Aquatic Therapy

Dear Etty:

I just found out about an available opening in aquatic therapy for my 3-year-old child who does not walk, and was hoping you can provide some insight into water therapy and its values.


B. W.

Dear B.

How timely is your question as the summer is upon us.  Kids and water can be a wonderful combination.  If your child is in a physical therapy program, then aquatic therapy may be a great addition to their current treatment. Aquatic therapy is a swimming-pool-based treatment program with wonderful benefits for kids.

Beneficial components of aquatic therapy that land-based therapy may not offer are:

Your child’s therapy program is developed by a licensed physical therapist or occupational therapist, trained in aquatic therapy.  There is no true formal certificate, degree or license in aquatic therapy.

Children who use a wheelchair or other assistive device to walk on land can often swim or walk with virtually no assistance in the water.

Aquatic therapy may be very useful for children who can no longer tolerate land-based exercises or for whom traditional therapy has become too difficult.

What can be effectively treated with aquatic therapy?

Essentially, most children will enjoy and benefit from aquatic therapy.  So grab the slot and much hatzlacha to you.


Etty Terebelo graduated from Downstate University with a degree in Occupational Therapy. She is NDT certified, A Level III Cuevas MEDEK therapist and was trained in Motor Learning at Columbia University.  She has been treating children from ages 0-10 years old in the Lakewood, NJ community for the last 23 years. Currently, she is the supervisor at Bata Inc. in Lakewood, and part time supervisor at CPM (Children’s Place Management) in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Etty is happy to assist parents with any questions, no matter how small.

This article first appeared in issue #16 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us

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