top of page

Request More



Email Address*


Aquatic Therapy for the Speech Language Pathologist

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

Date: September 14-15, 2024

Hours: 16 hours

Instructors: Andrea (Dre) Kane, M.S., CCC-SLP & Kiki Dickinson, MPT, PAqI

ATU Course #: PS891

Cost: $595

This class is being taught concurrently with the Aquatic Sensory & Motor Integration for the Pediatric Therapist class.

Only held every 3 to 4 years


An entire 16 hour course packed into 2 days designed specifically for the SLP addressing why the pool is an effective and motivating environment for working with both children and adults in an aquatic environment.

Provides tips on positioning patients in water for speech therapy, use of aquatic equipment to maximize results, and progressions for improving breath control, vocalization and other speech-only goals. Shows tips for taking augmentative communication into water. Discusses which aquatic specialty techniques (e.g. Watsu®) may be usable by the speech therapist. Includes information on current research supporting performing speech tasks in the pool. Addresses why a therapy pool is an appropriate tool for the speech therapist and discusses whether or not SLPs should pursue including 97113 as a reimbursable code for speech.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Participate in an open forum discussion on the emergence of the therapy pool as a viable treatment venue for the SLP (forum)

2. Make a 3 minute verbal “case” for providing speech therapy services in the water.

3. Locate and describe what ASHA, state laws, and payers have to say (if anything) about SLPs working in water (lecture)

4. Recite 5-6 aquatic precautions and contraindications specific to the speech patient (lecture).

5. Outline 1-2 ways to divide labor and schedule pool-time when all three disciplines are involved in a patient’s care. Describe 1-2 ways that the goals of water-based OT, PT, and speech should differ (lecture)

6. Determine under what conditions an adult should be considered for aquatic speech therapy (lecture)

7. Craft a sample home program for parents/caregivers who wish to incorporate 3-4 speech-related tasks in the shower, bathtub or community pool. Be able to share with parents where they can obtain additional training materials (lecture)

8. Describe why aquatic therapy may be the treatment of choice if (a) the patient has poor respiratory support and control for speech, (b) the patient is difficult to position for therapy; or (d) the patient is unwilling or unable to vocalize on land (lecture)

9. Demonstrate 2-3 effective positions to work with adult and pediatric clients in the water (lab)

10. Perform 3-4 aquatic therapeutic movements, tasks, or exercises designed to:

  • increase attention to a task (a foundation for building strong language skills)
  • increase strength of speech-related musculature
  • improve ROM of chest and shoulder region
  • improve head and trunk righting as a precursor for speech
  • perform lip and mouth closure
  • improve total communication
  • improve verbalization, articulation, descriptive language and sentence richness
  • encourage play and social interaction (lab)

11. Demonstrate 1-2 aquatic tasks or activities from each of the following specialty techniques (as each relates to the speech patient):

  • Aquatic Sensory Integration (ASI)
  • Aquatic manual therapy and stretching
  • Oral Motor exercises
  • Augmentative communication
  • Watsu (lab)

12. With a partner, design and implement a 15-minute aquatic treatment plan (including equipment selection) for 1-2 of the following:

  • Non-progressive neurological disorder (e.g. cerebral palsy, CVA, TBI)
  • Progressive neurological disorder (e.g. Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis)
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (e.g. autism)

CE  Approval for Therapists

Speech & Language Pathology: Email for information (


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 do not plan to rent a car or use ride share there is a shuttle that goes from the MSP airport to the Hudson, WI park and ride, a 10 minute walk to the Holiday Inn and Suites: 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" which is currently $90.00/day. 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 Instructors

Dre Kane, M.S., CCC-SLP

Andrea (Dre) Kane has been practicing speech-language pathology for 16 years, Dre received her Master's Degree from UW-River Falls in 2003. Dre is an experienced therapist working with pediatrics and previously with adults (3 years working in a day program). Dre has supervisory experience which includes program development and clinical administration. Dre currently is the Team Lead at St. Croix Therapy for Children and Adults. Dre currently provides inpatient speech and language services to children at St. Croix Therapy in Hudson, WI, which includes a large focus on aquatic therapy. Dre co-taught the first ever ASHA approved aquatic therapy course in the USA with Aquatic Therapy University and she loves facilitating and instructing mastery of therapeutic goals by incorporating the aquatic medium.

Dre has specialized training with Prompt, SOS, Interactive Metronome, and PECS with several specialized treatment techniques including Talk Tools, Beckman Oral Motor and assessment and treatment of oral-motor, feeding/swallowing and respiratory-phonatory function in infants and children with neuromotor development. Dre enjoys the integral approach to treatment with physical and occupational therapists in all areas with children and adults having speech and language concerns and/or feeding issues.

Kiki Dickinson, MPT, 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.


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.

bottom of page