Taking the Plunge
"Nature has provided us generously with everything we need to remain in good health."
The historical beginning of aqua therapy dates back to the ancient practices of the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Romans. Then, in the 19th century, Sebastian Kneipp a Dominican monk revived the theory. He believed in the power of healthy living and is said to be the "father of hydrotherapy". You can read more about Sebastian Kneipp and his book My Water Cure at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Kneipp. Today hydro or aquatic therapy is used worldwide to treat a variety of diseases, ailments and injuries, including arthritis, spinal cord injuries, burns, spasticity, stroke and paralysis and much, much more.
Aquatic therapy is traditionally utilized by Occupational and Physical Therapists, not Speech Therapists. However, over the past several weeks, I "tested some new waters" by jumping in the pool with several of the children I work with in my full-time early intervention position. This is something that I have been interested in for several years. I am not an expert aquatic speech therapist, nor do I pretend to be. Other than being a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist who happens to love the water and is a pretty good swimmer, I do not have a ton of experience.
I admit I have always loved the water -- swimming, water-skiing, kayaking -- in the water is often where I feel most alive. Years ago, I taught swim lessons with little children and I earned my Junior Lifesaving Certificate at the Jersey Shore. About three weeks ago, I attended a three hour Hydro-Therapy training at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) for pediatric Occupational Therapists. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a great deal even though it was not tailor-made for my profession.
As you can see, today's post is a little more personal than usual. I am on the hunt for trainings to help me develop my aquatic speech therapy skills. In addition, I would love to find therapists (especially close to home in the Philadelphia, PA area) who share my love and interest in aquatic therapy. Over the last few weeks I found a few speech therapists across the country that are practicing aquatic therapy. I have also recently subscribed to the weekly Aquatic Resources Network internet newsletter which appears currently to be my best resource.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments regarding aquatic speech therapy....thank you!