Developmental therapies

The aim of developmental therapies is to improve various functions affected by the disease, to support the child’s development and to improve performance of daily activities based on the special needs of the child. The profiles of the children who need therapies are very different and range from children with behavioural disorders to children with severe mobility impairments. Children with multiple disabilities often need several different therapies. 

State-funded therapy options are however not sufficient to ensure that all seriously ill children continuously receive the needed developmental therapies. Receiving therapies is also challenging for children who live in rural areas or for whom visiting the therapist is not possible for other reasons. Due to this, the Children’s Foundation is helping families who are raising seriously ill children to pay for the children’s music or horse riding therapy. We are also helping children to receive occupational therapy either at the therapist’s office or at the child’s home by covering the cost of additional services that are not covered by the state. We are also supporting physical therapy performed at the therapist’s office, the child’s home or at school; myofunctional therapy that aims to improve the functioning of face muscles and muscles in the mouth area and the services of special education teachers and speech therapists if needed by the child. We are also helping to cover the costs of individual therapeutic water gymnastics when it is recommended by the child’s doctor but not covered by the state.

Currently we are supporting 38 children with these topics: Jaak, Rihanna, Maria, Robin, Elisabeth, Elisabet, Lille, Lisanna, Erika, Oliver, Rasmus, Katariina, Elina, Matteo, Joonas, Anni, Linda, Franka, Ali, Kristin, Quentin, Pille, Eli, Diana, Aule, Miina, Jasper, Brita, Kristjan, Kelli-Lisete, Rudolf, Aleksandr, Kardo, Otto, Kelli, Ragnar, Kasper and Hanna-Meribell.

In addition, already for the seventh year, the Children’s Foundation has launched a campaign jointly with Peetri Jooks (running event in Peetri) and Apollo Cinema to help one child fulfil their dream of starting to walk independently. In 2016, thanks to our kind donors we launched the campaign “Help Jan to walk!” which was followed by “Help Hanna-Liisa to walk!” in 2017, “Help Kelly to walk!” in 2018, “Help Kevin to walk!” in 2019 and “Help Klerkon to walk!” in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, we launched the campaign “Help Desiree to walk!” jointly with Peetri Jooks and E-Lux Kodutehnika. The aim of the campaigns is to fund intensive developmental therapy for one child to help them to fulfil their dream of walking independently. 

The Children’s Foundation is also helping to cover the costs of massage and osteopathy. We are currently supporting three children and young people with this: Elly, Diana and Hendra.

If necessary, we are also helping the families to cover transport costs related to the child’s visits to medical or special care institutions, doctors, therapists or specialists.

Various developmental therapies were also the focus of the Children’s Foundation annual main campaign Üleannetus in 2018. 

Therapeutic water gymnastics

We are covering the costs of therapeutic water gymnastics classes at Aura water park for children and young people who have childhood arthritis and who live in Tartu county.

The project started in 2006, when we started collecting donations for therapeutic water gymnastics for children with childhood arthritis as a part of a campaign organised jointly with Selver called “It’s easier together”. 

For these children, regular water gymnastics is a good way to get regular physical exercise. In addition, water gymnastics helps to relieve serious health issues caused by the disease and from lack of physical activity.

The therapeutic water gymnastics takes place at Aura water park and the children are divided into separate age groups. The classes involve therapeutic exercises that improve joint mobility and increase muscle power and endurance.The children can for example do exercises in water that are generally too strenuous for them on land such as simple jumps, running, playing and imitating bike riding. At the end of the class, the children can stay to swim or play ball games in the pool. Physical therapists find it necessary to tie together fun activities with useful ones so that the children would get positive emotions from physical activity. 

Currently around 30 children between the ages of 3 to 18 years are participating in the therapeutic water gymnastics programme. During the training season, there are also always new children joining the group.

From autumn 2006 until spring 2011, physiotherapist Margus Mustimets worked with the children and from autumn 2011, physiotherapist Maria Velgan continued the work. Aire Arge trained the children from 2013 to 2014 and physiotherapist Annika Liiv trained them from 2014 to 2016. From February 2017, physiotherapist Merlin Burov started giving the therapeutic water gymnastics classes. From autumn 2019, physiotherapist Ülle Utsal is giving the therapeutic water gymnastics classes. 


The Children’s Foundation covers the cost of pool tickets and the physiotherapist’s services which results in a monthly cost of around 500 euros (depending on the number of participants).