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Mobility support in a fun environment

Does your child like the water? Does your child like to swim, splash and play in the tub or wading pool? Does your child have difficulty moving on land? Are your child’s arms or legs stiff, floppy or weak on land? Does he or she tire easily on land? Does he or she have pain in his joints with some movements?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to try aquatic therapy.

Aquatic therapy is a favorite therapy for many children and therapists. The water is a fun place to learn and is a natural motivator. Children become more mobile and aware of their bodies, movements and even their breathing in the water. You often hear children squeal, laugh and splash with obvious delight in the pool. The water offers them support and the possibility to actually succeed at tasks they find difficult on land.

The water has various properties that assist in making it a functional place for a child to work. The temperature can help lower or raise the overall muscle tone in the body. Gentle movements allow tight muscles to relax and make movement safe as well as fun. The pressure of the water gives the child continuous awareness of their body.

The water also offers resistance to the child’s movements, which helps children increase their muscle strength, organize their behavior and produce more coordinated movements. The natural buoyancy of the water allows them the time to respond when balance is threatened and assists in making corrections to their balance. The support of the water and the fun help encourage children to move independently. It helps them develop “kid power,” which helps increase their self-confidence as well as their strength and endurance. Additionally, the water is a great place to socialize, practice sounds and use the imagination.

The water is a great medium to address all the child’s needs from physical to social to medical. Since gravity is reduced in the water, the child now has the opportunity to take risks, learn movements, socialize, and develop self-confidence while addressing therapy goals.

Our therapists are specialized and/or certified in European techniques such as Nuero Developmental Treatment (NDT), Halliwick and Bad Ragoz. These techniques are incorporated into the treatment sessions along with other techniques such as myofascial release, strengthening and coordination activities based on your child's need.

Session information

During group sessions, younger children will focus on water safety, beginning swimming and age-appropriate water play. Older children will enjoy water aerobics, jogging and kickboxing as well as aquatic sports, such as basketball, volleyball, polo and relays.

Individual sessions will address occupational and/or physical therapy goals. Evaluations are done on the first day of a patient's session.

Location information

Texas Children's aquatic therapy individual and group sessions are held at Chancellor's Family Center, 6535 Dumfries, Houston, TX 77096. Parking is free.

Payment information

Physician referrals are required for aquatic therapy, and a pre-authorization is necessary.

Schedule an evaluation

To schedule an evaluation to determine if aquatic therapy is right for your child, contact Avis Rosenthal at 832-826-2135.