What is Aquatic Therapy?
Aquatic therapy is treatment performed in the water by qualified physical and occupational therapists, to aid in the restoration, extension, and maintenance of an individual’s quality function. In the past, aquatic therapy was primarily considered an effective rehabilitation tool for those with physical injuries or chronic illness — using the buoyancy of the water to avoid the stress of a body’s weight on the joints during land-based exercise.
These days, pioneering physical and occupational therapists like the ones at Angelfish have had great success extending the benefits of aquatic therapy to individuals with not just physical, but also sensory and developmental issues, taking advantage of both the buoyancy and the hydrostatic pressure offered by a pool environment.
Who Should Consider Aquatic Therapy?
Children with a variety of physical, sensory, developmental, or neurological issues are prime candidates for aquatic therapy. Among the children we at Angelfish have successfully helped over the years are those with: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Sensory Processing Disorders; Auditory Processing Difficulties; Pervasive Developmental Disorders; Down Syndrome; Cerebral Palsy; Spastic Diplegia; Multiple Sclerosis; Muscular Dystrophy; Hypotonia; Apraxia; Developmental Dyspraxia; Rett Syndrome; Periventricular Leukomalacia; Chromosomal Abnormalities; Hydrocephalus; Hemiparesis; Hemiplegia; Hodgkins Lymphoma; Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis; Asperger Syndrome; seizure disorders; sensory integration dysfunction; gross motor delays; motor planning issues; lack of core strength; ADHD; learning and language disabilities; and issues associated with premature birth.
Why Consider Aquatic Therapy For My Child?
Here are some reasons to consider aquatic therapy for your child:
- Working in the water allows children to perform and learn movements that would otherwise be too difficult to perform on land. Returning to their land-based program then provides them the opportunity to practice movements which with they have become more skilled in the water.
- The physiological benefits of an 88-92 degree pool include: decreased pain, increased range of motion, decreased sensitivity of sensory nerve endings, and increased joint range of motion.
- Vestibular stimulation from buoyancy and resistance improves a child’s ability to integrate sensory information.
- The viscosity of water gives a child time to react and experiment with the consequences of movement.
- The hydrostatic pressure created when partially or fully submerged in water improves circulation, increases the work of breathing, and gives the body 360 degrees of deep pressure.
When and Where Does Angelfish Offer Aquatic Therapy?
Angelfish therapists can be found in the pools working with children somewhere almost every day of the week, from morning to night, in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
VISIT THE POOLS PAGE to see the days and pools when/where we currently have aquatic therapist coverage, then contact us to check on time and availability, to make specific arrangements with a therapist, or to let us know if you need to make scheduling arrangements for days/times that aren’t listed on that page.
How Much Does Aquatic Therapy Cost? Will Insurance Cover It?
Our fees can range from $90.00 to $250.00 for a 45 minute session, depending upon a variety of sessions options. Group and semi-private lessons cost less, and initial evaluations cost more. Please contact us for pricing to suit your needs. For health insurance purposes, we are considered an out of network provider. We bill the services as out patient as either Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy, depending on which therapist provides the treatment. Please check with your insurance provider to determine reimbursement requirements. The billing code for individual therapy is 97113.
How Do I Get Started?
If your child hasn’t already been treated by Angelfish Therapy in the past, then the first step is to schedule an evaluation. Prior to this evaluation, you’ll be asked to have your child’s doctor provide a prescription authorizing both the evaluation and weekly aquatic therapy treatment. It also helps sometimes to bring recent evaluations from other therapists, in order to help establish a therapy baseline for your child.