Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dolphin Therapy For Autistic Children

Dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. Researchers found out that they can help people who suffer from neurological disorders, especially autistic children. Dolphin therapy is claimed to increase speech and motor skills of children with autism, however, it's still a controversial topic.

Dolphins are popular in human culture because of their friendly appearance and loveable attitude, in Greek myths, dolphins are helpers of the Minoans, messengers of Poseidon. Recently, Dr. Ken Marten at Sea Life Park in Hawaii demonstrated that dolphins can recognize themselves in mirrors, and, they are also sentient, fully conscious, with complex language of their own. Nowadays, Dolphins are among the most popular choices of animal-assisted therapy for children with autism, Down's syndrome, depression and other developmental disabilities and psychological problems. In dolphin assisted therapy (DAT) programs, kids on the Autism Spectrum could swim with dolphins in natatorium, and having lessons on land. Commonly, kids are delighted to pet and play with dolphins, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that the dolphin therapy is effective.

"It provides me with hope, more than anything," said Omar Ramos, whose son, John-Ross, has autism. "I want my child to be able to experience a lot of different things, and so it gives me a lot of hope, especially when I see him being able to do stuff in the water or with the dolphin, even with a computer."

Many children would enjoy playful interaction with a dolphin, however, dolphin therapy can not "cure" autism as other therapies. But, it can make kids happy, so it's still worth a try.

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