Toddler With Chromosomal Abnormality and Cerebral Palsy Uses Otteroo in Aquatic Therapy

Calvin was born with a chromosomal abnormality (partial duplication of chromosome 12) and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He participates in numerous types of therapy, including aquatic therapy. It was at that aquatic therapy session where Calvin’s mom, Rachel, first saw the Otteroo.

So the therapist thought that with the Otteroo in the water, it really gives him a sensation of being able to move without having someone’s hands on him, which is something that he can’t really feel on land.

What did you think about the Otteroo?

To be honest, I thought it was a little weird when I first saw it. I was not sure how it was going to go over, but he never had any problem putting it on, never had any trouble using it, he really enjoys it.

The therapist suggested getting one for home, and so we did. Usually the things that they suggest getting, we don’t. You look them up and they’re so expensive. I think companies put special needs on a product, and they can charge extra.

How has the Otteroo helped Calvin?

Calvin has really low tone and he’s pretty delayed with his gross motor skills. Right now he can’t really move around a whole lot on his own. He can army crawl, but to do any walking or regular crawling, he needs to have assistance. So the therapist thought that with the Otteroo in the water, it really gives him a sensation of being able to move without having someone’s hands on him, which is something that he can’t really feel on land.

Have you noticed any physical developmental changes in him since he started doing the aquatic therapy?

It’s always hard to say. We do land physical therapy, occupational therapy, we work a lot at home. We’ve been working on him, pushing him to sit up, trying to sit up on his own for a long time. And after we started aquatic therapy, now he is able to push himself into a sitting position. So was it because we started aquatic therapy or was it because we just practiced it for the millionth time and that was when he made it? It’s hard to say, but pushing himself to sit up is something that he couldn’t do two months ago and he can do now.

Oh my gosh, he loves it. He smiles. He likes the games that we play … His speech is delayed also, but he’ll sign, “more,” when we do that game. He signs, “more,” right away.

Does he enjoy being in it?

Oh my gosh, he loves it. He smiles. He likes the games that we play. One of the things that the therapist does when he’s in it is, he pulls his knees up to his chest against the wall and kind of pushes off with his feet. She says, “Blast off,” and he just loves that game. His speech is delayed also, but he’ll sign, “more,” when we do that game. He signs, “more,” right away.

Julie Forbes

Julie Kroenig Forbes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent the next 10 years working as a news anchor and reporter in various cities, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few years in Northern California and New York, she now lives in Ohio with her husband and four kids.
Julie Forbes

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