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Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities

Hydrotherapy

Our Children in Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, an innovative treatment with many benefits, is a key component to our curriculum. Therapy programs, which take place in our hydrotherapy pool, offer encompassing, sensory stimulation. The water relaxes tight muscles in limbs which have lost strength and flexibility. Water also gives the blind a unique sense of comfort and security in an open space. Many of our children take their very first steps during hydrotherapy sessions, while others begin making sounds and communicating with language during special speech therapy sessions that take place in the water. Self-confidence, social engagement, and satisfaction are all special gifts made possible by hydrotherapy.

Benefits: The hydrotherapy pool provides a unique sense of security for blind children.

  • Water helps define space and builds trust as it envelopes those who cannot see their surroundings. Many children actually learn to swim independently as their fear and hesitation are replaced by the confidence necessary for navigating the pool unassisted. The pool presents a wondrous experience that cannot be replicated in any other settings.
  • Water provides much-needed support and stability. Water increases muscle control which makes it easier for students to straighten their legs and learn to walk,  navigate stairs, and sit and stand. Thanks to hydrotherapy, many children who used wheelchairs have begun to walk, and others,  who walked with assistance, have learned to walk unaided.
  • Water therapy is extremely effective at improving communication and mouth control. Aquatic therapy – a specialized form of hydrotherapy – builds on the capacity of water to strengthen the muscles that control chewing, swallowing, and vocalizing. This innovative approach achieves results ranging from teaching the ability to speak louder to reducing the occurence of drooling.
  • Being in water is a joyful experience. Although it is serious work, hydrotherapy is pure pleasure for many of our students. The relaxed atmosphere and close bonds that are formed with the therapists encourage social engagement which is often unavailable to these students in their daily lives. The support provided by the water also gives children the freedom to move and stretch. To see a child happily moving his arms and legs in the pool after he has spent hours in a wheelchair is heartwarming.