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Aquatic Athletics For Children and Young Adults with Special Abilities

Location: Hudson, WI (Located approximately 30 minutes from Minneapolis, MN)

Dates: TBD, to be rescheduled based on demand

Instructors: Kimberly Gordon, MPT, MAqI, GAqI and Kathleen "Kiki" Dickinson, MPT, PAqI

Cost: $495

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Course Objectives:



The learner will be able to describe why aquatic therapy is an ideal treatment choice for children and young adults with special abilities with a specific focus on individuals with obesity, Cerebral Palsy and deconditioning 


Review water principles and the benefits of water with these populations 


Discuss current research on obesity and CP with exercise and how the aquatic medium would be not only beneficial but often an ideal


Discuss the current research on resistance training in pediatrics and how the aquatic medium would not only be beneficial but often an ideal medium


Explore specific research on resistance training with CP population 


The learner will have a better understanding of the respiratory system and its critical role in core stabilization, postural control and endurance. 


Discuss the water principle hydrostatic pressure and how it is beneficial in improving respiration and core muscle activation.


Review the muscles involved in breathing and respiration


Review current research on respiration and how critical it is for core stability which translates to improvement in gross motor skills and overall balance/stability


Discuss current research on pelvic floor in both pediatrics and adult and how that is incorporated in Pilates.


Land Lab: Palpating the rib cage, Measuring and facilitating rib cage inhalation 

Pool Lab:


The learner will be able to design shallow and deep-water workouts incorporating the following yoga, Pilates, deep water drills, and shallow water strength training.


The learner will be able to assess and facilitate improved respiratory functioning and endurance by implementing direct aquatic therapy techniques and utilizing the properties of water (i.e. hydrostatic pressure)



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Meet your Instructors

Kimberly Gordon, MPT, MAqI, GAqI

Tracks: Musculo, Geriatric, Sports

Kimberly Gordon, MPT graduated from Mayo Clinic's School of Health Related Sciences with her Master's degree in Physical Therapy. She began practicing in an outpatient sports medicine clinic in Sarasota, FL where her case-load included orthopedic and post-surgical clients, including older adults with torn knee and ankle ligaments, total joint replacements, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and gait dysfunction. She went on to manage a branch for that company in Bradenton, FL. Upon moving back to Rochester, MN, she spent time working in a local nursing home, helping to develop their short term rehab program to increase the number of joint replacement patients in the facility and to better manage these patients as a team in the nursing home. She then moved into a home health physical therapy position, bringing innovative ideas to the patient returning from a hospital or nursing home stay after surgery or trauma, including many with new joint replacement patients.

She currently works at both the Rochester Active PT office and the Plainview ActivePT office (managing the Plainview office) where she specializes in treating orthopedic patients both in and out of the therapy pool. Her specialty is treating pelvic, hip and knee patients and the majority of her patients come with women's health, orthopedic and sports medicine complaints.

Kim has over 11 years of treating primarily orthopedic patients with 7 of those years specializing in sports medicine. Kim also has over 200 hours of continuing education including SI joint dysfunction, Shoulder rehabilitation presented by Kevin Wilk, pelvic floor training through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute, a certification course in Pilates training and specializes in Pilates. She also teaches a Pilates class at the Rochester Athletic Club and has devoloped specialized classes for the athletic club including Back School, return to Pilates after rehabilitiation, and prenatal Pilates.

Kim's area of specialty is the hip and pelvis. This includes pelvic floor dysfunction, low back and hip pain, total joint replacements, and SI dysfunction. She has trained for 3 years with Aquatic Therapy University, achieving lead instructor status under their extensive instructor's curriculum. Kim offers specialty training in the following through her affiliation with ActivePT.

  • Pilates
  • Back School
  • Osteoporosis

Kim lives in Rochester with her husband and two children. She enjoys playing soccer, biking, and running, has completed her first duathalon, and continues to compete in annual half marathons throughout the midwest.

Meet your Instructor

Kiki Dickinson, MPT, PAqI

Tracks: Pediatric/ Neuro/ Speech

Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson, MPT graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a master's degree in physical therapy. She has been a Pediatric Physical Therapist since 1995. Kiki works at St. Croix Therapy (Therapeutic Services for Children and Adults) in Hudson, Wisconsin and has 20 years of experience developing and implementing aquatic therapy programs for a diverse pediatric population which includes working with children of all ages including the birth-to-three population.

Kiki teaches custom seminars across the USA for Aquatic Therapy University (ATU) with an emphasis on the neuro pediatric and adult populations. Kiki has helped develop course manuals for several pediatric courses for ATU. Recently Kiki and her business partner Kim Gordon have established their own company North Star Aquatic Therapy offering aquatic therapy courses for both the pediatric and adult populations.

Kiki is certified in the Universal Exercise Unit/Therasuit Method and Craniosacral Therapy. Kiki has her Aquaticist℠ credential’s from ATU. Kiki is an adjunct professor at St. Catherine’s University for over 15 years and teaches Pediatric Coursework for their Physical Therapy Assistant Program.

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