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OT Aquatic Therapy - Special Interest Group

Public·25 members

ATU was once told that OTs "do not provide aquatic therapy services". Below, you can read our (comprehensive) response.

Aquatic therapy is a water-based therapeutic tool that is taught in OT school as a hands-on procedure; used in practice by occupational therapists/assistants; and routinely reimbursed by payers.

Since 2010, Aquatic Therapy University/ ATU Aquatic Therapy Seminars have provided aquatic education across the world (Canada, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, USA, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and more).

In 2014, ATU was the first provider to obtain value added CEU credit for our aquatic therapy courses through the Federation of State Boards of PT, a national entity.

Since 2017, the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong has educated all their PTs and OTs using our 4-hour digital introductory training. The same group sent 4 therapists to train with ATU yearly for a 10-day training each year, until the pandemic interrupted travel. These are just examples.

Occupational therapy has been performed in water for over 50 years. Here is a very short primer for your edification.

Aquatic Therapy & Occupational Therapy

  • Aquatic therapy is within the scope of practice of OTs and OTAs in the United States and abroad. [1]

  • Aquatic therapy-related research is regularly performed in OT schools for dissertations and theses. [2]

  • Aquatic therapy may be at risk of being underutilized by OT providers due to inadequate training in therapy school. [3]

  • Facilities which offer aquatic therapy routinely employ both OTs and PTs in the pool. [4]

  • Aquatic Therapy is recognized by the American Medical Association with CPT code 97113 (aquatic therapeutic exercises). [5]

  • Medicare and Medicaid routinely recognize aquatic therapy when performed by an OT or an OTA. [6]

  • The American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes the use of aquatic therapy by OTs and OTAs as evidenced by aquatic therapy research in OT journals. [7]

  • Aquatic therapy is a hands-on skill that required post-graduation specialized training in the form of continuing education. [8]

  • ATU provides an Advanced Recognition credential after therapists have done 84 hours of hands-on training in aquatic therapy. The Aquaticist Credential is only available to OT/OTA/PT/PTA providers. [9]


1. ATU courses are routinely approved for OTs and OTAs by Occupational Therapy Boards. Request example.

2. This is just 1 sample of a dissertation recently performed by OT student while in OT school:

Aquatic Therapy for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Occupational Therapist Perspectives (

3. This is just one study. There are several:

Aquatic Therapy for Occupational Therapy Education and Practice (

4. This is just one article about a clinic where OTs do aquatic therapy. There are hundreds of similar articles on aquatic therapy being performed by OTs. Notice that the OT program mentioned in this article began doing aquatic therapy in 1987.

Aquatic Occupational Therapy - Rehab Management (

5 and 6. This is just one Local Coverage Determination by CMS showing aquatic therapy (97113) as a CPT code used by OT and PT. There are dozens more that also show aquatic therapy within the scope of practice of OT.

LCD - Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (PT, OT) (L35036) ( (Hold control-F and search for "aquatic therapy")

7. This is just a sample of recent publications in OT journals about OTs doing aquatic therapy:

Effectiveness of Aquatic OT for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder | The American Journal of Occupational Therapy | American Occupational Therapy Association ( | AOTA

Aquatic Therapy for an ALS Patient | The American Journal of Occupational Therapy | American Occupational Therapy Association ( | AOTA

Be a Lifesaver: The Effects of Aquatic-Based OT on Developing Water Safety and Social Skills in Children With Autism | The American Journal of Occupational Therapy | American Occupational Therapy Association (

Aquatics-Based OT to Address Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injury | AOTA

Aquatic Engagement: Promoting Participation in the Pool for Kids With Disabilities and Their Families | AOTA

8. Aquatic Therapy University provides post-graduate training that was the first aquatic therapy provider to obtain approval through the Federation of State Boards of PT.

Aquatic Therapy Courses - CE For Therapy

9. Aquatic Therapy University provides a method for OT and PT providers to be recognized after 84 hours of specialized training in aquatic therapy.

Credentialing | Aquatic Therapy University | ATU Aquatic Therapy Seminars (

Andrea Salzman, MS, PT

ATU Aquatic Therapy Seminars
ATU Educational Services, LLC
1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike #226
Oak Ridge TN 37830 USA


Aquatic Therapy University knew it was time to launch an OT-...
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