Peninsula speech Plus is running Aqua Therapy at PARC Frankston. Read about how Aqua can support goals including the most important goal of being water safe.
Aqua therapy at PARC Frankston
Swimming is important. We want to equip children with the skills they need to survive if they fell into the water. We want our children to have fun in the water. To be confident and safe when at the beach or near a backyard pool. Swimming is also part of the Australian School Curriculum and a part of standard school activities. So, what if your child is afraid of the water?
Swimming Centres can be overwhelming
Understandably, water can be scary. Inside a swimming centre, it is often loud. The chlorine smells different, and there are usually lots of windows which create a glare on the water. Once in the water, their goggles may fog up and blur their vision, and they may not be able to distinguish between the sound from their teacher and the rest of the environmental noise, making verbal cues challenging to follow. Children may not like the feeling of water on their head, or maybe the water is too cold. Perhaps a child has had a negative experience in the past or has observed someone else be fearful of the water. As you can see, there are genuine reasons as to why a child may not want to go near the water. Whatever the barrier is for your child, it’s essential to take things slow and help the child feel in control.
An individualised approach that identifies the barrier can support a child in taking a step toward experiencing the lifelong benefits of swimming. Swimming can be an enjoyable social activity and a full-body cardiovascular and respiratory workout that supports gross motor skill development and coordination. Swimming also helps in developing a child’s flexibility and muscle strength using the water as resistance. Once swimming is comfortable, it can be an excellent sensory experience. The resistance against the water can be relaxing for children and considered a strategy to support regulation.
When a child is safer around water, this can open up more opportunities for families to participate in water-based activities such as going to a friend or relatives backyard pool or going to the beach.
Swimming is not only vital for safety but can be an enjoyable experience throughout their lives. When a child overcomes their initial fears of the water, the feeling of pride will show a child they can do hard things. Children will come up against challenging moments throughout their lives, and this can be a perfect time to practice stepping out of their comfort zone in a safe and controlled environment to prove to themselves they can dare to be brave. They can do this, one step at a time.
Peninsula Speech Plus at Parc Frankston