Sports in Full Swing at Special Tree

From kayaking and biking to golf and fishing, adaptive sports and recreational activities are an important part of our clients' rehabilitation and recovery.  Being physically active not only helps clients improve strength and fitness, but it can have a positive impact on their overall well-being and quality of life.

“Participation in sports and recreation can speed the recovery process, and it shows our clients that their disability doesn’t have to keep them from an active and enjoyable lifestyle,” said Special Tree Recreational Therapist Kristin Claerhout, who organizes Special Tree adaptive golf program.  Special Tree’s Recreational Therapists encourage clients to explore new activities as well as return to activities they enjoyed before their injury and work with each client to find the most appropriate activity for their interests, capabilities, and needs. 

The Importance of Recreational Therapy After Brain Injury

by Grace DeMuch, CTRS, CBIS, Special Tree Recreational Therapist

Students Flying High on Airport Tour

Students from Discover Summer were flying high after spending the day touring the Detroit Metro Airport with representatives from Delta Airlines.

“Many of our students have never been on a plane before, so the tour was a great way to introduce them to air travel,” said Anjie Dorsey, Special Tree Recreational Therapist.  The airport tour is just one of many educational community outings organized by Special Tree’s Recreational Therapists for the Discover Summer program.

The tour began with presentations from TSA agents, a pilot, the K-9 unit, flight attendants, ticket counter agents, porters, and the Complaint Resolution Official (CRO) Department, who organized the tour.  “The kids asked a lot of great questions and demonstrated perfect behavior,” added Dorsey.

Recreation & Mobility Expo Draws New Vendors, Increased Attendees

The weather was a bit overcast, but no one at the Romulus NeuroCare Campus seemed to notice as visitors and vendors came together Saturday, July 19, 2014 for Special Tree's Recreation and Mobility Expo, a resource fair for persons with spinal cord injury and other mobility needs.

February is Recreational Therapy Month

Let's hear it for Special Tree's Recreational Therapists!  Through leisure activities, our TR's help clients to improve skills and emotional well being.

Tea Time at the Tree

by Grace D., Special Tree Recreational Therapist