The water activity for children in general and particularly for children with special needs provides another dimension through which both team and children can achieve motor and cognitive achievements.
By using the qualities unique to water, we aspire to promote each child within the framework of his/her individual and group abilities, while using emphases and goals unique to each kindergarten, as set by the accompanying team (hydro-therapists, kindergarten teachers, parents).
Goals and Methodology
The top goal for hydrotherapy – improving functioning outside water while specifically referring to each child's difficulties in daily functioning.
Using warm water as a therapeutic instrument – to improve motor, social, and mental – emotional functioning.
Working with water as an additional therapeutic aspect which focuses on improving functioning in an environment which is considered "normal" (pool / water) while taking into account the patient's tendency and wish to take part in this type of therapy (likes the water environment and enjoys it):
Water activity is perceived by patients (children and adults alike), their family, and their surroundings as a normal activity which is done by normal children, thus reinforcing perceptions that disabled patients can be integrated into normal life. Doing a normal activity such as swimming reinforces patients' self-esteem and self-confidence (integrating the handicapped person in his natural environment).
Therapy is done in a heated therapeutic pool, in a calm and embracing environment (literally).
We work using the Halliwick method, which is a method used to teach swimming while emphasizing metal adjustment, disengagement (from the teacher, wall, therapist), and water independence, using songs, games, and individual work. Each child is accompanied by a guide (community volunteer / student / national service girl, who does not have to be a certified therapist), and the group's activity is run by a guide certified by the international Halliwick Organization.
In addition, at least one of the therapy team members has to be a hydro-therapist certified by the Israeli Hydrotherapy Organization with relevant previous experience (swimming coaching, special education, physical education etc.)
Team and Session Structure
Number of children per session: 10
Team: Noga Ben Anat – senior hydro-therapist and senior Halliwick instructor
Danit Dreamer – senior hydro-therapist and Halliwick instructor
Approximately 20 adult volunteer team members from the community
10 – 15 volunteer girls from Ulpenat Ayal Baramah – of the MATAT project.
Frequency: once a week for an hour.