Water Works

By: Sahar El-Hodiri
By: Sahar El-Hodiri

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It's healing through the power of water. A new program is helping children with delays in motor skills get one stroke closer to master moves.

Small moves don't come easy for 17-month-old Clark Ringelsteim. His muscles are weak, but being in the water gives him strength he doesn't have on land.

His mom Sandra says, "It helps him to hold himself up better and he doesn't have to work as hard at it, so he can hold himself up and jump and kick his legs and have fun."

This is the third time the Ringelsteims have come to this hydrotherapy class. Rainbows United physical therapists say it's not just good for the kids, it's good for the parents.

Physical Therapist Pam Chiles says, "The parents become therapists themselves is what happens, they learn how to move their child through the water."

Rainbows United and the West YMCA offer the hydrotherapy class for free. It's for children up to age three with moderate to severe motor delays.

Chiles says, "The water, it almost has magical properties. It's almost like having another hand, it helps support the body while you're working on strengthening and stretching the muscles."

With the help of physical therapists like Pam Chiles, the children work on specific skills at their own level, whether it's sitting, standing or walking.

The kids have fun, and all the moves they learn will help them in and out of the water. The hydrotherapy classes meet twice a month at the west YMCA.

For more information, call Rainbows United at 267-5437.

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