Throughout their lives, cerebral palsy and autistic teenagers get frustrated by physical and mental limitations, not physically being able to participate in many activities or unable to handle the over stimulation of contact sports and teenagers running around. So, why not place these teenagers in an environment that allows them the freedom to move around or providing just enough sensory input to soothe and calm them down?
Gravity and body weight impacts the way the body moves, significantly limiting cerebral palsy teenagers’ movement. However, due to the properties of water, these are nearly completely reversed when submerged in water allowing children, teenagers and adults alike to ambulate freely. In addition the warmth of the water has a massaging effect on muscles, joints and ligaments that are often over-used and painful. Range of movement is also significantly increased, while stretching and balancing is made easier in the safe environment. At the same time the heart also pumps more rigorously due to the hydrostatic pressure. The benefit of this includes decreased swelling, reduced blood pressure and improved joint position, and in turn greater body awareness. Click here to read more.