Training and Education for Parents, Carers, Swim Teachers and Therapists
Neuroaquatics™: Handling Children with Special Needs
The water provides a safe “playground” where there is a freedom of movement that is not felt on land. Muscles are more relaxed and pain is eased. For a child that is restricted and confined on land, the water offers a sense of possibility. This allows an exploration of movement and facilitation of connections in the body. Through skilled observation and handling, the child is guided to make discoveries that are more profound and lasting than if the child is forced to move in a particular way. It is process of learning that is non-threatening and enjoyable for both child and carer.
The introduction to the water is gentle and playful. It is a new sensory experience for the child and it is important to make it a positive one. To create changes within the nervous system and to facilitate learning, the child needs to be engaged and interested. We want to develop confidence and a healthy curiosity. Lessons learnt in water are practiced in different positions and during a variety of activities in water and on land to consolidate learning. It is well known that the brain is not hardwired; that it is continually re-organising itself throughout life and that this process is dependent on an individual’s experience. The Neuroaquatics Approach is consistent with contemporary research on neuroplasticity and motor learning.
The workshop will explain the value of being in the water and how to use the water effectively. Children will be assessed and close attention paid to their individual concerns. Carers will learn how to handle their children on land and in water in a way that helps their child learn. The emphasis is on observation and handling that is playful but therapeutic. This is a lifelong skill.
Parents have expressed that being in the water has allowed their child to gain a better understanding of other treatments and that they are more confident and willing to participate in these treatments.