Aquatic Therapy

We are very proud to offer a full Aquatic Therapy program in our pool. The water temperature is kept at an average of 92 degrees and with an ADA approved lift, it provides full accessibility. We offer Aquatic Therapy for patients who need Occupational, Physical, Speech Therapy and Sports Medicine. One on one sessions start at 30 minutes for young children progressing to 45 minute and 60 minute sessions. The medical diagnoses seen here at Arlington include but are not limited to brachial plexus, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, hemiplegia, brain injury, down syndrome, muscle weakness, sports injuries, post-surgery, arthritic conditions and post Guillain-Barré, scoliosis, torticollis and any condition that has a negative impact on normal motor development.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy

The physical properties of water make it a great tool to promote and help with alignment, muscle activation, balance, body awareness, symmetry, strength, flexibility, muscle relaxation, core weaknesses, sensory integration, speech/respiratory disorders and more.


Aquatic therapy is not meant to replace land-based therapy, but it can be very effective when used in conjunction with it. Unfortunately, not all children are necessarily appropriate for Aquatic Therapy.

Physical Therapist, Linda Haynes, explains that one on one pool sessions incorporate a variety of means to facilitate movement in better alignment with greater muscle recruitment. Heavy work, vestibular activities, weight bearing in prone on a flotation mat, ROM, the uses of noodles as well as semi-emerged exercises on an underwater platform are all employed to help develop strength, coordination and endurance. Therapeutic handling is key to all activities to promote head and trunk control as well as proximal stability. Basic every day skills are easier to work on with water helping to support body weight. Various activities in different depths of water also make it easier and more fun for parents to improve their handling techniques with a special needs child. The physical properties of water in our 92 degree pool provide warmth, viscosity and buoyancy helping to increase comfort and confidence in novel motor planning and dynamic balance. Arthritic or injured joints are protected in both weight bearing and non-weight bearing activities while circulation increases, swelling and muscle spasms decrease and playfulness eases tension away. Activities are chosen to facilitate land based skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. Carry over skills and activities to home and community settings make aquatic therapy seem to bridge that gap between professional therapy and everyday family life.

Speech Therapy in the water helps patients:

  • Increase attention to a task
  • Increase strength of speech related to musculature
  • Improve range of motion of chest and shoulder region and improve head and trunk as a precursor for speech
  • Perform lip and mouth closure
  • Improve total communication – improve verbalization, articulation, descriptive language, and sentence formulation.
  • Encourage play and social interaction

From an Occupational therapy perspective, Occupational therapist Monica Griffin states, “Aquatic Therapy focuses on therapeutic play-based activities that are functional to help improve range of motion, improve body awareness, facilitate neurodevelopmental growth, and promote sensory integration.  The warm water provides increased motivation, opportunity for challenges, and intense proprioceptive and tactile input through which children can continue to develop their skills in a safe and supported environment.”

A former patient, now young adult points out, “The water temperature of the pool helps relax tense muscles to improve flexibility.  I think that anyone that has tight muscles will benefit from the soothing water.  It will loosen the muscles and help them move.”

Tot Swim Classes

We offer a program in which parent and child are in the pool together.  These small classes stress water awareness and basic swimming skills for young children.

6 months to 18 months in age
18 months – 36 months in age
3 years to 5 years in age (parent not in pool)

See calendar for dates of classes or our Tot Class Flyer

Download Aquatic Therapy Brochure