Our son Tadeus, born 25th June 1990, received a multiple vaccination at the age of six months, after which he started to have muscle spasms. BNS cramps (epilepsy) that resulted in a severe developmental deficiency in every field.
Today he is free of seizures. Tadeus receives several therapies. Because of this, his gross and fine motor skills as well as his passive language skills have developed excellently. There are still severe deficiencies in his active speech. He mainly speaks two-word sentences. About one and a half years ago, we read about dolphin assisted therapy in Florida in a magazine. At this time and from our point of view, the therapy in Florida wouldn’t have been reasonable for him because of the flight time, a stressful journey and possibly resulting cramps. So, we waited until spring 1996. We initiated contact with Dr. D. Nathanson/dolphin assisted therapy. In May 96 we saw Mrs. Kuhnert talking about dolphin assisted therapy on the show Schreinemakers. That way we got in touch with Mrs. Kuhnert and dolphin aid.
We decided to fly to Florida in autumn together. Five other families joined us. dolphin aid organised everything very well, from the airport in Düsseldorf to the hotel in Key Largo. This ranged from our own check-in desk to the supervision during therapy by volunteer remedial teachers travelling with us.
Our son wasn’t afraid around the dolphins. During the first week already, he reacted to the therapist’s instructions more quickly and was able to use language. Instructions were for example: “Look at me, show me (on a picture) the mouth, say: mouth.”
It crystallised that he can indeed speak many words. Meanwhile he can speak several-word sentences. Present during therapy are: a therapist with the child, a dolphin trainer, a recording secretary, someone filming with a camcorder and Dr. D. Nathanson walking from child to child. Volunteer students are also present. Four kids could receive therapy simultaneously.
We parents got to know each other on a friendly level. This harmony also had a positive effect on the children.
Would we do the therapy again? Yes, immediately, but not for two, but for three weeks. It’s wonderful that the parents are still in touch and hopefully will stay in touch. It’s of great value to us to talk about our experiences with each other.