Hydrotherapy has been supporting and improving a wide range of conditions for thousands of years. There is evidence that spending time in a hot tub can help diabetes sufferers, for example, and the benefits of a hot tub for muscle recovery, soothing aches and relieving chronic pain are well documented. Recently, it has also been established that children with autism could also benefit from a hot tub at home.
What is autism?
It is primarily a much misunderstood condition that affects children – usually the signs of autism appear within the first three years of life. It appears as a delay in neurological and biological development, which can be incredibly confusing for parents and other siblings of an autistic child. The first sigs of autism are often an absence of facial expressions, smiling or laughing in the first six months after the child is born. Most children will start to respond to their own name in the first year of life but that doesn’t happen with an autistic child. Making sounds, such as talking or babbling, are also impeded and an autistic girl or boy won’t make the same progress in terms of putting sentences together as a child who isn’t autistic.
Are all autistic children diagnosed with similar symptoms?
No, autism is quite an individual disease. It could also manifest itself as sensitivity to light or sound and struggling with basic social skills. There is also some evidence that many girls go undiagnosed because autism is perceived as a male disorder and much of the research into it has been carried out on male-only subjects. So, autism in girls could present in different and, as yet undiagnosed, ways
How does a hot tub help young children with autism?
Although every child is different, there is growing evidence that a hot tub can have a range of benefits for a young person with autism. Three of the biggest benefits are:
1. Providing a soothing environment
The warmth of the water in the hot tub and the gentle bubbles can help to create somewhere that a child feels calm and unafraid.
2. Helping to provide focus
One of the major issues for autistic children is that the condition tends to manifest as a sensory overload and that can make it incredibly difficult to concentrate. In a hot tub, the combination of the calming environment and remaining in one place can help to make it easier to achieve focus.
3. Nurturing social skills
Autistic children who lack social skills can really struggle as they grow older. Hot tub sessions can be carried out in small groups, which gives children the opportunity to interact with other people in a non-threatening way. The water continues to soothe and the limited interactions mean an autistic child can start to gain confidence when it comes to social skills.
Hot tubs have many health benefits, whether you’re diabetic or just looking for a way to de-stress more effectively. If you’d like some help finding your perfect model, get in touch with The Hot Tub and Swim Spa Company today.