Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level



Human Development, Family Sciences and Rural Sociology


Terrell, Amanda

Committee Member/Reader

Timby, Donia

Committee Member/Second Reader

Hubert, Stephanie

Committee Member/Third Reader

Whitehead, Isabel


The proposed study aims to identify the benefits of aquatic OT by examining the progress a child with ASD makes in motor skills, social, emotional, and physical development as well as evaluate the therapist’s ability to provide therapy, compared to therapy provided on land. It is hypothesized that providing occupational therapy in an aquatic environment for children with autism will have equal to or greater benefits as occupational therapy provided on land. Twenty-one participants were recruited from occupational therapy clinics and programs around the United States to take a survey asking questions to learn more about specific changes observed in children with autism who are participating in aquatic therapy. This study displayed that there are advantages and benefits to aquatic occupational therapy due to therapists agreeing) that 15 out of 26 skills measured increased after aquatic occupational therapy and that there were limited published resources on aquatic occupational therapy for therapists to use to guide their practice.


aquatic occupational therapy, autism spectrum disorder, water-based therapy