I have always been a huge support of letting kids with special needs have every opportunity to experience water possible. When Gavin was alive this was one of my most proud accomplishments. With all his IV's and tubes coming out of every part of his body we figured out a way to give him a safe water experience -- and the benefits were so huge for him. We have taken the same approach with Angela and so far she is pretty darn excited we have!
I have used several different kinds of head supports with Angela. We first tried a neck collar, but found that she was just too small for it -- even the smallest version was too thick for her little neck and we also found that it too often would push her bottom half to float and did not give her the ability to stay vertical. We also tried a small inflatable neck support but found that this was too small and would not support her enthusiastic body.
I've had lots of friends utilize the Water Way Babies program and I finally decided to give it a try. Amazing. That's the best way to describe it. The neck float is absolutely perfect for Angela. It keeps her neck well supported, yet keeping it in a natural position. The device allows her body to stay vertical and allows all of her limbs to freely move in the water. We add one pound weights to her legs to help her keep her feet on the bottom of the pool, giving her the input of standing, yet with the support of not only the flotation ring but all the pressure of the water surrounding her body.
We also purchased the in home therapy pool. Angela has been using it everyday and it also is fabulous. Even though Angela is probably on the larger size for it -- because of her lack of tone she is still gaining lots from being in the water. It provides a great environment to help her gait train -- again with the support of both the ring and the buoyancy of the water. My only concern with the pool is that she is so crazy about the water that she just bounces herself against the walls back and forth -- but I guess that's really not that much of a problem!
So excited to see our little girl gain strength from the WaterWay Babies program. Thanks to Nancy for all you help in getting us started!