The Center for Orthopedics and Movement
7 Alumni Drive
Exeter, NH 03833




Aquatic Therapy

Occupational, physical and speech/language therapy are available with appropriate patients in the aquatic environment. Our pediatric aquatic therapy providers use the properties of water, in addition to various pieces of therapy equipment, to provide treatment interventions to children who demonstrate challenges in muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, sensory processing, functional mobility, and motor development. The pool provides a unique medium that allows for freedom of movement because gravity is minimized.  Outcomes are intended to improve a child’s participation in daily living, community and family activities.  

Speech therapy in the pool coordinates the properties and benefits of the aquatic environment to promote voice and language learning across contexts. Especially great for our sensory seekers, the aquatic environment may support whole-body regulation to improve language input and output. Speech therapy in the pool may be best suited for children who: stutter to support whole body sensory deprivation/regulation, voice disorders (including Vocal Cord Dysfunction) to support respiration for phonation, and autistic children with delayed language skills.
**Please note: All initial evaluations are completed on land with one of our pediatric therapy specialists.  Based on the findings and recommendations from the evaluation, the therapist and family will determine the appropriateness of aquatic therapy.
Some of the diagnoses that may be appropriate for aquatic therapy:
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sensory Processing
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Developmental Delay
  • Autism
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Orthopedic and Sport’s Injuries
  • Ehler Danlos Syndrome
What is aquatic therapy?
Aquatic therapy is an evidence based approach that allows therapists to utilize the unique properties of water to provide therapeutic interventions. The water is used as a treatment option for children with a wide range of diagnoses to promote participation in daily activities and to achieve optimal function. Our therapists are well trained in the fundamentals and benefits of aquatic therapy.
Properties of water
The therapeutic temperature of the pool allows muscles to relax and improves circulation and range of motion. Buoyancy supports the body, removes gravitational forces on the body and joints, and allows individuals to move easily.  Hydrostatic pressure surrounds the body and helps circulation which can decrease swelling. These properties also provide resistance to the body improving the child’s strength.
The benefits of aquatic therapy
  • Greater muscle function and strength
  • Enhanced balance, coordination and flexibility
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Sensory stimulation 
Meet our pediatric aquatic therapy providers