Building connections and achieving goals through recreation therapy and aquatic therapy       

We complete the Comprehensive Evaluation in Recreational Therapy-physical (or CERT) on the first day of class for new participants in group programs and in the pool for aquatics clients.

This standardized recreation therapy assessment looks at several areas:

1) gross motor function, 2) fine movement, 3) locomotion, 4) motor skills, 5) sensory, 6) cognition, 7) communication, and 8) behavior.

Assessment Process

Our staff document progress after each session both in group and aquatics programs. This data is reviewed monthly to monitor trends and track progress. When a goal is completed independently in four consecutive sessions, it is considered mastered and the client is moved on to a new goal.

In group programs, new clients will participate in the group activities and recreational therapists will score the evaluation and set individual goals after the first session. The assessment is to evaluate current motor and social functioning to ensure we are setting appropriate goals and plan programming to target the individual goals of each participant.  Typically, we set two motor goals and two social goals for each child in the group.

For the aquatics program, the therapist will complete a variety of activities with the new client during the initial assessment. The majority of which will be done in the pool, though the client will be observed on the pool deck and may be asked to complete a few motor skills on the side before entering the water. The therapist will also assess the water safety and swimming skills of the new client. At times, these swimming skills may continue to be assessed through the second session. The therapist will score and document the details of the assessment after the session and develop individual goals based on the observed functional levels and motor skill.

The individual’s assessment score determines whether a client is placed in the aquatic therapy or adaptive aquatics program. While an aquatic therapy client, therapists will re-assess the client on an annual basis to monitor improvement and help ensure progression in skills.