Hydrotherapy treatment uses water to strengthen muscle power using resistance, thereby normalizing tone, and improve breathing functions with the help of hydrostatic pressure and so on.
Hydrotherapy provides an answer to a variety of problems and needs for a large variety of populations of different ages. Hydrotherapy treatment for children is a developing and very common field today, and there is now immense knowledge regarding water therapy techniques for children and the influence of water therapy on their day-to-day function.
Water therapy can be most appropriate for special needs children. Eyesight is the most important sense in the sensory-motor development of babies. The motor development of visually impaired children is slower than that of children without this impairment. In addition, many times children who are visually impaired have motor/cognitive problems as well. In order for the baby to develop normally from a motor as well as movement aspect, he needs to notice the presence of an object or person in front of him and this creates the motivation to act – to reach out, make a noise, advance towards the object and more. Noticing the presence of an object or person is achieved mainly by using eyesight since the noise itself is not enough to create an inner image of external objects.
In order to develop an inner image, one needs to create a connection between the sound and the image of the object. A blind or visually impaired child focuses more on developing the connections between touch and auditory stimulus, and that is why water therapy is important and essential and can contribute to the more normative development of the visually impaired child. The water provides constant feedback on every move the child makes and in addition, just from the constant flow, encourages spontaneous movement of the limbs. Tasks such as balancing, strengthening muscles, etc. are achieved in the water while using the water’s characteristics.
The watery environment is an environment that provides stimulation to all senses – sight, hearing (the sound of the water), smell, deep and light touch. Children with sensual impairment need as much stimulation as possible and in as many ways as possible. This pool environment is excellent for stimulating the sensory system of children with any kind of sensory impairment and specifically those with a visual impairment.
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