Aquatic Sensory & Motor Integration for the Lifespan: Pediatric to Geriatric

November 11-12, 2017

This is a 16 hour training module packed into two days. This two-day course will teach your staff how to transition your therapy pool into a sensory and motor planning room for the pediatric client as well as the geriatric client. 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 and to achieve a functional motor response. Each exercise and activity will be examined from the perspective of all the senses: vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive, visual and auditory. A special emphasis will be made to address the use of aquatics for patients with impaired cognition.

1. Identify at least 1 model program known for its use of sensory stimulation in water.

2. Compare the benefits of 3-4 items, readily available in clinics, which can be used to transform a pool into a sensory and motor room.

3. Generate an appropriate 10-item shopping list of items which can be inexpensively purchased at a Dollar Store in order to be used in the pool.

4. After being provided with examples, craft an individualized home program for a parent/caregiver who wishes to incorporate 3-4 sensory/motor tasks in the shower, bathtub or community pool.

5. Describe where to obtain hands-on training in at least 1 aquatic techniques (such as NDT, Watsu or Halliwick)

6. After reviewing a case study, create 3 methods to strengthen the aquatic treatment protocol used by the research team.

7. After reviewing 3 clinical trials, defend the use of a therapeutic pool as a treatment supported by the literature for the pediatric population

8. Without assistance, design at least 1 aquatic activity which can be appropriately 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

9. Analyze the respective merits of at least 1 aquatic activity designed to alter each of the following:

  • vestibular input
  • tactile input
  • proprioceptive input
  • auditory input
  • visual input
  • cognitive awareness and alertness

10. Design a unique 15-minute aquatic treatment for at least 1 of the diagnoses as discussed in class.


Blue Lagune Therapy
1115 Ave. D
Katy, TX 77494

Cost -  


Earned credits -  

16 contact hours or CCU’s through TPTA and TOTA


Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson, MPT graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a master's degree in physical therapy. She has worked as a Pediatric Physical Therapist since 1995. Over the last several years her clinic has expanded and developed aquatic therapy programs for adult neuro and ortho populations with an emphasis on individuals with chronic pain and more medically complicated clients.

Kiki works at St. Croix Therapy (Therapeutic Services for Children and Adults) in Hudson, Wisconsin and has 17 years of experience developing and implementing therapy programs for a diverse pediatric population which includes working with children of all ages including the birth-to-three population.

For over seven years, Kiki has devoted one day per week in the SNF/TCU setting working with the geriatric and general debilitation population. Her caseload featured a high concentration of patients with psychological issues, including schizophrenia, and a full unit of patients on ventilators. Kiki has over 15 years of on call experience in a high-level acute care setting, with both pediatric and adult patients (University of Minnesota Hospital).

Kiki is certified in the Universal Exercise Unit/Therasuit Method and Craniosacral Therapy. She has been an adjunct professor at St. Catherine’s University for over ten years and teaches Pediatric Coursework for their Physical Therapy Assistant Program.

Kiki helped develop ATU's novel "Aquatic Therapy for the Speech Therapist" class in 2010. This first-of-its-kind class combined a positioning lab (taught by PT) with a speech & language skills (taught by a SLP). It appears to be the first class to be granted ASHA CEU credits. Kiki teaches custom seminars across the USA for Aquatic Therapy University with an emphasis on the neuro pediatric and adult populations.


8:00-12:00 Lecture and Land Lab (15 minute energy break at 10:00)
12:00-1:00 - Change and eat lunch
1:00-3:15 - Pool Lab
3:15-3:30 - Energy Break
3:30-5:30 - Pool Lab
5:30-5:45 - Wrap-up & Discussion

8:00-12:00 Lecture and Land Lab  (15 minute energy break at 10:00)
12:00-1:00 - Change and eat lunch
1:00-3:15 - Pool Lab
3:15-3:30 - Energy Break
3:30-5:30 - Pool Lab
5:30-5:45 - Wrap-up & Discussion


Hotel list provided upon request


Angela Dumas