2208 – Sensory Processing and Motor Planning

Intermediate / 3-hour Workshop


Faculty: Meredith Morig, MOTR/L, ATRIC



Many skills relating to sensory integration and motor planning can be addressed in the water. The sequence and routine of a therapy session will be discussed in order to address skills from gross motor to fine motor and proximal to distal. Attendees will learn how to use resistance and movement in the water to calm and organize then sensory system and ultimately improve body awareness. With improved body awareness, the child will be able to participate in exercises and activities improving strength and overall coordination. Attendees will then learn skills and activity ideas to carry over land goals into the water, while the child is most organized, to address more complicated skills including visual motor, visual perception, bilateral skills, crossing midline, auditory processing, breath support, oral motor skills and other functional skills


Personally, I have had great success using these techniques with high functioning children, who present with sensory processing difficulties. These children are frequently overlooked in the school and doctors’ offices as having a behavior problem or something "they will just grow out of".  Many times, tasks are very challenging for them, but they do not understand why and become easily frustrated. Learning these techniques in the water will help a therapist engage better with the child, along with providing them the organized sensory input they need in a functional matter so that the child feels successful and able to take on more challenging tasks. Then the child will be able to carry over this success into activities of daily living and/or land therapy. As therapists, we are providing children with the foundation that shapes the rest of their lives and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child succeed and ultimately grow into the best that they can be. 




1)  Identify the types of sensory processing disorder and understand how it affects a child's everyday life. 

2)  Summarize methods for treating sensory processing disorder.

3)  Recognize the types of sensory input provided by the water.

4)  Recognize how sensory processing disorder affects motor planning and learn how the water can increase body awareness and improve motor planning. 

5)  Determine how to organize an aquatic therapy session to optimize sensory input and improve functional skills. 

6)  Discuss pool activity ideas to integrate cognitive skills including visual perception, auditory processing, visual motor, sequencing, self care, etc. 



1)  Actively participate in and assist in designing pool activities and determine how to sequence the activities to optimize sensory input. 

2)  Demonstrate how to organize a child's sensory system using resistance from water to increase body awareness and prepare them for remainder of the session. 

3)  Participate in strengthening and coordination activities to improve body awareness and motor planning.

4)  Create a collection of sensory activities in the water to address cognitive and functional skills.

5)  Collaborate on how to modify and grade activities for various ages, diagnoses and abilities. 


FACULTY: Meredith Morig, MOTR/L, ATRIC, is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist specializing in combining sensory integration techniques with aquatic therapy in order to enhance a child's functional abilities. She has many years of experience working in a specialized sensory integration clinic, providing therapy to children of all ages and diagnoses. She has combined her love for the water with her expertise in sensory integration to provide a more effective therapy modality to enhance a child's functional abilities. Using her knowledge about sensory integration, along with what she has learned from becoming a certified aquatic therapy instructor, she has developed a successful aquatic program, which has benefitted many children. Meredith also enjoys sharing her knowledge with aspiring students and the community in order to help as many children as possible.