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Hands-On Therapy Techniques for the Ortho &

Neuro Therapist

Location: Hudson, WI (Located approximately 30 minutes  from MSP airport)

Dates: April 6-7,2024

Hours: 16 hours

Instructor: Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson, PT, PAqI

ATU Course #: GS721

Cost: $595




Get ready to get stuffed, saturated and wrinkled! This “how-to” seminar will put your body in the pool for 2 unbelievably extensive days of skill acquisition (16 hours of class; over 10 hours of pool lab). Think of this as the Appetizer Sampler of Aquatic Therapy seminars for both the adult and pediatric populations. You will be exposed to 10 popular aquatic techniques currently being used in clinics across the globe -- and learn 2 or 3 new ones. Why sit for 16 hours of lecture on theory? Instead, get in the water and learn hands-on handling techniques that will leave you with new, concrete skills and the confidence to apply them to your patients with musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. And you’ll have a blast doing it.




At the end of this seminar, the participant will be able to:


1. Verbalize the difference between "functional improvement" and "patient satisfaction" as defined by the PMR literature.


2. Design a 2-week and 2-month executable plan designed to improve patient care by addressing both functional improvement and patient satisfaction through aquatic therapy.


2. Using the PEDro scale, appraise the merit of research which supports the need to address patient satisfaction in order to improve outcomes


3. Verbally compare and contrast precautions, indications and benefits of aquatic therapy for the most common orthopedic and neurological conditions seen in the pool.


4. Demonstrate the ability to manipulate hydrodynamic properties during pool lab by using the proper sequences and control techniques.


5. Demonstrate the ability to perform 2-3 movements or activities from each of these techniques:

  • progressive resistive exercise,
  • proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation,
  • active stretching,
  • trunk stabilization,
  • functional skills training,
  • Salzman's Blanket Drills,
  • Aquatic Adaptations of the Berg,
  • passive stretching and manual therapy
  • and exercises/flows loosely based on Watsu, T'ai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, adapted aquatics.


6. Execute 3-4 scenarios using pool-based role play, including making corrections in a partner's execution of these techniques.


5. Demonstrate the ability to make 3-4 aquatic choices based on the skilled combination of evidence, values and experience.


6. In a pool lab environment, with a partner: propose, execute and then evaluate water-based solutions designed to: increase ROM,improve strength,decrease hypertonicity, decrease pain,improve trunk stability,improve balance and proprioception, and improve functional skills.


7. Demonstrate consistency in ability to execute solutions by teaching a newly learned skill to a partner.


CE Approval for Therapists

Target Audience

PT's, PTA's, OT's, COTA's, SLP's, and other aquatic professionals.



Day 1

7:30-8:00 Registration

8:00-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunc

1:00-5:00 Pool lab

Day 2

8:00-12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-5:00 Pool lab

Lecture Location

Holiday Inn and Suites Hudson, WI

181 Carmichael Road

Hudson WI 54016


Lab Location

St. Croix Therapy

742 Sterbenz Drive

Hudson, WI 54016



If you dont plan to rent a car there is a shuttle that goes from the MSP airport to Hudson, WI: If interested the contact info. is 715.830.9400 or If you don't have a car I recommend that you consider staying at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites (see lodging info below) where the lecture portion of the course is being held. I can arrange transportation to and from the pool lab portion of the course.  


***Discounted rate and lecture portion of the course being held at hotel listed below***

Holiday Inn and Suites Hudson, WI

181 Carmichael Road

Hudson WI 54016


***For discounted rate call hotel and ask for "The Hudson Hospital rate".  Make reservations early before hotel is sold out.***

Hotel Link:


Several other Hotels are located near the lecture/lab:

Best Western Plus

Comfort Suites

Hampton Inn and Suites

AmericInn by Wyndam

Meet your Instructor

Kathleen Dickinson, PT, PAqI

Kathleen (Kiki) Dickinson, MPT graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a master's degree in physical therapy. Kiki has over 25 years of pediatric and adult physical therapy experience at St. Croix Therapy (Therapeutic Services for Children and Adults) in Hudson, Wisconsin. She has extensive 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, as well as the ortho-neuro adult population.

Kiki founded North Star Aquatic Therapy to offer aquatic therapy courses for both the pediatric and adult populations. Kiki teaches custom aquatic therapy classes nationally and internationally with a focus on the neuro pediatric and geriatric population. Kiki has helped develop course manuals for several pediatric courses for Aquatic Therapy University (ATU) and has developed several of her own individual classes that she has presented at national and state APTA conferences. Kiki has a clinical and research interest in childhood obesity and the impact it has on the special needs population. Kiki has played a significant role in developing aquatic coursework for Speech Language Pathologists, including offering one of the first ASHA approved course in aquatics with ATU.

Kiki is certified in Halliwick, Bad Ragaz, Ai Chi and Cranio-sacral Therapy. Kiki has her Aquaticist℠ credentials from ATU. Kiki has been an adjunct professor at St. Catherine’s University for over 20 years and teaches Pediatric Coursework for their Physical Therapy Assistant Program.

Cancellation Policy

Programming Changes: Due to unforeseen circumstances, ATU schedules, instructors and/or meals may need to be changed without notice.


Cancellation of Class By ATU: ATU classes may be cancelled for low registration up to 30 days prior to the class. In this event, a full refund of class tuition or a voucher to another class will be issued to students. ATU does not reimburse change fees, airline tickets or any other travel related expenses, so please do not make plans until you receive the 30-day confirmation prior to the conference.


Cancellation of Class by Student: A refund, minus a $175 reseating fee, will be given for student cancellations made prior to 30 days before the conference. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after 30 day deadline. In the event of a student cancellation after the deadline, enrollment fees may be transferred to other ATU courses within 12 months at no charge.

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