Yooralla has launched the first aquatic physiotherapy program in the west for children with disabilities.

The program, which involves one-on-one sessions between physiotherapists and children, will be run at AquaPulse in Hoppers Crossing.

Aquatic physiotherapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is physiotherapy performed in warm water. For children with disabilities, participating in aquatic physiotherapy can help with muscle relaxation and strengthening, cardiovascular fitness, pain management, stretching, movement, walking and balance.

The Yooralla physiotherapist who facilitates the Hoppers Crossing program, Anne-Marie Dickinson, said the focus was on supporting children in developing day-to-day life skills.

“We use the properties of the water combined with a variety of physiotherapy treatment approaches to address each child’s specific therapeutic goals,” she said.

Ms Dickinson said that while aquatic physiotherapy was available for adults at several Melbourne locations, not many practitioners offered the therapy for children.

She said aquatic physiotherapy, now funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), was available at AquaPulse in blocks of six sessions.

She said physiotherapists used the last two of those sessions to train a child’s parent or carer on how to continue the program on their

Ms Dickinson said if anyone would like to receive funding for aquatic physiotherapy as part of their NDIS package, it was important to discuss the matter in an NDIS meeting.

For details of the aquatic physiotherapy program or for help with the NDIS, contact Yooralla on 9666 4500 or email ndis.infohub@yooralla.com.au.