Aquatic Therapy for the Speech Therapist: Taking Language & Speech Development into Water

Event Details

Aquatic Therapy for the Speech Therapist: Taking Language & Speech Development into Water

Time: May 7, 2010 to May 8, 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Website or Map:…
Phone: 800-680-8624
Event Type: seminars
Organized By: Aquatic Therapy University (ATU)
Latest Activity: Jan 27, 2011

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Event Description

A 18 hr. training module packed into 2 days (4 hr. Boot Camp plus 14 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. Discusses which aquatic specialty techniques (e.g. Watsu®, Ai Chi) 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
Rotational control tasks (based on the Halliwick Concept)
Shaker technique for dysphagia
Total 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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