2207 – Adapting Aquatic Interventions for Severe and Profound Clients

Intermediate / 8-hour Workshop


Faculty:  Sue Grosse, MS; and Ann Wieser, PhD



Aquatic engagement can provide many benefits for individuals with severe multiple disabilities. This workshop will explore the types of therapeutic aquatic interventions appropriate for four different age group categories of individuals who have a severe physical disability in combination with another disability. Age groups included are birth to age 3, age 3 through age 6, age 6 through age 12, and age 12 through adult. Safety precautions, handling techniques, and equipment usage, will be considered in addition to specific interventions. Focus will be on activities to capitalize on an individual’s strengths, support development of improved physical and cognitive functioning, while developing and maintaining physical fitness. Communication skills, relaxation, and focus of attention will also be included.


Intermediate Level – Participants should already have background in disability definitions and disability specific terminology.



1.    Define the disability category of “severe multiple”.

2.    Identify differences in treatment goals and objectives for four different age groups of individuals with severe disabilities.

3.    Explore at least three different treatment protocols for each age group of individuals.

4.    Examine safety precautions for individuals in each age group of individuals.


FACULTY:  Susan J. Grosse, MS, currently president of Aquatic Consulting & Education Resources, has over 40 years experience in aquatics as a teacher, as well as in a variety of leadership roles at the local, national, and international levels. She is past president of the American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness and past chair of the Aquatic Council of AAHPERD. Her publications include work in adapted aquatics, lifeguarding, instructional swim, water exercise, posttraumatic stress disorder, crisis management, contagion, and program administration. She received the ATRI Tsunami Spirit Award in 2006 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame John K. Williams Award in 2009.


FACULTY: Ann Wieser, PhD, serves a variety of children with disabilities as an Adapted Physical Educator for Guilford County Schools; where she serves both children and adults in Blue Star Therapies, her own therapeutic massage and aquatics business. She has worked in all areas of aquatics (including SCUBA instruction) since 1967. She began working with persons with disabilities in 1980. Ann also has aquatic and management experience working in public service agencies, in the public schools, and at the university level where she developed an undergraduate Therapeutic Aquatics Concentration for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.