Why a dolphin therapy?

The dolphin therapy gives hope to parents that their children can live a more autonomous life. With the help and power of dolphins, it has been demonstrated that children are able to learn faster and with a high intensity. It´s like seeing them „waking up“ which prepares them for other treatments that would have been impossible before.

ForLea aims to raise enough money so that Lea & her family can try the therapy for the first time at the CDTC in Curacao.

We are cooperating with Dolphin Aid, an experienced and specialized organization that seeks to help people in need get access to the often life changing therapy involving the healing power of dolphins! To learn more about this great organization please visit their website.

 

Why dolphins? Smart and social animals

Dolphins are a central part of the therapy and essential for its success.

Dolphins

  • have a social nature
  • are curious & intelligent
  • show a strong willingness to learn

This is what makes dolphins the perfect partner for the therapy. The dolphin unconditionally accepts people with special needs. Some patients realize that the dolphin is not able to speak or walk - just as the patients themselves! That is what lifts the patients´spirit and increases their willingness to work harder.

 

Is it effective?

In 2003, a European and independent scientific study proved the medical effectiveness of the dolphin therapy.

However, there is no guarantee that it will definitely help every time it is applied. The therapy with dolphins cannot cure a disease, but positively support the course of a neurological disorder like Rett Syndrome.

  • CDTC offers a personalized two-week program in which interaction with dolphins plays an essential role. It is designed for the treatment of patients of 3 years and older with special needs like the Rett Syndrome.
  • What it achieves: a positive difference

The success rate is high. Our patients show significant progress in:

  • fine and gross motor skills
  • speech and language
  • cognitive development
  • social and functional life skills
  • What this can mean is physical development, better communication, more self-confidence, and more relaxation. A huge difference in the lives of patients and their families. 

 

How it works: the dolphin as a powerful motivator

Dolphins are important supporters, and the interaction with the animals is also recognized as reward by the patient.

Example: a therapist asks a child with motor difficulties to lift its arm up. As soon as it does, the dolphin reacts, and so can motivate the child to repeat the exercise. That way the child quickly and easily gains control of a new situation and builds self-confidence.

 

How the sessions are structured

Each session has a total duration of two hours, divided into four parts:

  • A half hour conventional therapy in a special therapy room.
  • One hour of actual dolphin assisted therapy on the platform and in the water.
  • A half hour of training of daily living skills such as showering, changing, organizing
  • Session evaluation

During the preparation, the patient does exercises designed to work towards the agreed goals.

On the dock and in the water, a dolphin trainer and dolphin join the team. The exercises are extended and intensified in the sense of a functional carryover and centered on interaction with the dolphin. Parents and caretakers are watching from a distance.

During the last half hour of therapy the patient is training daily living skills 
and will take a shower, after which the session is evaluated with the patient, 
family and caretakers.

 

Why do we need 14,000€?

Below we included a sample calculation for the 2-week program at the Curacao Dolphin Therapy Center. The total amount that is approximately needed sums up to almost €12,800, excluding meals & drinks and everything else not listed. For that reason we added another €1,000 in our targeted amount.

 

Costs 2 Adults, 2 Children
Flight 3.300 €
Accomodation (meals excluded)
e. g. Dolphin Suites Curacao ($180/Night + tax)
2.451 €
Therapy
2-week program in Curacao
6.900 €
Dolphin Aid
Fees & administration costs
230 €
Total for 2-weeks in Curacao excluding meals & drinks 12.881 €

 

*based on an exchange rate of1,10$/€, prices for flight and accommodation subject to seasonality