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3204 – Pediatric Development

Advanced / Half-Day Workshop
Sanibel, FL / Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – 7:45-11:00 am – 3.0 credit hours
(Classroom: 7:45-9:15 am / Pool: 9:30-11:00 am)

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

Pediatric Neurodevelopment
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Many skills relating to neurological and neurodevelopment conditions can be addressed in the water. Many diagnoses including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brachial plexus injury, brain injury, epilepsy and more, are ideal candidates for treatment in the water. In addition, many diagnoses such as autism, ADHD, down syndrome and developmental delays which cause difficulties in the areas of language and speech, motor skills, behavior, memory, learning, or other neurological functions, can also be addressed in the water.

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 increases body awareness and synapses to the brain. In addition, the resistance and calming properties of the water increase strength and decrease spasticity, both often an issue for children with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Aquatic therapy techniques, along with handling and activity suggestions will be discussed and demonstrated. Attendees will learn how to use resistance and movement in the water to increase range of motion strength and organize the sensory system. In addition, precautions related to specific diagnoses will be reviewed. Ultimately, attendees will learn how to differentiate the aquatic needs of neurological, neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental conditions, along with gaining the knowledge to provide individualized goals and treatment plans for the needs of these pediatric clients.

1) Develop a basic understanding of the neurological structures and functions.
2) Summarize typical neurological development.
3) Differentiate between neurological, neuromuscular and neurodevelopmental conditions.
4) Recognize the types of sensory input provided by the water.
5) Discuss aquatic therapy techniques and goals for both neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions.
6) Recognize precautions needed to be taken in the water for specific conditions and diagnoses.

1) Demonstrate how to handle and use flotation devices with a child to achieve goals.
2) Actively participate in handling techniques and strengthening techniques.
3) Review common aquatic therapy techniques and programs and demonstrate adaptations for children’s individualized needs.
4) Create a collection of activities in the water to address cognitive and physical 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.

Pediatric Development Based Aquatic Therapy
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on how aquatic treatment plans can assist in all aspects of a child’s development. Learn how water adjustment skills include developmental motor skills, social integration, speech, behavior and self-esteem. Aquatic techniques can influence and strengthen the maturation of reflexes as well as functional aspects between the vestibular system and the musculoskeletal system.

1) Explore how ‘water adjustment’ can be used to address developmental delays and strengthen motor planning.
2) Determine how to progress aquatic motor learning skills.
3) Examine how the aquatic environment can aid in the integration of developmental reflexes and acquired movement.
4) Practice aquatic interventions that assist clients/children with body awareness, coordination and timing of active movement.
5) Define aquatic inclusion ideas for children of all abilities.

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.