Dolphin Therapy: Therapy in an Extraordinary Way

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Dolphin assisted therapy, under supervision of specialized therapists, is a therapy form through which both traditional and new, inventive therapy-methods are combined with the interaction with a dolphin. This type of therapy is used to stimulate correct mental, corporal and/or emotional response from children with special needs.

Curacao is a tropical island in the Caribbean that is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Unknown about the island is the fact that it has a special therapy to offer to children with special needs; dolphin therapy. The Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) welcomes children with different types of mental disorders to help them develop and push back their bounds.

Dolphin assisted therapy, under supervision of specialized therapists, is a therapy form through which both traditional and new, inventive therapy-methods are combined with the interaction with a dolphin. This type of therapy is used to stimulate correct mental, corporal and/or emotional response from children with special needs. A fitting program is constructed for each individual child before starting the actual therapy.

Extensive research has shown that specially trained dolphins are able to realize a child’s deficiency and help a child re-establish the contact to its surroundings. Furthermore the fact that therapy is largely conducted in warm fresh seawater, resulting in a certain amount off weightlessness, makes it easier for children with physical disabilities to perform specific physical exercises.

Since the start in April 2004, CDTC has successfully helped 120 children. Most of these children came from Germany (CDTC cooperates with the German organization Dolphin Aid); more Dutch children are expected to participate in the therapy in the near future. Child neurologist Irina Snoeck and Dolphin Academy director Laetitia Lindgren started the Dutch link to the Curacao dolphin therapy; DOC Dolphin. DOC Dolphin offers both information and mediation for the therapy on Curacao, it also provides for the medical intake in The Hague of the Dutch children that are going to visit CDTC for a therapy program. In the future, DOC Dolphin will also take care of the therapy follow-up in the Netherlands, in corporation with all involved people the surroundings of the child, for example parents, teachers and medics.

A documentary about the Dolphin Therapy will be broadcasted this Tuesday at 19:55 on Dutch television (AVRO). This program is made by the Dutch Stichting Sam (The Sam Foundation), an organization that offers Dolphin Therapy to children with Down Syndrome or an autistic spectrum disorder. The foundation works for the most part in the Netherlands and occasionally comes with a group of children to Curacao. Although Stichting Sam only offers dolphin therapy to a specific group of handicapped children, this foundation has helped numerous children during the last number of years. CDTC now offers therapy in addition to Stichting Sam, available for children with different types of handicaps. Tuesday’s documentary presents beautiful shots of this fantastic type of improving the life quality of children with special needs.

For more information:

CDTC        http://www.cdtc.an
DOC Dolphin    http://www.docdolphin.nl
Stichting Sam    http://www.stichtingsam.nl

Contact:

Hilde G. Gerlofs

Email: hilde@dolphin-academy.com

Phone: 599-9-4658900 ext.5104

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Hilde G. Gerlofs
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