Children at Functional Kids Clinic have the opportunity to have their speech and/or occupational therapy in a therapeutic salt water pool in Hudson, Wisconsin. Our therapists are trained to utilize the unique properties of water to enhance gains met on land. Speech therapists are able to work on oral motor skills such as blowing, lip rounding and closure, and coordinated breath holding. These skills can aid in articulation, feeding and language. The water naturally gives the child resistive inhaling and aides in forced exhalation that facilitates length of utterance. All language concepts including spatial, temporal, verb usage, grammar, articulation, concepts, etc can be targeted in the pool atmosphere.
Occupational therapists are able to utilize the therapeutic properties of water to improve neurosensory processing, motor skill development, postural control, muscle tone strength, body awareness and self cares. The child is able to work on specific grooming and hygiene tasks along with dressing in order to prepare and finish the session.
So, why work in water versus the clinical setting? The combination of buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure provided by the water, results in improved sensory integration. It aides in postural control, resistance to movement, and vestibular stimulation produced in a reduced gravity environment increase arousal, attention and focus for optimal learning. The water is also very motivational and the desire for communication is heightened.