A Water Activity You Might Be Missing Out On

Aqua therapy keeps making a splash

If the practice of aqua therapy is new to you, this month’s newsletter is for you! While still a bit offbeat in the therapeutic world, aqua therapy – yes, therapy that takes place in a body of water – is gaining awareness and popularity with exciting speed, due to the vast benefits many families have experienced since their child has participated in this fun and special form of intervention. From improved motor coordination to enhanced sensory function and even better social skills, the values reach far beyond the pool.

Read on to explore the benefits of aqua therapy, as well to note our shameless plug for CTC’s own special aqua therapy program. Jump right in!


When You Can Swim

The wonder of the water is the charming and poetic focus of this children’s book, which highlights the beauty of water in many locations. An especially great addition to the reading log of kids who demonstrate a fear of water.

Product: plui rain cloud

Plunge this clever toy in water and lift it up to make it rain; then hold your finger over the top hole to make the drops stop. Giggles and sensory exposure included!

Quote of the Month

Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.

– Margaret Atwood

A Deep Dive Into Aqua Therapy

Learn the multi-faceted benefits of this unconventional therapy

In the world of pediatric therapy, it seems as if no stone is left unturned. The list of possible therapies for any given child is extensive: occupational therapy; physical therapy; speech-language therapy; feeding therapy; vision therapy; music therapy; equestrian therapy. In this article, we highlight aqua therapy, another unconventional form of therapeutic intervention that can enhance developmental skills in children with functional delays or deficits.

Aqua therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy, is a unique approach that provides a number of benefits for children with a wide range of developmental challenges. Utilizing the buoyancy, resistance, and therapeutic properties of water, aqua therapy enhances physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being in children who struggle in these areas of development. In particular, it has been shown to elicit improvements in the following areas:

Motor Skills and Coordination

With its reduced gravity and increased resistance, water is an ideal medium for improving motor skills and coordination. The force that the body must exert in order to move in water helps to strengthen muscles, promote better postural control and improve balance. Proprioception, or the perception of the position and movement of the body in space, is challenged in ways that it cannot be on land, with the acts of kicking, floating and reaching for objects under or on the surface of water enhancing gross and fine motor skills. For children with severe limitations

in their physical movement, aqua therapy also provides a safe medium in which to facilitate improved mobility.

Sensory Processing

It’s no secret that water has calm and restorative properties. It provides valuable sensory input that can help regulate and modulate sensory responses, which are frequently over- or under-reactive in children with sensory processing issues. It’s gentle pressure against the body, the muffled sounds when your ears are submerged and the sensation of buoyancy when in water can help calm and regulate the nervous system. In addition, water play and the use of various water toys can create a multisensory experience that helps desensitize children who may be hypersensitive to or avoidant of various stimuli.

Social Interaction and Communication

The structured yet playful nature of aqua therapy, along with the sense of community that develops when children share pool space with peers who are also working hard towards their goals, make it a wonderful platform for building and strengthening social interaction and camaraderie. Therapists can target initiating conversations and practicing appropriate social cues with their clients during their sessions, helping to build friendships and foster self-confidence.

By enhancing motor skills, sensory processing and social interaction, aqua therapy empowers children to fulfill therapeutic goals in a unique manner that is both motivating and fulfilling. It can be a valuable complement to traditional therapeutic interventions, furthering progress in land-based goals in unexpected ways. It can even foster a child’s interest in other aquatic activities outside of the therapy setting and can build confidence and endurance in children who may struggle with team-based sports. Consider taking the dive into this exciting intervention!

Cheers for Our Peers!

Hip, hip, hooray for our CTC buddies and their awesome accomplishments!

Jordan Blair

On March 23, Jordan Blair participated in the regional Special Olympics swim competition. He competed in the 25 meter freestyle and backstroke, and with his great effort and skill, earned two gold medals and qualified to go to state!

We are so proud of you, Jordan, and are cheering you on!

Please email megan@ctctherapy.com to submit a request to have your CTC child featured in our Cheers for Our Peers newsletter column!

Would CTC’s Aqua Therapy Program Benefit Your Child?

Wondering if you should take the plunge?

Following the review of aqua therapy above, you may still be wondering: Would aqua therapy benefit my child? Let us at Children’s Therapy Connections help you decide! Our expert therapists consider individual deficits and skills in our clients for each and every aqua therapy recommendation, so feel free to discuss your interest and concerns with your child’s therapist(s) or call our office at 708-226-9200 to discuss the opportunity to enroll your child in our program.

Content of this newsletter was written by:
Megan A. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Please contact Megan with any questions or comments at: megan@ctctherapy.com