Occupational therapy is based on purposeful and meaningful activity in which the person concerned actively engages in their treatment. Purposeful and meaningful activity for children is play. Water play, therefore, is becoming increasingly popular for children with fine motor delay, sensory integration disorder, developmental coordination disorder, attention deficits, autism, and many other conditions.
The swimming pool can be transformed into a sensory room with treatment aims such as memory development, co-ordination development, proprioceptive, and vestibular feedback. This is done using different props within the water. Each exercise and activity can include one or all of the senses such as visual, auditory, tactile, etc as well as using memory, sequencing and other cognitive processes. The water adds a new dimension to the senses, giving resistance where it is needed and helping with movement flow as required. It is a great way to incorporate strengthening exercises and promote general fitness for the children.
Water is stimulating and exciting and most children love the difference of doing their therapy activities in the water. Activities can be adapted to suit many children in a fun and stimulating way. The water can also be used as a calming tool with relaxing music, a warmer temperature and attention to lighting.
With an occupational therapist, your child can work to improve:
- Body Awareness
- Executive Functioning (plan, organize, and complete a task with multiple steps)
- Fine and gross motor skill development
- Motor planning
- Oral motor control
- Problem Solving
- Sensory processing
- Safety Awareness and impulse control