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Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine

by Dzherelo Children's Rehabilitation Centre
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine
Children with Disabilities Hydrotherapy in Ukraine

68 lessons in the Hydrotherapy pool for October and November 2019! This means that 68 Hydrotherapy Sessions built muscle strength, improved self-esteem, and created new relationships between child and therapist. 

68 forty-five minute sessions of relaxation, literally reaching new goals by stretching arms and legs, focusing brains in a new way.  These hydrotherapy sessions are helping children with special needs develop new pathways of health, connection, and self-confidence in their bodies. 

Dzherelo Center, in Lviv Ukraine, continues to develop new programming and rehabilitation services for children with special needs. With new laws enacted that are supportive of the disabilities communities, Dzherelo looks forward to serving children, but needs financial assistance to do so. The centre is serving 200 youth everyday with rehabilitation and education lessons. They use the wheelchair repair workshop to customize each mobility aid. One component of treatment is the Hydrotherapy Pool and working with the physical therapist. We are proud of this program. More importantly, we are proud of the youth who grow and learn everyday.

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Staff Planning Meeting, including Physical Therapy
Staff Planning Meeting, including Physical Therapy

Nazar* recently began to work with the Hydrotherapy Program at Dzherelo Centre. He is 13 years old and uses a wheelchair. He is particularly fond of heavy metal music! He shares his joy with the physical therapist and his mom, who are both in the pool with him. He has learned to float and relax in the water. He still struggles with moving his feet, but has fun learning to kick. The Hydrotherapy sessions have helped him bond with his mom as well. 

 

Dzherelo’s Hydrotherapy Program is up and running after the summer break. All the equipment was cleaned and repaired, if needed. It’s serving the children with special needs in Lviv and it’s a unique opportunity for them to explore what their bodies can do in the pool. The children seem to most enjoy learning how to throw (move their arms) and kick (strengthen their legs), but usually end the sessions by floating. 

 

The Hydrotherapy Program has been used by numerous families as parents have begun to join the sessions, too. This new type of family time creates improved self-esteem, fills a genuine parent-child relationship need, and motivates healthy lifestyles. Working alongside the physical therapist, parents get to model communication and learn new ways to work with their children. 

 

Dzherelo continues to be appreciative of the community support is receives daily. Thank you for being a part of the Dzherelo Family. 

 

*Name changed to protect confidentiality.

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Although summer break at Dzherelo Centre means fewer children on site daily, it does not stop the work here. Dzherelo Centre's pool is ready for Hydrotherapy! 

Consider the reasons why jumping in a lake or sea feels so good! Relaxation, comfort, cooling off, most of us have our reasons for enjoying a day by the water. In the last school year, the children of Dzherelo Centre have benefitted from the use of Hydrotherapy and connections with physical therapy teams. The children have participated in a wide variety of therapeutic water activities designed to relax them while strengthening muscles and developing self- confidence.  

The number of children has increased by 24 in the last school year, thus proving community support and need for the program. Parents have been excited to see their children expressing joy while receiving therapy. Exuberant sounds are heard through the hallways, so one always knows when a session is occurring. 

“The pool is cool because it’s for children and it helps them with their illnesses. It is interesting how water helps conditions or problems with stress. It is obvious to me that a hydrotherapy pool should be here at Dzherelo,” claimed Nastia, a new volunteer at Dzherelo Centre. 

Here's an article published in North American Journal of Medical Sciences (NAJMS) discussing the use of Hydrotherapy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/

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Hydrotherapy session at Dzherelo
Hydrotherapy session at Dzherelo

Since January, 24 more participants have enjoyed the benefits of Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre’s Hydrotherapy program. The youth have worked with the physical therapist in developing their health plan. Parents have comments on how nice it is that their children get to forget the weight of their bodies while in the water and working while playing. 

One participant with Cerebral Palsy symptoms, Dima*, who is 12-years-old, really enjoys the hydrotherapy sessions. He likes feeling weightless and likes to splash. Unbeknownst to Dima, his splashing is strengthening and toning his arm muscles, which helps him be able to move his wheelchair better as he improves his range of motion. 

Another participant who has Autism, Sasha* and is 8-years-old, uses the water as practice for different sensory experiences. The water therapy helps with his learning to balance his senses with motor functioning. Sasha has benefited from hydrotherapy in that he can better tell how his body fits into spaces, and moving around in water creates a controlled vestibular situation that is safe for him. He has a sense of mastery as he practices kicking and reaching. 

Without donor support, Dzherelo’s Hydrotherapy program could not exist. The program has worked diligently to make children comfortable while they grow and become stronger. Thank you to all who have contributed and support this program.  

 (*names changed due to confidentiality)

We get a kick out of you!
We get a kick out of you!

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As I recently walked down the hallway, there was a loud laugh followed by a splash. Wondering who jumped in the pool, I realize there was a new participant in the Hydrotherapy program. Dmitro,* a 12-year-old young man who has Cerebral Palsy, had thrown some of his exercise equipment into the pool. He was being entering the pool with the therapist and his mother, who decided to assist in the session. Natalia* was ready to get to work as she focused on learning how to stretch her son's muscles and take his physical therapy to new levels. 

Parental involvement in therapeutic services has improved more than just morale. Parents are able to replicate some of the exercises outside of hydrotherapy to their daily life. Therapists are modeling movements and how to set boundaries with the children, so that parents learn from actively participating with the hydrotherapy program. Although one can debate the role of parents in their children's therapy, so far most parents at Dzherelo Centre are able to learn and communicate better with their child with severe special needs. Additionally, parents are using the pool, which is a treat for them, too. Quality time with a child is always a god thing. 

So far in 2019, we have seen an increase in children obtaining services from physical therapy and psychology departments, including Hydrotherapy. Our team of specialists are continuously updating their skills and encouraging parental involvement. 


*names changed to respect confidentiality of minor and his family. 

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Organization Information

Dzherelo Children's Rehabilitation Centre

Location: Lviv - Ukraine
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Christina Taylor
Lviv, Lviv Ukraine

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