Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach’s pediatric rehabilitation patients with special needs will dive into their first scuba lesson this Saturday afternoon with the help of the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA).
Patients with spina bifida, traumatic brain injuries, neuromuscular disorders and other conditions will be able to experience the therapeutic diving adventure in the full-size indoor rehabilitation pool on the hospital campus. According to Miller Children’s, the pool is specially built to be accessible to every kind of patient, including those using braces or wheelchairs.
“The scuba event is important because it is a perfect medium for the pediatric rehabilitation patients who do not always get to do ‘normal’ activities like other children,” says Mariana Sena, CTRS, a recreational therapist at Miller Children’s. “This event helps our patients with special needs boost their self-esteem and overall confidence.”
The HSA will provide an introduction to scuba diving, as well as instruction on how to use an underwater breathing apparatus.
The Pediatric Rehabilitation Department at Miller Children’s offers extensive pediatric rehabilitation care, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy. Recreational therapy uses play and leisure activities, like diving, to improve the physical, cognitive, social and emotional abilities of pediatric patients with special needs.
The Handicapped Scuba Association is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the physical and social well-being of people with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving.
Images of last year's event courtesy of Miller Children's.