Dolphin Assisted Therapy

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        Dolphin Assisted Therapy(DAT) is a program specialized in 
helping special needs children and adults. The goal in DAT is to focus 
on improving speech and language, fine or gross motor skills, self care 
skills, social interaction, behavior, eye contact and confidence. A lot 
of non-profit foundations such as Make-A-Wish, Starlight, Dream Makers, 
Children's Wish of Canada and support organizations in specific countries 
refer people to Dolphin Assisted Therapy Organizations. 

        Theory and research has shown that DAT is successful because 
the children and adults have increased their attention because of a 
meaningful reward. Increased attention is critical for improvement in all 
areas. A behavior modification procedure (interaction with dolphins) is 
used to reward the person for correct cognitive, physical, or affective 
response. The general purpose of the program is motivational, although 
specific objectives for each person may include behaviors related to speech, 
language, gross or fine motor development, ect. Ideally, the program "jump 
starts" the child or adult and complements and reinforces therapies or other 
procedures used in more traditional helping approaches. The objective of DAT 
is to increase attention and to increase confidence so that the child/adult 
will benefit even more from the help of other professionals. DAT helps 
participants improve rapidly. DAT does not cure or prevent injury, illness, 
or disability.

Barb From Dolphin Human Therapy
        Ph.D. David E. Nathanson (Dr.Dave),  
former graduate of the University of Minnesota 
and the President of Dolphin Human Therapy 
located in Miami Florida had this to say "We 
want to help children with disabilities reach 
their full potential. That means we need to 
recognize they have a right to participate in 
everything available to all people. That's the 
optimistic part. The realistic part is that    
and talking. Then, each child must develop the confidence that he/she can 
continue to improve. Those skills, and that confidence, are developed through 
hard work and direction provided by dedicated experienced rehabilitation 
professionals, motivated parents…and sometimes unusual helpers like dolphins."

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