Students presenting with high physical needs have the opportunity to utilise the therapeutic benefits of the water by participating in fun and motivating activities.
The uniqueness of water is mainly in its buoyancy, which relieves stress on weight-bearing joints and permits movement to take place with reduced gravity. Thus, non-weight-bearing activities can be addressed before they are possible on land. An individual program is created for each student which aims to address their specific physical needs. Some areas that are worked on include:
- The maintenance or increase in range of movement of joints
- The strengthening of weak muscles and an increase in tolerance to exercise
- The maintenance and improvement of balance, coordination and posture.
The Hydrotherapy Program benefits from having a number of volunteers in the program. Many of our volunteers this year have been Medical students from Monash University and Occupational Therapy students from Monash University and LaTrobe University.
The Aquatic program is an engaging experience for students aimed at developing physical, social and cognitive skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. Students are given the opportunity and support to build confidence in the pool and gain respect for the water as they participate. The Aquatics Program involves the following:
Swimming and water safety: This includes water familiarisation, stroke development, safety and survival activities. During these swimming sessions the main focus is on developing independence, exploring the water, actively participating, developing water confidence, learning water safety skills and learning how to move through the water.
Recreation: This focuses on improving communication, social integration, body awareness and balance, sensory integration, functional movement and having fun. It includes structured and unstructured play, fun games, and group, individual and peer activities in the swimming pool.
Exercise Program: This is a fun, play-based approach to supporting healthy eating and physical activity habits in children.