Effectiveness of a Multisystem Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Giovanni Caputo
  • Giovanni Ippolito
  • Marina Mazzotta
  • Luigi Sentenza
  • Mara Rosaria Muzio
  • Sara Salzano
  • Massimiliano Conson
Original Paper

Abstract

Aquatic therapy improves motor skills of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but its usefulness for treating functional difficulties needs to be verified yet. We tested effectiveness of a multisystem aquatic therapy on behavioural, emotional, social and swimming skills of children with ASD. Multisystem aquatic therapy was divided in three phases (emotional adaptation, swimming adaptation and social integration) implemented in a 10-months-programme. At post-treatment, the aquatic therapy group showed significant improvements relative to controls on functional adaptation (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales), emotional response, adaptation to change and on activity level (Childhood Autism Rating Scale). Swimming skills learning was also demonstrated. Multisystem aquatic therapy is useful for ameliorating functional impairments of children with ASD, going well beyond a swimming training.

Keywords

Aquatic therapy Autism Spectrum Disorders Intervention Social-communicative skills Functional adaptation 

Notes

Author Contributions

GC participated in Conception and Organization of the Research project and Manuscript Preparation (Writing, Review and Critique of the manuscript). GI participated in Conception, Organization and Execution of the Research project and Review of the manuscript. MM participated in Organization and Execution of the Research project and Review of the manuscript. LS participated in Organization and Execution of the Research project and Execution of the Statistical Analysis. MRM participated in Execution of the Research project and Review of the manuscript. SS participated in Execution of the Research project and Execution of the Statistical Analysis. MC participated in Conception and Organization of the Research project and Design and Execution of Statistical Analysis and Manuscript Preparation (Writing, Review and Critique of the manuscript).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3456_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 35 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Caputo
    • 1
  • Giovanni Ippolito
    • 1
  • Marina Mazzotta
    • 1
  • Luigi Sentenza
    • 1
  • Mara Rosaria Muzio
    • 2
  • Sara Salzano
    • 3
  • Massimiliano Conson
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Studies and Research “Caputo & Ippolito – Multisystemic Aquatic Therapy”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.UOMI ASL Naples Third-South, Service of Developmental NeuropsychiatryNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Cognitive-Behavioral School of Psychotherapy “Serapide SPEE”NaplesItaly
  4. 4.Neuropsychology Laboratory, Department of PsychologyUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”CasertaItaly

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