AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- Living with special needs brings challenges, but with the help of local donors and special needs schools, children are getting the therapy they need.

The Apparo School’s new state- of- the- art therapy pool is only the second in the CSRA designed to help children with special needs by activating their sensory and mobility skills.

“When Jennifer came to us with the idea of a therapy pool– when you are removed from that world, you’re just totally unaware that that’s something that could be helpful to a family or to a child,” Donor and Executive Director at Creel-Harrison Robbie White said.

Apparo Academy’s new therapy pool was made possible through a large donation.

“Now we have this extra parameter where we can bring children into the water which is an amazing therapy source for providing them with the ability to do things we can’t do on land. So, having the donors come behind us and support us and give the money to build this is phenomenal,” Executive Director & Founder of Apparo Academy Jennifer Jones said.

Apparo Academy occupational therapist Samantha Carlson tells me the difference aquatic therapy has on her students. 

“It eliminates some of those limitations that they have physically. So, if they’re not strong enough to maybe walk across the floor physically by themselves or crawl, when we get them into the water, they’re weightless, they can do those motions and feel successful and not feel like they’re just sitting or just playing in one spot. It allows them more room and more ability to move which is awesome and what we want for them to do– to explore.”

While Apparo Academy offers full-day service for the children where they can receive this and other kinds of therapy, there is still a way to utilize the therapy pool without being enrolled. 

“The pool is in our outpatient therapy clinic, and so a lot of people don’t realize that Apparo Academy is not just a school, but we also have a huge outpatient therapy clinic. And so, you can benefit from the pool therapy by sending a referral here for outpatient therapy,” Jones said.  

“It’s inspiring to see kids– or people– who care about these kids and want a place for them where they can feel included and do everything, they wanna do. So, we’re really blessed that we have some of the best people working here and the community around supporting us and allowing us to facilitate that joy through these kids,” Carlson said.

School officials tell me Aquatic therapy is making an impact on children, helping the mind and body.