Dolphins hope for faulty children
Mentally handicapped children from Germany have been coming to the southern Turkish resort of Antalya for dolphin therapy, which some doctors say can improve their ability to learn.
Mentally handicapped children from Germany have been coming to the southern Turkish resort of Antalya for dolphin therapy,which some doctors say can improve their ability to learn.
Dolphin therapy involves close contact between patients and dolphins, which some experts say relaxes the children and enables them to be more receptive to therapy and education.
Melanje Mauther, 9, and Tommi Bichler, 9, are two children from Munich and Stuttgart who came to the Dolphinland therapy center in Antalya.
Melanje was born mentally handicapped, while Tommi has suffered from mental disabilities including a learning disability following a car accident when he was five.
Their mothers, Dagmar Mauther and Mouike Bichler, believe the therapy, which involves swimming and playing with dolphins, is useful for their children, and reported improvement in their situation.
Tommi’s mother Mouike, explained the little boy was asocial and unable to learn basic life activities and knowledge.
After the first therapy session with dolphins, he showed a great improvement. He first said ‘I am,’ then he started to play with friends. He used to be aggressive and hyperactive. But I believe my son will get better after the therapy, she said.
Melanje’s mother Dagmar reported an improvement in her daughter's after she started the therapy; We tried several treatments for Melanje in Germany, but she started to learn with dolphins.
She first learned to ski, and then to ride a bicycle. I believe my daughter will recover with dolphin therapy, she stated.
The therapy is overseen by the Dean of the Antalya Psychological Sciences School, Dr. Murat Kemaloglu.
Kemaloglu also uses Turkish classical music in therapeutic sessions.
Dolphins improve mentally handicapped children’s skills in establishing relations and communicating with each other.
It also leads them learning four times faster than usual. Melanje and Tommi both gave positive reactions to the therapy, he stated.
Medical staff from other countries have also been coming to the center to study and learn dolphin therapy.
Ulrike Ruppert, a German physician coming from the city of Wunzburg, took part in the therapy of Melanje and Tommi.
"I realized the positive results of dolphins on children. In Germany, you have ergotheraphy, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy and logopedia. I will also learn dolphin therapy in Turkey," she said.
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