Written by family Muller
We would like to report about our experiences, impressions and the resulting success of our dolphin therapy. Our dream to have a dolphin therapy was finally fulfilled on 07.07.2007!
For years it had been our wish to engage our daughter Sarina, who has multiple disabilities, in a dolphin therapy. We had heard so many positive things about the effects a dolphin therapy can have and experienced it with other children, so naturally we wanted to enable Sarina to participate in such a wonderful experience and give her the chance of betterment with her handicap. With wonderful support, we finally got to fulfill this dream!
Unfortunately, Sarina fell onto her chin for the second time two days before our departure, which meant her freshly healed wound re-opened and had to be glued together again (new technique- replaces stitching). In addition to this misfortune, the wound became infected and we had to start our trip with Sarina on a high dosage of antibiosis. The strong medicines and the wound that had re- opened because of the infection, slowed Salina down during her first week. Despite this, the therapy was a great success and Sarina could participate in all therapy units.
The flight to Bodrum and the transfer to the Antalya Resort Delphinpark hotel went very well. Sarina enjoyed her first flight experience immensely and against all expectations, we enjoyed the trip. Looking back, we are very happy we booked our own flight with Swiss flying directly to Bodrum without having to transfer flights in Istanbul which was good for Sarina.
The Therapy Process
Considering Sarina’s health problems, Dr. Swetlana Verbik felt it was best not to have therapy the first two days. This gave us enough time to settle in. From the third to the 13th day we had a dolphin therapy daily and either a hippo therapy (horseback riding) and/or occupational therapy (working on fine motor skills), as well as a unique family therapy (conversation with a psychologist). Saturdays we had the day off and could do as we pleased. We used this time to relax and go swimming. The therapy days proved to be exhausting for both Sarina and us parents. The beautiful surroundings, the great food, the success from the therapy and the pleasure we felt being with the dolphins, made it all worth it though!
The Dolphin Contact
loved playing with Frosja, her therapy dolphin, and she worked hard and stayed concentrated with this lovable and fascinating marine mammal. During the therapy session, but also after, she felt relaxed which is a rare occurrence for her. We found her to be so calm and relaxed after each therapy hour with the dolphin that we hardly recognized our daughter. Sarina laid on her air mattress for 30 minutes without any actions (movements). We had never seen her like this before and it made us feel unbelievably at peace ourselves.
The Riding Lessons
The Hippo therapy was also very beneficial for Sarina. A ten minute drive away from the coast brought us to the Dörtnal Ranch led by a German doctor and a certified Turkish Riding- therapist. Salih, the hippo therapist is a very sensitive human who can motivate children and who puts everyone in a good mood. Sarina loved him and worked very well with him despite the heat. She did not want to miss a single riding lesson! Felis, the doctor and horse leader, checked Salina’s chin wound (for free!) and gave us a great ointment that healed the wound very quickly!
The first positive changes already became apparent during the therapy time. As mentioned earlier, Sarina became very calm. Her hyperactivity improved greatly and she can concentrate for much longer time periods now. She is more attentive and is aware of everything going on around her. We are also very happy that Sarina has become more patient with us. She can accept a “No” better now without going into a fit of rage. Her fine motor skills are also improving, but the best gift we received from the dolphins is the intense feeling of family bonding we experienced during and after the therapy.
Two months have already gone by since we were in the beautiful bay of Hisarönü with our daughter Sarina and got to experience our first dolphin therapy. We felt the two therapy weeks were very well organized, the team accompanied us greatly and if it is possible to have the family room ready for the arrival (with working air conditioning), and get a German-speaking therapist for the dolphin therapy units (and if we can save up the money for the cost of the therapy), we would like to come back!
These impressions and the positive changes have given us strength, courage and confidence for Sarina’s future. Sarina is doing very well; she has kept her positive behavior and has even improved it! Our family bond was renewed by Frosja the dolphin and we are hoping to see her again soon to thank this wonderful angel of the ocean!
See you soon!
Greetings from family Müller from Switzerland