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Aquatic Sensory Integration for the Pediatric Therapist:
Using Water to Modulate Vestibular, Tactile, Proprioceptive, Visual & Auditory Input

Taught By: Jennifer Tvrdy, OTDR/L

July 9-10, 2010
Minneapolis, MN
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A 4-hr ATU Bootcamp is offered at no additional cost immediately prior to this class (see next column for schedule). This class is required before taking any ATU course (current water-gurus excepted).


A 18 hr. training module packed into 2 days (4 hr. Boot Camp plus 14 hr. main course). Designed to teach therapists how to transition their therapy pool into a sensory room. Extrapolated from the 16 treatment station concept, therapists will harness the use of common everyday items such as bath blankets, snow shovels, umbrellas, polyspots and clingy clothes to create a sensory effect.

Each exercise and activity will be examined from the perspective of all the senses: vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive, visual and auditory. Includes information on integrating primitive reflexes into aquatic session.


  1. Verbalize 1-2 reasons why clinicians believe sensory integration is a natural fit for many aquatic settings. Identify a model program known for its use of sensory stimulation in water (lecture)
  2. Suggest 3-4 items, available in pediatric clinics, which can be used to transform a pool into a sensory room. Create a mock shopping list of additional items which can be inexpensively purchased at a Dollar Store (lecture)
  3. Craft a sample home program for parents/caregivers who wish to incorporate 3-4 sensory tasks in the shower, bathtub or community pool. Be able to share with parents where they can obtain additional training materials (lecture)
  4. Describe where to obtain hands-on training in 1-2 techniques (such as NDT, Watsu or Halliwick) which complement Aquatic Sensory Integration (lecture)
  5. Recognize 1-2 ways that abnormal reflexes will alter water-based intervention (lecture)
  6. Demonstrate 1-2 aquatic tasks or activities which can be performed at each of the following stations in the pool:
    • Shower or hot tub
    • Pool side (edge of pool)
    • Pool side (in water)
    • Pool bottom in shallow water
    • Platform
    • Ramp
    • Ladder
    • Floatation mat
    • Therapist as platform
    • Held by therapist
    • Free in water (swimming, underwater)
    • Using playground equipment
    • Supported by equipment
    • Near jets or current
    • Treadmill (lab)

    7.  Alter 1-2 aquatic activities in order to increase or diminish:

    • vestibular input
    • tactile input
    • proprioceptive input
    • auditory input
    • visual input (lab)

    8. With a partner, design and implement a 15-minute aquatic treatment plan (including equipment selection) for 1-2 of the following:

    • Autism or Rett’s Syndrome
    • Hypersensitivity to touch, sound or other sensation

View all 2012 classes

ATU Schedule

Friday AM (Bootcamp)
8:30-9:00 Registration
9:00-10:30 Lecture
10:30-1:15 Pool lab

Friday PM (Main course)
2:00-2:30 Registration
2:30-4:15 Lecture
4:15-5:00 Supper
5:00-9:00 Pool lab

9:00-12:00 Lecture
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-3:30 Pool lab
3:30-4:00 Energy break
4:00-6:30 Pool lab

Aquatic therapy seminars and trainings

Schedule Changes
Due to unforeseen circumstances or events, ATU schedules, instructors or venues are subject to change without notice.

Cancellation Policy
The final date for refunds (minus $175 reseating fee) for cancellations by students is 2 wks before class start date. No refunds given for cancellations after this date.

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PH: (800) 680-8624
FAX: (888) 514-6133


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