Aquatic Occupational Therapy – A Powerful Therapeutic Intervention
At Sensory Solutions, we can now see your child for occupational therapy in the clinic and in the pool. This can be beneficial for kiddos with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, low muscle tone, development delays, and sensory processing disorder.
The pool is a great environment to treat our clients as it can be both relaxing and stimulating. Due to these characteristics, the pool often provides a less restrictive environment for kids to work and play in. While working in the pool, the OT can address many areas with your child. Studies have found that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have participated in aquatic therapy have shown a substantial increase in swim skills, attention, muscle strength, balance, tactile (touch) tolerance, initiating/maintaining eye contact, and water safety.
Other benefits include decreased impulsivity, improved social and play skills, improved sensory sensitivities and sensory seeking behaviors, and improved self-regulation. Aquatic OT can also improve body awareness, motor planning, coordination, balance, and posture. Caregivers have also reported that aquatic therapy has a positive effect on the social function of their children. When working in the pool, the therapist can use various tools and toys to address the specific needs of your child as well as use the water as a tool to provide various sensory inputs.
If your child has received an OT evaluation in the clinic and the above skills could use improvement, contact Sensory Solutions today!
We currently offer aquatic OT at two convenient locations: Bridgeton Recreation Center and The Pointe at Ballwin Commons.
Javier Güeita-Rodríguez, Francisco García-Muro, Ángel L. Rodríguez-Fernández, Johan Lambeck, Cesar Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Domingo Palacios-Ceña. (2018) What areas of functioning are influenced by aquatic physiotherapy? Experiences of parents of children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Neurorehabilitation 21:8, pages 506-514.