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Dolphin Assisted Therapy in Down Syndrome

Dolphin Assisted Therapy in Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes by extra full or partial chromosomes in 21 st pair. As a result, they have a different physical appearance, learning problems as well as intellectual disability from mild to moderate IQ range. Those people have an impairment on cognitive ability as well as difficulty with speech and language skills.

So to improve the cognitive development of children with Down Syndrome there will be an advanced therapy method known as Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), it is a form of animal-assisted intervention. These interventions support persons with disabilities. In DAT there will be an interaction of the child with a dolphin as well as a therapist and they form an intervention triangle in which the communication takes place with the help of dolphins, which motivates the child to give the right response upon the invitation of the therapist. Besides the dolphin, not only dolphin trainers but also therapists each have an important role in the transmission of information. The therapist provides safety, dedication and teaches the child how to interact on the dolphin, and the dolphin trainer should have the knowledge and experience to interact with and control dolphins. The trainer should know about the temperament and actual mood of the dolphin which is used for DAT through observation. This helps the child and therapist for the execution of the tasks.

A role for dolphins in the treatment of cognitive and social disturbances in children with special needs is useful. DAT uses the interaction with dolphins to assist professional therapists in improving the cognitive and social skills of children with disabilities. The intention of this type of therapy is to improve the attention and concentration of children. DAT is used to make physical, cognitive, and other behavior of the child as well as to encourage such good behavior. The attention, as well as concentration of the child, is improved and when good behavior is getting the child becomes motivated to repeat such behavior. Through this child will get more self confidence.DAT is the most cost-effective therapy and has good positive feedback. This DAT improves the social-emotional competence as well as Self-confidence in a person with disabilities. The main goals of DAT are to achieve a higher level of motivation for executing tasks by improving the concentration and attention span of children with Down Syndrome and improving their speech and language via therapeutic activities.  DAT would improve social and cognitive functioning like verbal behaviors and the execution of tasks and as a result, they would improve their self-esteem.

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