Flower Header Image

Parent Education Workshops DoodleEmerge Pediatric Therapy offers aquatic therapy for our clients to improve their health and well-being.

Our occupational therapists who are trained in aquatic therapy will utilize the pool as a modality for improving functional deficits including sensory processing differences, self-regulation, social engagement, cognitive skills, balance and coordination, and motor planning. We work with children in the pool who have a variety of disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorder, spina bifida, mental illnesses, intellectual or learning disabilities, muscular dystrophy, and down syndrome. Your therapist will complete an initial aquatics assessment with the child in their first session and create goals targeted to their specific areas of need. Sessions are completed at a pool within the community and we typically work with the child on a 1:1 basis in the water. 
Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy

While any child could benefit from aquatic OT, children who have significant sensory and/or motor issues may benefit the most. Examples of children who might benefit from aquatics include:


    • Children who are fearful of water in the pool or bath-time

    • A child who is easily overwhelmed in loud or busy environments

    • A child who struggles with gravitational insecurity or other vestibular problems. For example, children who become distressed with having their feet off the ground while climbing stairs, curbs, or playground equipment, or kids who become distressed with their head upside down.

    • Children who seek a lot of input (constantly moving or touching things) and have a hard time settling down

    • Children who have motor difficulties, such as:

      • Trouble with coordination and difficulty using smooth, fluid body movements to complete everyday tasks

      • Poor midline crossing

      • Difficulty using both hands at the same time for the task

      • Decreased muscle strength

      • Limited range of motion

      • Low or high muscle tone

      • Spasticity.

If your child is already in more traditional occupational therapy, why make the switch?

  • Depending on the task, the water can be used as
    • resistance (strengthening muscles; intense proprioceptive input)
    • assistance with movement in a gravity reduced environment that is unlike any other equipment available in the traditional clinic. This provides decreased strain on muscles/joints and is easier for weight bearing.
    • It allows us to work on navigating the community in an unpredictable environment
Aquatic therapy works wonderfully as stand-alone therapy or as an adjunct to your child’s current therapy. Benefits of working in the water include:


  • A calming, serene environment 
  • An opportunity to work on community participation and social skills 
  • Excellent whole-body sensory input 
  • Having fun while working on targeted areas of need!

One family shared that after making great gains in the clinic, their child’s progress started to plateau.  Moving sessions to the pool opened up new level of engagement, provided novelty, and was an added motivator to keep their child moving forward!

Related Blog Posts

Adult Cognitive Therapy and Rehabilitation

Emerge is happy to start offering services to adults! One of the services we offer for adults is cognitive therapy. Read below and checkout our website to learn more the adult services now being offered at Emerge!What is Cognitive Therapy and Rehabilitation?Cognitive...

Feeding Issues: When Signs Point to the GI Tract

Have you ever experienced a change in your appetite when you weren’t feeling well?  Experienced reflux?  Been constipated?  What happened?  Chances are that you were able to assess how your body was feeling and identify ways to make it feel better. Or you had the...

Bye Bye Diapers – It’s Potty Time!

Are you tired of changing your child’s diaper or helping them wipe their bottom? Do you know when to begin potty training?  A search in any parenting group or forum on Facebook or elsewhere, related to potty training, will unearth many people with many different...

Should You Let Your Child Take the Risk?

Okay, so as parents, caregivers, grandparents, favorite aunts/uncles, childcare workers, etc. we probably spend a lot of time assessing risk.  Our natural instinct is to protect, preserve.  This is evidenced by the outlet covers, and baby gates.  By the helmets and...

What on earth is Proprioception?

How do you know how to move your foot from the gas pedal to the break without looking down while driving? How do you know how much force to use when picking up a glass of water from the table? Your body's proprioceptive system guides these movements! The...

Virtual Success

For many families, getting ready for back to school looks a lot different than it has in years past. Afterall, who needs new shoes and a bookbag when your school is inside your home and on a computer? As we embark into this new terrain, taking a minute to evaluate a...

Social Skills Behind the Mask

What does wearing a mask mean for our children's social development and how can we help support it during COVD-19.    When we think about teaching children to recognize emotions, we often think about helping them understand that a smile means "happy" and a...

7 Academic Skills You Can Easily Teach While You Cook Dinner

  Most of us have found ourselves taking on a few more roles over the past month. If you are like me you are cooking at home a lot more. And also working from home. And oh yeah, also trying to keep your child educated (and entertained). We get it.  Being a pediatric...

6 Reasons Families Joined the New Emerge- Cary Location!

Do any of these sound like you? "My child was having huge outbursts over small problems.  We couldn't even play games as a family any more." "I was tired of struggling with trying to cook a meal that my child would eat." "I'm a new mother. I have so many questions...

Teleporting to Telehealth

Here we are in the 21st  century but we find ourselves amidst a world crisis requiring us to transport ourselves to a different time, a time of zoom calls, social distance, and virtual reunions and birthdays. Schools are closed, churches are closed, most major...

Learn More

Websites and Online Articles
Coming Soon