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Hydrotherapy for Autism


Water safety is crucial for all children, but those living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are especially vulnerable. People with ASD may wander away from the support of a carer, may have difficulty perceiving danger, and may be drawn to water to alleviate their sensory needs.

Public pool swimming lessons can also be overwhelming for children with ASD, with the smell of chlorine and the noise of children, teachers’ whistles and music from the PA making learning difficult. Combine this sensory overload with the pressure to achieve ‘levels’, and it can be all too much.

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Children, Teens, Young adults, Adults, 6+
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Rocky Bay’s Hydrotherapy for Autism is a research-based one on one physiotherapy program designed to improve the water confidence of anyone aged six and over living with ASD.

In a low sensory, fully accessible swimming pool with wheelchair and hoist access, a highly trained physiotherapist will help you:

  • Build confidence and safety awareness around water
  • Build strength and fitness
  • Improve gross motor skills.


What is Hydrotherapy for Autism?

Hydrotherapy for Autism is a pool based water safety program for people with ASD. A physiotherapist will work with you 1:1 to improve your confidence, fitness and motor skills in a low sensory environment.

Who is the Hydrotherapy program for?

Hydrotherapy for Autism is for anyone with ASD, aged six and over, with all abilities catered for.

Where is the program located?

Session are conducted in Rocky Bay’s hydrotherapy pool at 60 McCabe St, Mosman Park. The pool is fully accessible, featuring wheelchair and hoist access, and is kept at a very comfortable 34°C.

Is the program research based?

Research has shown children with ASD are at a significantly higher risk of drowning. The good news is, research has also shown swim programs can have significant benefits for children with ASD, including improved swimming skills and increased physical activity.

How long does the program run for?

The program runs one session per week, for 6-8 weeks. An initial physiotherapy screening session is required to test suitability for the program. Sessions are conducted during typical office hours, Monday to Friday.

Is the program accredited?

To reduce the pressure on participants, and to cater the sessions to your individual needs, Hydrotherapy for Autism does not offer certificates under the Department of Education Swimming and Water Safety Continuum. However, upon conclusion of the program, each participant will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Are groups bookings possible?

Small groups of 2-3 may be possible. Please make contact to enquire about group bookings.

What funding is available for Hydrotherapy for Autism?

Hydrotherapy for Autism is funded via NDIS, provided the participant has physiotherapy in their plan. The program also accepts pay-as-you-go funding, with HiCAPS available for private health funds. Ask your provider for any benefits available to you.


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