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The aquatic therapy program at Cincinnati Children's Outpatient Drake combines the benefits of physical therapy and occupational therapy with the advantages of warm-water exercise. Patients discover freedom of movement that allows them to progress and accomplish much more than they often can in land-based therapy. Water lessens the effect of gravity and reduces body weight up to 90 percent, encouraging relaxation and reducing the danger of overexertion.
Aquatic therapy offers maximum potential for recovery as an integrated part of a complete physical therapy or occupational therapy program. Our aquatic therapy program is specifically structured to respond to the needs of infants, children and adolescents who require high-intensity or frequent therapy and specialized rehabilitation.
Download the Aquatic Program 2013 flyer in portable document format (PDF).
During your child’s first visit, one of our physical or occupational therapists will develop a customized aquatic program based on your child’s medical history and a comprehensive evaluation. The therapist works with you, your family and specialists from our team to plan a rehabilitation program that addresses your child’s needs. Throughout therapy, we re-examine and adjust the plan to meet the unique challenges each patient encounters. We continually reassess your child’s progress and share information with referring physicians and other members of the healthcare team.
Aquatic therapy is much more than a simple swim. Our individualized programs are designed to reinforce key physical or occupational therapy principles. Aquatic therapy is a guided series of exercises designed to facilitate relaxation and enhance the effects of therapy. Our staff, who are all licensed physical therapists or occupational therapists and have specialized aquatics training, work with each patient to address specific needs. Aquatic therapy offers an effective therapy choice for children with rehabilitation needs or developmental disorders. Programs are especially effective for children who have:
Aquatic therapy reinforces the work your child does in land-based therapy sessions. But it also provides a number of additional benefits:
Because children rely on those closest to them for support, we design our aquatic programs to have a family focus. We encourage parents and caregivers to get involved and participate in therapy sessions.
We offer patients a spacious, state-of-the-art pediatric aquatic therapy facility at Outpatient Drake Center in a safe environment that encourages children to participate in functional activities. The handicapped-accessible facility was constructed with rehabilitation in mind, with features that make therapy enjoyable. We provide:
Note: The Outpatient Drake Center also provides aquatic therapy to patients, including adults, who are not from Cincinnati Children's.
We offer a series of aquatic wellness programs for children and adolescents. The age- and condition-specific programs provide children and adolescents with an opportunity to enhance their fitness in a fun, social atmosphere.
This class helps children with conditions such as JRA, weight management issues, injuries or illness that requires physical or occupational therapy. The program focuses on improving children’s balance, flexibility and range of motion, endurance, strength and aerobic fitness. The program also helps children reduce pain.
Participants must be at least 45 inches tall and able to walk without an assistive device. They also must be able to follow directions and should be comfortable in the water.
These classes are designed for adolescents with conditions such as fibromyalgia, JRA, weight management, lupus and hemophilia. The classes offer an opportunity for participants to improve their range of motion, aerobic fitness, endurance and strength, and can help them reduce pain. The program also gives teens the chance to socialize and develop healthier, more active lifestyles. Participants must be able to walk in the water without an assistive device and should be comfortable participating in deep water activities.
This group is open to adolescents with deficits from acquired brain injuries such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumor and encephalitis. This group will focus on improving fitness, strength and balance. It helps adolescents develop functional skills and improve social interaction in a group setting. Participants must be able to walk in the water independently, with or without the use of a flotation device.
This class helps children improve their sensory processing through play and sensory motor experiences. It helps children develop spatial awareness, task attention, modulation of sensory input and water safety skills. It also gives them opportunities to interact with other children and develop social skills. Participants in the sensory processing program must be at least 45 inches tall, and parents may be required to get in the pool with their children.
Read more about the Aquatic Wellness Program descriptions.
Most insurance and government programs cover physical therapy and occupational therapy costs, but often require pre- authorization. Check with your insurance company about your plan’s therapy benefits and prior authorization requirements.
Cincinnati Children's is committed to providing services to all children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. To determine if your child qualifies for financial assistance or for support with insurance pre-authorization, contact our financial services representatives at 513-636-4651.
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