Category Archives: Pediatrics

Child & Adolescent Section: Open Mic Update

We recently held an open mic call on February 7, 2017 & plan to continue with additional open mics in 2017! Let us know what you’re interested in discussing for upcoming open mics by e-mailing us @

During our call we discussed call for papers & walked members through an example proposal. A few tips….

  • When considering a proposal, you do not have to have the entire presentation established at time of submission.
  • You need your title, session description, 3 goals and an outline.
  • Within your outline, provide estimates length of time for covering each topic.
  • Trying to identify a topic? Think of your audience, think of what you’d like to learn about & voila! A topic might just come to you. ☺
    • What types of sessions would child & adolescent section members like to see?
      • Aromatherapy, camps, outdoor adventure, adaptive sports, leisure education

Top 3 Treatment Modalities…what do you use often or want to learn more about? A direction to head towards with evidence based practice committee involvement.

  • Animal Assisted Interventions
  • Aquatics
  • Increase strength & endurance
  • Leisure education & skills based training
  • Adapting & safely returning to community after brain injury, spinal cord injury, etc.
  • Community outings

How do YOU celebrate RT Month?

  • Lunch & Learn presentations
  • Co-treatments
  • Themes
    • Tshirts & events planned according to theme
  • E-mail blasts

Please consider joining us for the next open mic & thank you to those of you who joined us especially our surprise guests, ATRA Board Member Thea Kavanaugh & ATRA President Marilyn Radatz!

Abby Pestak & Kaylee McGuired
Co-leaders of Child & Adolescent Section

Open Mic Conference Call!

The Child & Adolescent section will be hosting an open mic conference call for members on August 25th at 8:00pm EST. This call is open to all members to network with others working with children & adolescents. Students are welcome!! Members may also email in specific requests for topic suggestions! If interested in bringing up an issue, suggesting a topic, or providing a 3-5 minute blurb on the call about what you do, contact Abby Pestak and Kaylee McGuire at

Team building & bonding ideas for your department

I work with a lot of staff that have very separate hours, work mostly per diem, and don’t have a lot of time during work hours to bond. Does anyone have ideas for team-building, get-to-know-you tactics, stress-relieving, and other ways to incorporate a sense of FUN into the workplace for a team of people that don’t spend a lot of time together regularly? These staff work 1-4 hours a week, all different shifts and communicate mainly through email.

Kaylee McGuire, CTRS | Community Recreation Coordinator, Recreational Therapy/Child Life

Children’s Specialized Hospital | 150 New Providence Road | Mountainside | NJ 07092
908.301.5736 | Fax: 908.301.5503 |

An opportunity to advocate for Recreational Therapy-Pediatric Long Term Care

A group of therapists from the Child & Adolescent Network are seeking individuals who work in pediatric long term care with complex medically fragile children to help with a presentation at the annual Pediatric Complex Care Association conference.  We are putting together a panel presentation on Recreation Therapy, the Benefits and Departmental Structure within a Pediatric Long Term Care setting. We are looking for recreational therapists interested in joining this panel discussion.  The conference is in Richmond Virginia October 26-28, 2016.We are also looking for recreational therapists who would be willing to answer some questions about how your department is organized, staffed, integrated into the facility, etc. to be included in the presentation. If you are interested in helping with this project please contact Lauren Waite at .

Helping young adults transition to adult skilled nursing facilities

For a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to time pressures, payment sources, bed approval and more, many young adults from pediatric skilled nursing facilities are being discharged to adult nursing homes. Families are beginning to see that many of these adult nursing homes do not have experience with the young adult, special needs population and most do not have programming appropriate for these young adults. The results are devastating to the young adults. Not only are they no longer in a pediatric home they have known for years, but in many states they are also losing their education services. This shift in services is a drastic change to engagement, sensory stimulation, daily routine and overall recreation therapy interventions that are provided. How can Recreational Therapists become advocates for young adults transitioning to adult skilled nursing facilities?


-Bobbi Jo Pansier, CTRS, CCLS

Therapy Supervisor

Children’s Specialized Hospital

Toms River, NJ 08753

Rehab & Pediatric Best Practices

We are looking to determine best practices for treating rehabilitation patients with brain injuries no more than 6 months post injury who function at a RLAS I-III (or the equivalent arousal/functional presentation for non-TBI patients).  At our pediatric inpatient rehab facility here at Children’s Specialized Hospital, we are re-vamping our sensory stimulation protocol.  Please share information about what interventions (if any) is provided by recreational therapy, in what form (1:1, group), and what frequency (how many times per week/ duration of therapy session).  Please include what age-group and diagnoses you treat as well as the number of beds at your facility and number or Recreational Therapy staff.   Thank you.

Jamie Richards, CTRS

Recreational Therapist
Children’s Specialized Hospital, New Jersey

February’s Leadership Thought

Any great and inspiring leader or organization that ever existed set out to do something completely unrealistic. ATRA’s mission is to “Empower Recreational Therapists” and our vision is “A world where every person has access to Recreational Therapy”.  What do you think?  Are those unrealistic goals?  Are those idealistic dreams that we will never accomplish?  Continue reading February’s Leadership Thought

Collaborative Efforts between Recreational Therapy and Child Life

Transdisciplinary care and collaboration among team members is necessary and essential to maximize patient outcomes.  Collaboration is the most effective when professionals understand the unique role of each discipline. This is potentially more difficult when disciplines overlap in some services provided, or when an individual on the team is dually-certified.  Continue reading Collaborative Efforts between Recreational Therapy and Child Life