Harness the unique properties of the water to improve coordination and sensory processing.

Aquatic therapy taps into the unique properties of the water to facilitate the acquisition of developmental milestones, and improve coordination, sensory processing, fitness and social skills. It is an excellent supplement to land-based occupational and physical therapy to help your child reach his/her goals and develop a life-saving skill. The warm buoyant water enables your child to feel free and have fun in therapy in a natural environment accessible to the whole family.


What is the advantage of occupational therapy in the pool?

The properties of water make the pool ideal for working on strength, endurance, bilateral coordination, sensory processing and motor planning.

  • Strengthening: Negotiating the water requires your child to use all of his/her muscles. Your child’s core, arms and legs, will become stronger using the natural resistance provided by the water.

  • Coordination:  In addition to a strong core, swimming requires the coordination of all four limbs in many different combinations: symmetrical, asymmetrical, in-phase, out-of-phase, contralateral and ipsilateral. As your child learns new moves and exercises with a variety of fun, resistive aquatic aids, he/she will learn how to coordinate movement in multiple body parts at the same time, which is fundamental to coordination and motor planning.

  • Sensory input: Swimming is a natural way to get powerful sensory input in a short amount of time. The water itself provides deep pressure input to the whole body at once. Constant even water pressure can help decrease the tactile hypersensitivity that your child may experience out of the water. The water also provides proprioceptive input, which boosts body awareness and the sense of body position in space. Changing head position when swimming on the back, front, side, vertically and under water provides vestibular input, which also contributes to the sense of body position in space. Touch, proprioception and vestibular input are the building blocks of body awareness, sense of body position in space, motor planning and smooth motor coordination.

  • Social skills and communication: Eye contact and vocalization are often enhanced because of the intense yet calming influence of the water, and the natural boundaries of the pool.


In additions to OT in the water, POTS offers swimming lessons for children of all ages with unique learning needs​

What are the benefits of the pool for children with autism?

  • A calming relaxing environment and success regardless of skill level, which is hard to come by in another milieu

  • Improved sensory processing, including tolerance to touch and opportunities for powerful proprioceptive and vestibular input

  • Engagement and eye contact

  • Social participation

  • Easing repetitive behaviors

  • Increased attention span

  • Self confidence

  • Creating a lifelong habit of exercise and wellness to reduce later risks of obesity and heart disease

Where can I read more about swimming and autism?

© Copyright 2020 by Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services, LLC

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Tel: 201-837-9993

Email: office@potsot.com

Fax: 201-837-9465

Our Locations

1415 Queen Anne Road

Suite 100, Teaneck, NJ 07666 

71 Franklin Turnpike

Suite 1-7, Waldwick, NJ 07463