NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ795353
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step
Wermer, Maaike
Exceptional Parent, v38 n5 p70-72 May 2008
More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many children. With the help of these special and very social animals, it is easier to make contact with the children. It motivates children to learn new things in a playful way. At CDTC, a team of professional therapists, in shorts and T-shirts, treat the children according to the principles of behavioral therapy and operant conditioning, which involves rewarding positive/wanted behavior. The children participate in a two-week program, with two hours of therapy each day. After hard work with their personal speech therapist, physical therapist, or psychologist, they enjoy swimming with their dolphin in the Caribbean seawater. The children discover that the prior exercises they participated in during speech therapy or the coordination skills they worked on in physical therapy suddenly have meaning, because they improved their ability to play and interact with the dolphins. The fun and relaxation that swimming with the dolphins offers them motivates the child to work towards the next step. The results are stunning, and parents are very enthusiastic about the program. This article is the fourth of a 12-part series which explores the benefits of aquatics therapy and recreation for people with special needs.
EP Global Communications Inc. 551 Main Street, Johnstown, PA 15901. Tel: 877-372-7368; Fax: 814-361-3861; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A