How does aquatic therapy help children with special needs? Brittany, one of our occupational therapists, explains that the hydrostatic nature of the water creates an environment where the whole body is submerged and even pressure is applied. “It’s calming,” she says. “It’s called proprioception. This is why we hug each other and swaddle babies.”
The pressure of the water can be very calming for children with ASD or sensory differences. “When a child is having a difficult day, we do deep ‘dolphin dives’ and bobs under the water. When we hold our breath and coordinate respiration it creates rhythmic breathing, which is also very calming and organizing. Kids have a hard time with this on their own, and the pool offers natural opportunities to work on it. Also, swimming is heavy, resistive work and is considered another very calming activity. All these things are helpful for kids on the spectrum.”
Interested in learning more? Visit our aquatic therapy services page!