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doing in the field. OSU students are required to write notes about what they see. Patients are assigned to the same OSU student throughout the semester. OSU students are creative in working with students. Abby Dankert, a therapeutic recreation major from Broken Arrow, Okla., was able to get one of her student clients to talk. “[One client] doesn’t like to speak. We invented a game where we put [adhesive] circles on the walls [of the pool] with words on them. I have her read them. She talked to me for 30 minutes,” Dankert says.

Rona Tracy’s daughter Willa began participating in warmwater therapy when she was 18 months old. Today, Willa is 5 years old, and Rona marvels at the progress she has made and how it affects her daily life. “My daughter has Down syndrome and very low muscle tone. She wasn’t walking when we started [therapy]. It gave her a way to be mobile and increase muscle tone [helping her toward walking],” Tracy says. “It’s a great way for her to exercise and she doesn’t even know she’s doing it. She loves getting in the water and the attention from the [OSU] students.” Many of the young children are able to participate in the program for four years and the progress over time is remarkable, Passmore says. “We had a young man who had a brain injury at birth. He started

[the lab] when he was about 18 months old. He was not walking or pulling up; he was doing a little bit of scooting,” she says. “Through the semester, we saw progress. He worked on pulling up. We worked on kicking and having him stand up on the steps. When you put somebody in the water, that simulates walking. Just the very first semester we had him in the lab, he started pulling up at school and started trying to walk. Now he walks by himself, and he’s learning to swim on his own.” Dankert is excited to be part of the lab and the therapeutic recreation degree program. “We’re really working with social and cognitive things. We really change the quality of life,” Dankert says. “It’s just a great opportunity and it’s awesome seeing the changes in our clients.” CH R I S T Y L A N G

Check out the video on OState TV:

PHIL SHOCKLEY / university marketing

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U n i v e r s i t y

4880 education magazine[1]  
4880 education magazine[1]  

Official magazine of the College of Education at Oklahoma State University