„The dolphin made my child laugh again.“
In 1978, the American neuropsychologist and behavioural scientist Dr. David E. Nathanson developed the “Dolphin Human Therapy” (DHT) in Florida. Nathanson’s young patients, who mostly were affected by Down syndrome, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), speech or memory disorders were learning four times as fast as usual with the help of dolphins. Obviously, the presence of the marine mammals increased their concentration and receptivity while helping them to relax. Nathanson could prove that just by spending time in the water with the dolphins, the children got a stronger immune system, strengthened their personalities and re-stimulated their long-lost skills. Since then, Nathanson and his specially trained team have helped many children around the world. Starting in 1994 with just a few hundred, nearly 10.000 children from 55 countries have benefited so far from Nathanson’s and his successors’ dolphin assisted therapy.
During dolphin assisted therapy, children and adults work with their therapist and the dolphins on a swimming dock. Later on, the patients will join the dolphin in the water and have direct contact with the animal. In this encounter, the dolphin recognises the peculiarity of the patients and approach them in a gentle and playful manner. That way, children and adults quickly lose their fear of the marine mammals. They develop new self-confidence and are able to process the stimuli of the outside world better. For best treatment results, the dolphin assisted therapy should last for two weeks.
The exact process of each therapy depends both on the respective centre and on the patient’s clinical picture. We are happy to explain the process and the differences in a personal conversation. Just give us a call.
Our parents‘ association is at your disposal as well. Since it consists of affected parents, they can provide you with helpful, first-hand information.