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  Dolphin Therapy

Dolfinpictures 2010     Dolfinvideo 2010

Dolfinpictures 2014

Hello my dear friends,

It may have taken a little longer than expected, but here's a short statement about my dolphin therapy, which I was able to benefit from for two weeks in May 2014.
We flew with KLM via AMS and were very satisfied.

It was a wonderful time, and just like the first time I had the honor of spending my therapy sessions with the dolphin Papito. The session was always from 1pm to 3pm this time around.

I once again immediately got on well with Papito.

I have some nice progress to report, including:

- I have become more patient
- I can use yes/no cards
- I am showing improved speech understanding
- I was calmer in the wheelchair
- My muscle tone has decreased

I also participated in the biofeedback therapy and worked a lot with my right arm.

This is remarkable progress considering the relatively short time involved. I felt great, and maybe I’ll get another chance to go see Papito again someday.

My parents and I would like to sincerely thank all of you for your wonderful support!

As always you can find beautiful pictures/videos on my website, with my therapist Sebastian and of course with PAPITO.

Love you all,
Your Fabio

Hooray! Fabio went to see the dolphins!

We got back home safe and sound from the Dolphin Therapy Center in Curaçao on May 19th, 2010. It was faaaaabulous. Fabio made a little progress and it was very interesting, informative and motivational for us!

We'd like to report to you on what we and Fabio experienced there.

Things looked bad for takeoff on account of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. But our luck held and we flew off to Curaçao on April 20th. The flights there and back were stressful, but we came through OK.

Our apartment was in Santa Barbara, which is about 15 minutes by car from the therapy center.
The Mango Apartment was just fabulous, with a pool, everything very clean and fantastic owners.
We'd recommend it - if you're interested it's on

It was always around 30 degrees and there was always a breeze blowing on Curaçao, which kept it pleasantly warm. The water was 26-28 degrees, and when you see the wonderful beaches, you get a real Caribbean feeling - faaabuolous..., though inland there's also a lot of poverty.

The therapy was really well organized throughout and the therapists and staff were very nice. We felt like we were one big family.
Fabio's therapy always ran from 10.30 till 12.30, which was a great time. Fabio could have a good sleep, have his breakfast in peace and then off to therapy.

We handed Fabio over to his therapist Matthias and trainee Anne-Lena at 10.30.
The team always had a dolphin trainer as well. Ours was Sonja. She looked after Papito and gave him his instructions.
From day one, Fabio had a new friend called Papito. His therapy dolphin is 6 years old, exactly the same age as Fabio.

From 10.30 to 11.00 was always preparation time in the therapy room: physiotherapy, speech therapy, play therapy, ergotherapy and getting changed, all with a lot of fun. From 11.00 till 12.00 it was off to the dock and straight into the water to Papito. From then on, we could watch from a bench a little distance away. I can only say that the first day of therapy was very poignant for us. We had already read a lot about it in newspapers and on the Internet, but when we were able to watch for ourselves how Fabio could go to Papito, how much fun he had and how much he enjoyed it ... you get major goose-bumps and it feels like a dream ... it was indescribably beauuutiful!!!!

Fabio then had to decide at the dock, for example whether he wanted to play with Papito with a ring or a ball - he did this using picture cards which he pointed to. Most often, he decided on the ring. After HE had decided, it was into the water and play began. He threw the ring away - Papito fetched it and brought it to Fabio - Fabio took it etc. ... After play, they swam to the dock.

Therapy times at the dock always involved work and performing tasks, and then came the reward - into the water to Papito. As the saying goes - first work, then pleasure. ;-)

Discussion with the therapists about each therapy session was also interesting of course. They called it Powering Down Time (that's the time between 12.00 and 12.30, when Fabio had a shower and was changed by Anna-Lena).
We saw progress from day to day.
Fabio pointed more and more clearly on the cards to what he wanted to play with next.

We are very, very fortunate and thank so many friendly and helpful people for enabling Fabio to have this therapy. It was an indescribably beautiful experience for us!!!

We have come away with quite a lot of info, e.g. we ask Fabio what he would like to eat in the morning and hold the Ferdi Fuchs sausage and cheese he's so fond of at a distance from him. He decides by pointing and then he gets it. These are really simple things, but you really need to be shown them or told about them. The therapists interacted so wonderfully with the children, they simply had confidence in them ... it was brilliant, and very instructive for us!

After the third day, Fabio started saying "Bleh" for his drink. We had never heard this before and he often called for his mommy with a loud "ma", then a pause and another "ma". It was simply beautiful and of course, being mommy, I enjoyed it very much. He has become more attentive and more persistent. These are all little steps forward, but for us of course they are very big ones and we're hugely pleased with them!!!

The bio-feedback therapy we got to experience with Fabio bowled us over!
Matthias, Fabio's therapist, carried out this examination and determined that the nerve pathways from his head to his feet are OK!!!!
That could mean that Fabio might be able to learn to stand again, if not actually to walk!
There's still a long road to go till that happens, but using a standing frame we'll do training so he gets strength back in his legs. As Marco, the head therapist, said to us, "Practice, practice, practice like we want to win the Championship Gold".

The next step has already been taken and on July 6th we are taking Fabio to Cologne Hospital's "Getting Going" project for an initial examination.

We have come back from Curaçao very motivated and we'll do absolutely everything possible for Fabio!

Fabio enjoyed the therapy very much and we would love to fly to Curaçao once again as soon as possible.

Please keep supporting us.

Many thanks and fondest regards to EVERYONE from Fabio