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2231 – Pediatric Handling

Intermediate / Half-Day Workshop
Sanibel, FL / Thursday, June 3, 2021 – 7:30-10:45 am – 3.0 credit hours
(Classroom: 7:30-9:00 am / Pool: 9:15-10:45 am)

Faculty: Meredith Morig, MOTR/L, ATRIC – Pediatric Development and Handling Techniques
Julia Meno, CTRS, CMT, ATRIC – Pediatric Development Based Aquatic Therapy

Pediatric Development and Handling Techniques
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Aside from growing exponentially every year and even every month, children are constantly developing and changing. Development happens in the areas of cognition, social/emotional, speech and language, fine motor and gross motor. This development also comes along with many changes, affecting the skill challenge or modifications that a child may need when receiving hands on assistance or therapy. In addition, some children with developmental delays will not be able to perform tasks meant for his or her age. It is important for a clinician to understand childhood development, learn how to grade tasks to provide a just right challenge and modify activities as needed.

The water provides 30 times more proprioceptive input than land, along with an even pressure to the entire body. Conditions of the pool’s environment including constant temperature, buoyancy, viscosity and resistance of the water providing relatively constant somatosensory input significantly increase sensory integration and processing. This environment is excellent for addressing all developmental skills. However, the water can also make it more challenging to find the most functional position and support in order to facilitate development of skills, especially since many children cannot touch the bottom of the pool.

In this course, we will review developmental milestones and discuss how to modify or grade activities in order to progress a child’s developmental skills successfully. We will also demonstrate and practice handling and positional techniques with children unique to the aquatic environment. Most importantly, attendees will learn how to address developmental skills in the water, while also making it fun!

Course Objectives:
1) Review typical developmental milestones by age.
2) Identify ways to grade or modify tasks to make developmentally appropriate.
3) Recognize the function behind different positions in the water.
4) Identify handling techniques to optimize progress.
5) Discuss modifications for different pool structures and environments.
6) Review precautions and contraindications when working with children.
7) Discuss pool activity ideas to integrate all developmental areas and make it fun.

1) Actively participate in designing pool activities and discuss how to sequence the activities to optimize development.
2) Collaborate on how to modify and grade activities for various ages, diagnoses and abilities.
3) Differentiate positioning to optimize development.
4) Participate in various handling techniques based on age, diagnosis and tolerance.
5) Create a collection of activities in the water to address all developmental areas.

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.

Pediatric Handling
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Correct handling technique is essential to the water adjustment process. The practitioner will learn and practice handling positions for children in the water that will either inhibit or facilitate postural musculature. Learn how to use various surfaces, positions and equipment to elicit therapeutic responses for strength and motor learning.

1) Determine pediatric aquatic handling skills for safety, motor learning and accessibility.
2) Explore how to handle children with altered body shapes and densities in the water.
3) Demonstrate three different positions and handling progressions to assist a child with learning control around their transverse axis.
4) Demonstrate three ways to incorporate floatation equipment to facilitate a neuromuscular response.

FACULTY: Julia Meno, CTRS, CMT, ATRIC, is the founder/owner of Therapeutic Aquatics, Inc. and provides individual Myofascial Aquatic Body Work, AquaStretch™ and adaptive aquatic classes. She is the author and publisher of The Bad Ragaz Ring Method Visual Instructional Manual and Video; and co-producer of the PNF in The Pool and Myofascial Aquatic Body Work DVDs. She received the 2014 Aquatic Therapy Professional Award and the 2002 ATRI Tsunami Spirit Award.