Aquatic Therapy for Children with AADC Deficiency

Aquatic Therapy for Children with AADC Deficiency

Children with aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency generally have muscle weakness, uncontrollable movements, and developmental delays. Physiotherapy can help patients with AADC deficiency improve strength, coordination, balance, and posture. One type of physiotherapy that may be particularly beneficial is aquatic therapy.

What is aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy is physiotherapy that takes place in the water. Just like physiotherapy on land, the goal is to increase patients’ strength, coordination, and range of motion, with the added benefit of the support of water. With aquatic therapy, there is less risk of patients falling and hurting themselves, so practicing movements such as walking and sitting up can be less frightening.

How do I prepare my child for an aquatic therapy session?

Talk with your child’s physiotherapist to get recommendations on what to bring to each session. Just as with regular physiotherapy sessions, you should bring your child’s medical history and your insurance information if the therapy will be covered by insurance.

Depending on the patient’s needs, the physiotherapist may ask you to get in the pool with your child to provide reassurance during the session.

Dress your child in comfortable clothing and bring swimwear and a change of clothes. It may also be a good idea to bring your child’s favorite pool or bath toy for initial sessions.

During the session, your child may be asked to play games to practice sitting up and moving. The physiotherapist may also give “homework” exercises for you to do in your own time to further help your child.

At subsequent appointments, you’ll review with the physiotherapist what your child has been able to do since the last session, any improvements or changes, and anything they didn’t enjoy or had trouble doing.

How can I find an aquatic therapy center?

Your physiotherapist should be able to recommend a certified aquatic therapy center near you. Some physiotherapists are also certified in aquatic therapy themselves.

 

Last updated: Feb. 10, 2020

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AADC News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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