‘’Children with Autism are colourful-They are often very beautiful, and like the rainbow, they stand out’’ Adele Devine, Special needs educator and Author.
AquaCentric Therapy opens up dedicated team for treatment of Autism. It consists of the latest infrastructure, best faculty, prompt diagnosis methods and rehabilitation. With an increase in awareness and frequent child screening tests, the term ‘autism’ is encountered far more commonly today. Autism spectrum disorder affects 78 million people and families worldwide. It is often accompanied by anxiety, learning disabilities, epilepsy, fragile X syndrome, and immune system alterations.
Recent medical researchers have studied the effects of Aquatic therapy in autism and concluded an array of positive physical and mental effects on the child. It has been found to be highly effective in improving the child’s social behavior, motor skills and sensory performances.
Dr Devangee Mehta, Lead Paediatric Physiotherapist, Aquacentric Therapy, Mumbai says, “Early intervention and management with Holistic treatment therapies including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapist, special educator training and psychologist are highly recommended to help the children cope with autism. Water is a unique environment that provides gentle support, buoyancy, and a soothing & calming effect that has many benefits for children with sensory needs.”
Common Behavioural changes associated with Autism
● Deficits in social communication,
● Attention -deficit hyperactivity disorder,
● Repetitive behaviour
● Lack in social skills
● Sensory concerns
● Affected speech and non-verbal communication.
Other benefits of aquatic therapy are-
● It improves arousal and alertness with every splash they make,
● It helps to increase concentration and attention span as aquatic therapy focuses on play based functional movement
● Improvement in flexibility as buoyancy reduces the effect of gravity,
● decrease in spasticity and rigidity,
● Improves balance and coordination,
● Increased participation and social interaction through aquatic games and activities.
“Studies have also shown that aquatic therapy reduces the repetitive behavior in autism such as spinning, head nodding, hand flapping, object tapping and light gazing. Hydrostatic pressure in water provides the kids with autism a gentle and smooth physical environment thereby helping the children who have vestibular concerns. Further more activities like blowing bubbles in the water helps in developing oro -motor skills.” Adds Dr Devangee.
Additionally, being in water is fun and motivating. After an aquatic therapy session, parents have reported enhanced moods, better impulse control, reduced anxiety, and a grave drop in problem behaviors.
Ms Namita Ambani, CEO, AquaCentric Therapy, Mumbai adds “Our aim at AquaCentric therapy is to provide an experience that is friendly and non-intimidating, which can be the case with healthcare related services. Especially for children, the therapy area and the pool activities planned, in addition to being apt, are colourful and child friendly’’ she further adds ‘’We maintain a transparency of the sight and treatment plan while the therapy is on and also after. As important as it is to treat the child, parent counselling is equally focused on’’
The pool environment can be profusely normalizing and allow children a freedom they might not have on land. This adds to the psychological benefit and a sense of confidence and achievement on parents as well as the kids.