With autism being diagnosed more frequently than ever before, it has become even more important to find effective treatments in order to restore and improve their quality of life. There are many different kinds of treatments that can be used to assist children with autism. However, one of the most effective forms of therapy is aqua therapy.
Aqua therapy is a type of recreational therapy that uses water and playing as a way of enhancing the child’s quality of life. Therapists and specialists have even designed special types of water activities in order to help restore, improve, and enhance an autistic child’s ability to function.
Water is the ideal medium for any type of body rehabilitation or exercise due to its ability to reduce body weight up to 90%. It is especially beneficial with warm water to reduce stress and relax muscles. Using well-directed water activities, an autistic child becomes more aware and in control of their body movements. This makes it much easier for the child to improve their posture, balance, and coordination in a safe environment.
Dealing With Sensory Issues
Often children with autism have significant sensory difficulties that can be very distracting and frustrating. These children commonly have strong reactions to different textures and may over or under react to different stimuli within their environment. The feeling of water all around their body can be gentle enough not to overwhelm them while still providing the stimuli needed. The repeated use of water to provide stimuli will allow the child to better cope with phyical touch and textures outside of therapy.
Improving Social Skills
Using group therapy can give autistic children a safe environment to improve their social skills. Though it may be better to start with a one-on-one therapy, moving to group therapy allows children to work through their social issues. There are many pool games like Marco Polo that encourages children to engage with others and experience cooperative and competitive play.
Aqua therapy has also proven to improve a child’s ability to concentrate. This can be especially helpful for those with autism since they are easily distracted by other stimuli. Since aqua therapy is focused on play-based movement, neurodvelopmental growth and improved range of motion, the child will have a stronger sense of body awareness. One-on-one sessions are especially useful in helping an autistic child form impulse control and frustration tolerance.
Despite the numerous benefits of aqua therapy, it is important to know that children with autism can often present safety risks due to being easily distracted. Intense supervision is required any time they are in the water. At least until proper water saftey can be taught and understood by the autistic child.
Aqua therapy can be done in nearly any body of water, however using a pool or swim spa is best. The swim spa is especially ideal due to their accessibility. In fact, you can put a swim spa right in your own home so that no cold weather or distance can prevent the therapy your child requires. If your considering buying a pool or swim spa for your home, don’t forget to purchase an End 2 End Cover to protect your investment. Our covers are easy to operate and energy efficient to keep your swim spa in great working condition all year round.