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ERIC Number: EJ1001059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0827-3383
Dolphin Encounter for Special Children (DESC) Program: Effectiveness of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism
MdYusof, Mohamad Shaifudin Bin; Chia, Noel Kok Hwee
International Journal of Special Education, v27 n3 p54-67 2012
Autism is a neuro-developmental syndrome of constitutional origin and whose cause could also be epigenetic, and its onset is usually around first three years of birth, with empathizing deficits that result in a triad of impairments in communication, social interaction, and imagination (or presence of stereotyped behaviors), but may, on the other hand, display or hide a strong systemizing drive that accounts for a distinct triad of strengths in good attention to detail, deep narrow interests, and islets of ability. In this study, 15 children (ten boys and five girls, aged between 9 and 10 years) with high-functioning autistic disorder underwent a 12-month Dolphin Encounter for Special Children (DESC) Program conducted by the Underwater World Singapore at the Dolphin Lagoon in Sentosa. Indo-pacific humpback dolphins were used in this dolphin-assisted therapy. A pre-/post-treatment design was used to determine if the 15 subjects showed significant improvement in the reduction of their autistic symptoms after they had completed the program. The results suggested that the subjects showed a significant reduction in stereotyped behaviors and a significant improvement in communication and social interaction. With a good effect size (d), their mean AQ remained within the average range for typical individuals with autism. (Contains 4 tables.)
International Journal of Special Education. 2889 Highbury Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 3T7, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A