What patients say
Family Rulens 25-05-2017
Dear Team CDTC,
Thank you all for the intensive but beautiful two weeks of therapy. We got a lot of useful tips from all the therapist and we enjoyed the happy twinkling eyes of Luna, she worked hard on her goals and enjoyed it to the fullest! Thank you'll again and hopefully we meet again soon. Loads of love from the Rulens family.
Dear Bonnie and Sami, it was again an amazing experience swimming with you. It was my biggest wish! I hope to see you both soon again, you two are my favorite animals! Love Suzanne.
Family Baumman 14-04-2017
We were here for the third time for the dolphin assisted therapy and again it was amazing. Louis had a great time with his therapists and the sibling’s program for his brother Lorenz was also super! Keep up the good work!
Karina Spoel 27-04-2016
Since years I have had the idea of swimming with dolphins. Yet due to a physical disability, which was acquired at birth, this wish was pushed to the background. However, my disability does not restrict me from taking actions. During an information evening about accessible traveling, I was first made aware of dolphin assisted therapy. I never knew that swimming with dolphins was possible as a form of therapy! Perhaps this was the way of fulfilling my wish? During the presentation, Fleur Deenen informed us extensively about the CDTC, the dolphins and the island Curaçao. I had already experienced physical therapy, aqua therapy and hippo therapy and was curious to discover which progression could be reached through dolphin assisted therapy.
Dolphin therapy mainly aims at helping children, but adults are more than welcome as well. I wasn’t sure if the CDTC could help me, a 37-year-old woman, but I decided to contact them anyhow. Together with my GP and physical therapist I filled out all the essential forms. I truly hoped that my medical history would allow me to obtain a therapy spot. It all worked out!
March 2016 I traveled to Curaçao, together with my parents, to follow the dolphin assisted therapy program. What truly surprised me was the enormous dedication and commitment of the entire team. Therapists, interns, dolphin trainers; everyone did his or her utmost to help me feel at home. On the first day I had an anamnesis talk with my assigned therapist to introduce myself and to discuss my medical history and my desired therapy goals. A tailor-made personal therapy schedule was set up based on my answers. Due to my physical disability I mainly experience tension and stiffness of my muscles and joints. Alongside of this I also have problems controlling my movements due to a vestibular issue. During therapy I learned to gain trust in myself and my body again and managed to relax more often. After half an hour of intensive exercises in the therapy room it was time to get ready for my hour of water time, this included putting on a wetsuit and swim belt. Instructed by my therapist, I drove in my electric wheelchair to the lagoon where my dolphin Chabelita and her trainer were waiting for me. After a necessary briefing I got to meet Chabelita. This went very smooth. She was sweet, playful, happy and very curious to her surroundings. It was a great pleasure to be able to work together with her ten days in a row.
Exercises which we did in the therapy room were repeated on a dock located in the lagoon. Step by step I started noticing small improvements which in turn had positive effects on my self-esteem. Swimming with Chabelita and being able to feel her presence while interacting with her, made me feel confident in all what was yet still to come. My hard work was rewarded daily by being allowed to swim, play games and do tricks together with Chabelita or swim relaxing rounds with her. Showering, drying myself off and getting dressed were also considered part of therapy. There the focus was put on improving my independence. By evaluating my therapy with my therapist, my training schedule could be changed and adapted daily. Every step was made in consultation with my therapist and was adapted according to my own wishes. Due to it being a therapy setting the words ‘patient’ and ‘therapist’ were used regularly, but I didn’t feel like a patient there at all. I felt very much at ease and had 10 days to work intensively on improving myself. Furthermore, the entire process took place in a private setting and under supervision of an expert, which gave my parents a good feeling as well. They could observe the therapy daily from a distance and got the chance to experience a dolphin swim themselves as well on the family swim weekend.
The sun, the warmth and the beautiful surrounding of course contributed to making my therapy experience a great success. All of it was documented by the photo video department. Thanks to them I now have great memories to look back on, both in images and in sound. Based on my own experience I can tell you that it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old; the CDTC is there for everyone!
CDTC in the Media
Lots of articles and TV publications have been spread in the media around the world over the years. They reflect on the experience of our patients and their families and the different we make in the lives of many.
Just a small selection of publications is listed on our webpage.