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|What is Play?||What is Leisure?||What is Inclusion?||Finding Leisure||Finding Resources|
Skills Learning and Rehearsal
Learning leisure skills will enhance your child's ability to decide, plan, and initiate a leisure lifestyle that is personal and meaningful to him or her.
To make decisions and to become self-determined, it is necessary for individuals to have a variety of leisure experiences. Each activity a child experiences, allows the child to develop a skill sets particular an activity. For example, skills learned while playing a card game differ from the skills gained from a cooking activity. While playing a card game, a child learns strategies, how to take turns and how to follow rules. In cooking, a child learns how to follow step by step directions and experiences the satisfaction of having a rewarding end product. While each experience provides different outcomes and skill set, the usefulness of the skills gained can be transferred into other areas of life (school, home, community). Additionally, through experiencing multiple leisure opportunities, a child is able to make decision about which activity he or she enjoys and increase self-determination.
Community skills enable a person to actively participate in various community-based programs. Gaining skills in this area is especially important for older adolescents to increase their independence and facilitate self-determination. Two of the most common community skills addressed by leisure education are the use of public transportation and money management. Individuals with disabilities frequently identify lack of transportation as one of the main reasons they are unable to participate in recreation activities. It is important for individuals to be aware of public transportation opportunities and appropriate behaviors for public spaces. Additionally, many private and public recreation activities cost money. This can be a barrier for individuals who lack money-handling skills. To be successful in the community, an individual should be able to make change, count money and appropriately handle money in public.
Social skills are among the most important skills needed for individuals with disabilities to be included and supported by their peers without disabilities. Current research demonstrates that participation in inclusive leisure activities is a means for developing friendships. Friends can encourage continued participation in a particular activity as well as facilitate the development for new leisure interests. For many parents, increasing social networks is the primary desired outcome for encouraging their children to participate in leisure opportunities.
To be most effective, recreation instructors should allow their students to build on skills they have, while developing skills they don't. To ensure children are developing their skills, it is important for parents, teachers and recreation providers to give children only the minimal amount of assistance necessary for a child to participate successfully in an activity. Providing too much assistance can result in a child learning to be overly depended on others. At the same time however, it is important to teach children appropriate times to ask for and receive assistance.
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Copyright 2006, The Trustees of Indiana University and Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
This online resource has been created through a collaborative project of the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) with content and design development by the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) and the Indiana University School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. This project is funded through a grant from the Division of Human Development and Disability at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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