Aquatic therapy encourages physical, sensory, and language development in children with varying needs. The pool setting is a highly motivating and physically supportive environment, so children often engage in tasks they typically would not tolerate. It is an excellent environment for those who are immobile, have poor coordination, or muscle weakness, to work on strengthening, weight-bearing, and balance. Such a setting also allows caregivers to safely support their children, as it's easier on the caregiver's body to hold and assist a child in a supportive pool environment than on land.
Aquatic therapy provides opportunities to practice functional skills such as dressing, grooming, and hygiene. With movement and multi-sensory input, speech and language work is likely to occur as well. When the child relies on the caregiver in the pool, verbal requests and good eye contact are facilitated. Aquatic therapy oftentimes helps kids who have "plateaued" with a skill on land, to make it "over the hump" and achieve that goal, after working on it in the water!!