What's in a name? Adapted aquatics - back to the future.Long ago and far away in another country called my youth, I taught swimming to handicapped children. We had a large, accessible pool, and students had swim lessons twice a week during the regular school day. In the room next to the pool, physical therapists, using either their own small swimming tank or a Hubbard Tank, did hydrotherapy hydrotherapy, use of water in the treatment of illness or injury. Although the medicinal and hygienic value of water was recognized by the early Greeks, hydrotherapy attained its widest use in the 18th and 19th cent. . If my students were very young or very small, or if their patients were older or larger, we sometimes switched rooms. We exchanged information on children we had in common. We gave each other ideas and suggestions for helping our children accomplish goals. As a teacher, I knew hydrotherapy was educational. Therapists I worked with viewed learning swim skills as therapeutic. But I remained an educator, and they remained therapists.
As with most days of youth, the exact vanishing point of the era is unknown. We wake up one day and realize youth has a past tense past tense
A verb tense used to express an action or a condition that occurred in or during the past. For example, in While she was sewing, he read aloud, was sewing and read are in the past tense.
Noun 1. , but we don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. quite when that happened. Now we were playing the naming game. You know the one - what is adapted aquatics? Swimming for the handicapped had ended in the mid-seventies. I can remember that time. Hydrotherapy seemed to have disappeared also, but not being a physical therapist I cannot pinpoint exactly when professional preparation programs in PT stopped including required work in hydrotherapy. Now we were debating inclusiveness of the new concept, adapted aquatics.
This was also a time of rapid professional growth in all fields of endeavor associated with children with disabilities. Grant money, professional programs, community outreach activities all flourished. The time was golden! Everyone wanted to do it all. This was particularly evident in local areas where some services were available to children, but not all services. Where gaps in service provision occurred, someone else picked up the slack 1. (operating system) slack - Internal fragmentation. Space allocated to a disk file but not actually used to store useful information.
2. (jargon) slack . Adapted aquatics was whatever anyone was doing in water with any individual with a disability.
In the pool, this meant swim instructors added exercise to their activity repertoire. Therapists started to include swim skills in their sessions. Everyone implemented perceptual per·cep·tu·al
Of, based on, or involving perception. motor activities and academic reinforcement reinforcement /re·in·force·ment/ (-in-fors´ment) in behavioral science, the presentation of a stimulus following a response that increases the frequency of subsequent responses, whether positive to desirable events, or . We had high expectations for our children and knew water was the perfect environment for success and accomplishment. With mandated public education for all children with disabilities, we had plenty of students and a vast horizon of opportunity. Adapted aquatics came of age.
But golden eras never last. Even Jack Benny could not stay 39 forever! We moved into a present of shrinking grant money and competition for virtual program existence. We now have to justify our efforts in comparison with other professionals. We are no longer protected by broad federal mandates and flowing money. Many professionals are prepared to provide services to individuals with disabilities. We must identify and justify who we are. But who are we? The name debate continues.
Well, I'm still an educator. Though I know much more about therapy in general and hydrotherapy in particular, I am not a therapist. The total sum of my education, my professional license, and my additional certifications tell me this. I know there are therapists out there in the professional world. I am glad their professional organizations are again interested in the aquatic medium and in furthering therapy in that medium. The commercial fitness industry has come into its own. We have another group of activity-oriented individuals comprising the fitness profession, some of whom are specializing in use of water. I shall refer to them as trainers. I am not a trainer.
It is long past time for our name debate to end Adapted aquatics is no longer an aquatic umbrella. Every aquatic professional does not have to be everything to each and every individual served. First and foremost, this be everything approach is no longer necessary. We have experts in each of the education, therapy, and fitness areas. Our students and clients deserve the best from each of the three, not a composite of all. For years, we have supported individualization individualization,
n the process of tailoring remedies or treatments to cure a set of symptoms in an indiv-idual instead of basing treatment on the common features of the disease. . Now we must practice what we preach preach
v. preached, preach·ing, preach·es
1. To proclaim or put forth in a sermon: preached the gospel.
2. . Individualization means people need different types of services at different points in their lives. It is only through recognition of three distinct areas of aquatic service to individuals with disabilities that we can make all types of services available at appropriate times.
We have better things to do than debate our names. Let us go back to our roots. Hydrotherapy worked well as a medical term. Licensed therapists are part of the medical team. They already have their tasks and their terminology. Adapted aquatics came out of the education profession. Teaching skills, whether swimming, canoeing canoeing, sport of propelling a canoe through water. John MacGregor, an English barrister and founder of the Royal Canoe Club (est. 1865), is generally credited with being the initiator of modern sport canoeing. , water skiing water skiing, sport of riding on skis along the water's surface while being towed by a motorboat. It probably originated on the French Riviera in the early 1920s, and was known in the United States by 1927. , sailing, or any other aquatic participation activity, becomes adapted when teachers change standards of performance and approaches to fit needs of individuals with disabilities. Water fitness professionals use a variety of terms to describe themselves. Hydrobics, water exercise, hydrofitness, aquafitness, all apply. Their background in exercise physiology exercise physiology
The study of the body's metabolic response to short-term and long-term physical activity. is specialized spe·cial·ize
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es
1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.
2. . They make a specialized contribution to the lives of people they train.
Yes, our activity boundaries overlap, as do the goals our participants set. Swim lessons will continue to be therapeutic and increase fitness; hydrotherapy will continue to be educational and increase fitness; water fitness will continue to be therapeutic and educational. We can recognize this and still keep the professional individuality individuality,
n collective characteristics or traits that distinguish one person or thing from all others. our different names imply. Ending the debate will allow us to get on with more important issues of information exchange and collaboration. It will also signify sig·ni·fy
v. sig·ni·fied, sig·ni·fy·ing, sig·ni·fies
1. To denote; mean.
2. To make known, as with a sign or word: signify one's intent. the mutual respect and recognition each of our individual specializations so richly deserve.
Susan Grosse teaches physical education in the Milwaukee Public School System, has served as an instructor/trainer in water safety and adapted aquatics for the American Red Cross American Red Cross: see Red Cross. , and presently serves oh the Aquatic Council, AAALF/AAHPERD.