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Aquatic Therapy University - Post-graduate studies in aquatic therapy

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Water-Based Intervention for
the Pediatric Client:

An Aquatic Therapy Primer

Offered multiple times in 2014


Water Based Interventions


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 rapidly introduce pediatric therapists to motor, sensory and play-based interventions in water. Will provide a “sampler lab” of the most clinically useful elements of popular aquatic specialty techniques such as: Aquatic Sensory Integration (ASI), Watsu®, the Bad Ragaz Ring Method, flow-through mat work, and drills loosely based on the Halliwick Method. Will briefly examine research which supports aquatic therapy for the child and explore contraindications, including prevailing precaution myths. Course will be co-instructed by a PT and OT.


1. Describe why aquatic therapy may be the treatment of choice if (a) the patient has poor head or trunk righting, (b) the patient has spasticity or rigidity, (c) the patient has abnormal reflexes; or (d) the patient has difficulty with transitions (lecture).

2. Recite 3-4 aquatic precautions and contraindications specific to the pediatric patient (lecture).

3. Describe 1-2 ways that the goals of water-based OT, PT, and speech should differ. Outline 1-2 ways to divide labor and schedule pool-time when all three disciplines are involved in a child’s care (lecture)

4. Describe a successful way to co-treat in water and be reimbursed for the services provided (lecture)

5. Locate what payers (including Medicaid) have to say about aquatic therapy for the pediatric patient (lecture)

6. Make a 3 minute verbal “case” for providing aquatic therapy services for a pediatric patient. Be able to identify and locate supportive research to bolster case (lecture).

7. Perform 3-4 aquatic therapeutic movements, tasks, or exercises designed to:

  • increase strength
  • improve ROM
  • improve oral motor skills
  • normalize sensory input (vestibular, visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive)
  • normalize tone
  • improve head and trunk righting
  • encourage play, verbalization and social interaction
  • improve posture, weight-bearing, balance, gait and proprioception
  • normalize transitional movements (lab)

8. Demonstrate 1-2 aquatic tasks or activities from each of the following specialty techniques (as each relates to the pediatric client):

  • Adapted play
  • Aquatic Sensory Integration (ASI)
  • Aquatic manual therapy and stretching
  • Bad Ragaz Ring Method
  • Rotational control tasks (based on the Halliwick Concept)
  • Swim stroke modification
  • Watsu (lab)
9. Progress a specific aquatic task from a lower level of function towards increased independence (lab)

10. 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)
  • Progressive neurological disorder (e.g. muscular dystrophy)
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (e.g. autism)
  • Failure-to-thrive and developmental delay
  • Trauma (lab)


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

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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Aquatic Resources Network
3500 Vicksburg Lane N #250 Plymouth, MN 55447 USA
PH: (800) 680-8624
FAX: (888) 514-6133


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