Aquatic therapy appears to have benefits for children with autism. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Clinicians' perceptions of the benefits of aquatic therapy for young children with autism: a preliminary study.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Aug;91(8):3232-5. Epub 2006 May 23. PMID: 16938823
OBJECTIVE: This purpose of this study was to identify clinicians' perceptions of the benefits of aquatic therapy for young children with autism. METHODS: Eighteen aquatic occupational therapists treating young children with autism responded to a survey soliciting their opinions on changes in skill performance resulting from aquatic therapy. RESULTS: A majority of clinicians reported a substantial increase in swim skills, attention,muscle strength, balance, tolerating touch, initiating/maintaining eye contact, and water safety. CONCLUSION: The impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions seen in children with autism can be wide-ranging and outcomes can be difficult to operationally define and measure. In this preliminary study, clinicians identified the areas they perceived as improving as a result of aquatic therapy. This information could help narrow the field of likely outcomes as a first step toward studies of the effectiveness of aquatic therapy for children with autism.