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Aquatics at HLC Therapy Group, LLC

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When HLC opened its doors we made a promise to our community that we would always provide services and resources based on the needs we see around us. That's why we are getting in the pool to offer both Traditional Aquatic Therapy and our new program, Safety First! Aquatic Therapy for Neurodivergent Children. 

Safety First! Aquatic Therapy for Neurodivergent** Children


HLC is dedicated to providing services and resources based on the needs in our community. Based on information from the CDC and other resources, drowning is the #1 cause of death in children ages 1-4 years old, kids on the autism spectrum are 160 times more likely to drown than a neurotypical peer, and drowning accounts for 91% of deaths for children who elope or wander away.* With too many "close calls" and fearful parents, HLC has founded an aquatic therapy program specifically designed to address awareness and safety related to water for neurodivergent children. 


Aquatic Therapy 1:1 to provide neurodivergent learners the tools to be safer in and around water. 

Each child will be assessed initially to determine the level of support recommended. This will allow the therapist to choose the most appropriate skills to address, specific to each child. 

Skills targeted may include, but are not limited to, 


  1. Child will increase general safety by telling or showing a caregiver when going by or in water

  2. Child will demonstrate awareness of water that is too deep for child to be safe

  3. Child will learn appropriate flotation devices needed for safety in water

  4. Child will close mouth while blowing air out/blowing bubbles to decrease intake of water

  5. Child will submerge and re-emerge

  6. Child will back float

  7. Child will bob to breathe and make noise 

  8. Child will kick with purpose to get out of the water

  9. Child will visually locate the edge of the pool

  10. Child will navigate to the edge of the pool and climb out

Check out our blog where one of our occupational therapists, Sara, talks about the alarming stats surrounding water safety.

*This data is taken from the, Interactive Autism Network Research Report: Elopement and Wandering (2011), the National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD Wandering (2012), the American Journal of Public Health (2017), and

** What defines someone as neurodivergent?

The term “neurodivergent” describes people whose brain differences affect how their brain works. That means they have different strengths and challenges from people whose brains don't have those differences. The possible differences include medical disorders, learning disabilities and other conditions. Diagnoses that fall under this category include but are not limited to Autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, Down Syndrome, OCD, and anxiety.

Aquatic Therapy (Done by PTs and OTs, SLP co-treats may be available)


At HLC we develop individualized plans for each kiddo that will create the biggest gains in development. We often see that being in the water creates the 360 degree pressure a child needs from a sensory perspective to meet milestones. They use their voice more. They move more efficiently. Their minds are open to learning. When utilizing Aquatic Therapy, we will work on:

  1. Exercises for strength

  2. Exercises for bilateral coordination

  3. Motor planning 

  4. Muscle control

  5. Exercises for endurance 

  6. Sensory Regulation

  7. Executive Functioning Skills


Aquatic therapy is executed by physical and occupational therapists, with speech co-treats available.

What questions can we answer?

We know that there are a lot of questions when choosing a therapy provider for your child. Contact us today and we are happy to help.

Pool Social Story

Check out this valuable social story printable to help your kiddo begin to understand pool safety.

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