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Aquatic Therapy University - Post-graduate studies in aquatic therapy

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Aquatic Therapy for the
Speech Therapist:

Taking Language & Speech
Development into Water

Taught By:
Dre Kane, M.S., CCC- SLP;
Reesa D. Salomon, M.S., CCC-SLP;
Kiki Dickinson, MPT; Andrea Salzman, MS, PT

Minneapolis, MN

Oops. You missed it. See our 2014 schedule here
Or bring this EXACT class to your pool.

Aquatic therapy seminars by Aquatic Therapy University - Minneapolis campus


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 19 hr. training module packed into 2 days (4 hr. Boot Camp plus 15 hr. main course). Designed for the SLP or speech therapist, this course includes information on working with both children and adults in water for language and speech development.

Provides tips on positioning patients in water for speech therapy, use of aquatic equipment to maximize results, and progressions for improving breath control, vocalization and other speech-only goals. Shows tips for taking augmentative communication into water. Discusses which aquatic specialty techniques (e.g. Watsu®) may be usable by the speech therapist. Includes information on current research supporting performing speech tasks in the pool. Addresses why a therapy pool is an appropriate tool for the speech therapist and discusses whether or not SLPs should pursue including 97113 as a reimbursable code for speech.


1. Participate in an open forum discussion on the emergence of the therapy pool as a viable treatment venue for the SLP (forum) 2. Make a 3 minute verbal “case” for providing speech therapy services in the water. 3. Locate and describe what ASHA, state laws, and payers have to say (if anything) about SLPs working in water (lecture) 4. Recite 5-6 aquatic precautions and contraindications specific to the speech patient (lecture). 5. Outline 1-2 ways to divide labor and schedule pool-time when all three disciplines are involved in a patient’s care. Describe 1-2 ways that the goals of water-based OT, PT, and speech should differ (lecture) 6. Determine under what conditions an adult should be considered for aquatic speech therapy (lecture) 7. Craft a sample home program for parents/caregivers who wish to incorporate 3-4 speech-related tasks in the shower, bathtub or community pool. Be able to share with parents where they can obtain additional training materials (lecture) 8. Describe why aquatic therapy may be the treatment of choice if (a) the patient has poor respiratory support and control for speech, (b) the patient is difficult to position for therapy; or (d) the patient is unwilling or unable to vocalize on land (lecture) 9. Demonstrate 2-3 effective positions to work with adult and pediatric clients in the water (lab) 10. Perform 3-4 aquatic therapeutic movements, tasks, or exercises designed to:

  • increase attention to a task (a foundation for building strong language skills)
    increase strength of speech-related musculature
    improve ROM of chest and shoulder region
    improve head and trunk righting as a precursor for speech
    perform lip and mouth closure
    improve total communication
    improve verbalization, articulation, descriptive language and sentence richness
  • encourage play and social interaction (lab)

11. Demonstrate 1-2 aquatic tasks or activities from each of the following specialty techniques (as each relates to the speech patient):

  • Aquatic Sensory Integration (ASI)
    Aquatic manual therapy and stretching
    Oral Motor exercises
    Augmentative communication
  • Watsu (lab)

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

  • Non-progressive neurological disorder (e.g. cerebral palsy, CVA, TBI)
    Progressive neurological disorder (e.g. Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis)
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (e.g. autism)

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Click here for special room rates ($74/nite)

ATU Schedule

Friday AM (Bootcamp)
8:00-8:30 Registration
8:30-10:45 Lecture
10:45-12:45 Pool lab
12:45-1:30 Lunch (provided)

Friday PM (Main course)
1:30-2:00 Registration (new arrivals)
2:00-5:00 Lecture
5:00-5:45 Supper (provided)
5:45-8:45 Pool lab

Saturday (Main course)
8:30-12:00 Lecture
12:00-1:00 Lunch (provided)
1:00-3:40 Pool lab
3:40-4:00 Energy break + demo
4:00-5:45 Pool lab
5:45-6:00 Wrap-up and questions

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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