Natação para bebês com necessidades especiais: efeito de um programa de estimulação aquática
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Swimming for babies is an activity which is rich in stimulus towards the growing capabilities and motor, cognitive, affective and social abilities of the baby. When directed towards babies and children who have special needs, the activities in a liquid environment are important aids in the search of a higher potential of development. This study had the general objective of verifying the effect of stimulation in aquatic environment (swimming) on the development of babies with special needs. The specific objectives were: to systematize, describe and apply the proposal of pedagogical intervention, having the aquatic environment as a facilitator and evaluate the evolution in the development of babies in aquatic environment in the periods before and after intervention. Six babies with special needs (Down Syndrome, Visual Impairment, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephaly and Neuropsychomotor Development Delay) of both genders and between 17 to 33 months old participated in the study. A field research of exploratory character with experimental outlining was used. The instrument of data collection was a Protocol of Task Analysis developed by the researchers and containing 18 items. After initial evaluation, an intervention lasting 15 weeks, during which there were 27 sessions, was carried out. The swimming classes for babies (intervention sessions) took place twice a week for 45 minutes each. All the evaluations and intervention sessions were systematically registered through filming. The data obtained in the periods before and after intervention through the instrument aforementioned were analyzed by three researchers/observers. An analysis of the performance of each participant as well as the average of the group, comparing the initial and final scores obtained by the group in each of the 18 items evaluated by the instrument have been done with the purpose of verifying which aspects have or have not been influenced by the proposed intervention. After the analysis of the data, it was possible to observe that the 6 babies presented positive and statistically significant changes in their development. Among the aspects analyzed by the swimming program that presented statistically significant changes are: reaction of the baby at the border of the pool, reaction of the baby at entering the pool, articular mobility, body scheme notion, respiratory control in liquid environment, grasping of objects, movement of arms and legs, maintenance of erect posture and diving. It has been concluded that the stimulation program in liquid environment (swimming) has had a positive influence on several aspects of the development of the babies with special needs.