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The controversy surrounding dolphin assisted therapy dat

Carole Ann MacDonald, M.

  1. The CDTC is well maintained and the dolphins appear pleasant, social and very intelligent. We know that keeping dolphins in captivity has serious welfare implications for these animals, including a shorter life expectancy than in the wild, and we are saddened that the growing DAT industry is causing more and more animals to be subjected to a life in captivity.
  2. It is our ambition to further demonstrate the benefits of dolphin assisted therapy in a scientific context and to underline the role of our method in a therapeutic concept for individuals with special needs.
  3. The therapists truly appear to care for and love the dolphins as well as the patients they treat. Anthrozoos, 1997; 10 2-3.
  4. It is postulated that through this reciprocal teaching, the bond is strengthened further between the dolphin and the human patient. Heike provided an excellent presentation and appears to be on the cutting edge regarding new and innovative therapies for special needs individuals — she is truly a woman ahead of her time.
  5. Anthrozoos, 2005; 18 4.

Carole Ann MacDonald was invited as one of the only known teachers in the world diagnosed with autism who educates autistic children. Stanley Bacso was invited as a chiropractic doctor from Canada focusing on the treatment of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is also currently completing his medical MD degree and is concentrating on this area of psychiatry as part of his studies.

Their plan includes developing a practice in Canada focusing on the needs of those diagnosed with autism; the autism community is greatly under-serviced in Canada. Brooke Magel was invited as an honored guest because she is their daughter and a photographer. It is located some 700 miles north of the equator and has a population of 151,000. Autism spectrum disorder ASD is a lifelong developmental disability defined by a diagnostic criteria that include deficits in social communication and social interaction as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities.

Overall, ASD prevalence estimates vary among sites from 5.

The controversy surrounding dolphin assisted therapy dat

The more popular, and sometimes controversial, forms of animal assisted therapy include canine, equine and dolphin therapy. This facility uses DAT to engage the minds of individuals diagnosed with autism. The CDTC is well maintained and the dolphins appear pleasant, social and very intelligent. The therapists truly appear to care for and love the dolphins as well as the patients they treat. Current government lobbyists and mainstream media have called for an increase in aid and funding of research to identifying effective treatments for autism and related disorders.

The exploration of new and innovative types of management for autism and ASD are being discussed and explored. Recent reports suggest that medical professionals in many countries around the world are writing prescriptions for animal therapy, making this at least a deductible expense for families burdened with the cost of dealing with such conditions.

She was initially trained as a speech and language pathologist, and mentors new therapists and student interns at the CDTC. She prides herself on following the latest research and trends in the area of disabilities and therapeutic interventions. Heike provided an excellent presentation and appears to be on the cutting edge regarding new and innovative therapies for special needs individuals — she is truly a woman ahead of her time.

The facility is ultra-modern in its design and roster includes a prominent group of caring and specially trained psychologists, physical, speech and occupational therapists — along with remarkable bottlenose dolphins that are specially trained for their program. The CDTC services some 400 patients and their families worldwide each year. They work with individuals three years of age and older with special needs including: Autism, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome, physically challenged the controversy surrounding dolphin assisted therapy dat well as other conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

They offer two-week rehabilitation programs in English, Dutch, German and Spanish, and boast their patients show significant improvements that had previously seemed impossible. We support ongoing research and regularly make our facilities available to researchers. It is our ambition to further demonstrate the benefits of dolphin assisted therapy in a scientific context and to underline the role of our method in a therapeutic concept for individuals with special needs.

With this database, CDTC fulfills the standards of data management for modern rehabilitation care. Information that is of interest to researchers can easily be obtained and evaluated. Another includes working to improve communication in children with developmental delays utilizing dolphin assisted therapy under the guidance of Z. The idea is that sensory stimulation is activated by being in the water; similar to the stimulation one feels when putting a hand in a basin of rice or sand.

Dolphin Assisted Therapy

As a result of the heightened sensory stimulation of the neurons in the brain by way of the potentiation of central integrating pathways, the individual becomes more engaged, activated and more focused — this is a fundamental process for new learning to occur.

While in the water the dolphins appear to use physical proximity toward the individual with autism. Physical proximity is a strategy used in teaching to achieve a desired result. When the patient demonstrated the desired trait or achieved the desired result, the dolphin rewarded the individual i.

Therapist in the water with male teenage patient from Germany. While swimming in the water, a bond is apparent between the dolphin and the autistic individual. The bond develops its own medium of communication that includes both verbal and non-verbal cues. This implores the question, are autistic individuals more efficaciously facilitated or engaged by some form of dolphin communication or interaction? This ability appears to be the key — as well as the controversy — surrounding the effectiveness of dolphin assisted therapy.

It is postulated that through this reciprocal teaching, the bond is strengthened further between the dolphin and the human patient. During the course of the session, the role reverses and the dolphin becomes the teacher and the autistic patient the student. During the therapy session, several questions arose such as: How does the autistic individual begin to so rapidly and almost instantaneously trust and establish rapport with the dolphin when this does not occur with other people?

How does this occur when the dolphin appears to be casually swimming beside the autistic patient without approaching, influencing or pressuring them to conform?

Destination: Dolphin Therapy

Is there subconscious or non-verbal communication that positively influences the outcome of this therapy? How and why does this appear to occur so effortlessly and naturally? While much controversy and debate exists regarding the scientific validity of DAT and its effectiveness with autism and ASD, critics claim that there is no scientific evidence to support the long-term efficacy or benefit of such therapy.

On the other hand, advocates claim extraordinary results with DAT and breakthroughs in outcome. The empirical evidence appears to be compelling and proponents maintain that many studies have reported positive results for individuals affected by autism and the like.

The experience at the facility and the interaction with the dolphins was an experience the controversy surrounding dolphin assisted therapy dat writers will never forget.

Their research seems quite promising. However, it was acknowledged by all that further study is required to fully assess the degree, extent and viability of this unique and innovative approach to augment the treatment of autism and similar conditions. With due diligence, an open-mind and the acknowledgement that some factors currently lie beyond total human understanding, the value of dolphin assisted therapy DAT such as that provided by the CDTC is considered a feasible endeavor.

Each individual diagnosed with autism responds differently to different therapies, which is why when you meet one person with autism you have truly only met one person with autism. Finding the right therapy for autistic patients is what is important.

The experience taught us dolphin therapy is something that needs further exploration, funding and research. Central Bureau of Statistics. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association; 2013. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014; 63 2. Generic terms and definitions. Handbook for animal -assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy Renton, WA: Delta Society; 1992, 48.

Retrieved March 23, 2014 from www.

The Efficacy and Utility of Dolphin Assisted Therapy in the Treatment of Autism

Antrozoos, 2007; 20 3: Impact of different groups of swimmers on dolphins in swim-with-the-dolphin programs in two settings. Anthrozoos, 2005; 18 4: Anthrozoos, 1998; 11 1: A Systematic Literature Review. Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2005; 43 7: Randomized controlled trial of animal facilitated therapy with dolphins in the treatment of depression. British Medical Journal, 2005; 331: Influence of dolphin-assisted therapy sessions on the functional state of children with psychoneurological symptoms of diseases.

Human Physiology, 1999; 25: Autism Research and Treatment, 2012; doi: Effectiveness of short-term dolphin-assisted therapy for children with severe disabilities. Anthrozoos, 1997; 10 2-3: Long-term effectiveness of dolphin-assisted therapy for children with severe disabilities.