We are pleased to announce our next live webinar entitled Dolphin Assisted Therapy, Autism, and Pseudoscience.

  • Wednesday November 17th at 7:00PM ET
  • Register for the webinar here.

Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT) is a type of dolphin swim program offered worldwide that is purported to be an effective treatment for autism and other conditions. These programs typically involve the participant touching, swimming with, or being towed around by captive dolphins while engaged in more traditional tasks. Parents of autistic children and others are charged thousands of dollars and led to believe that they are engaging in real therapy.  There is no oversight or accreditation for DAT.

Several peer-reviewed scientific papers have shown that DAT rests upon weak methodological grounds and there is currently no evidence that DAT has any long-term therapeutic impact. Yet, it continues to be marketed to desperate parents and people seeking relief for their problems.

In this webinar we describe the standard DAT protocol and discuss why it is a pseudoscience, i.e. a practice mistakenly considered scientific.  We also discuss the considerable risks to participants of injury and disease transmission associated with swimming with captive dolphins as well as the exploitive and abusive practices that force dolphins into DAT performances.  And we highlight some of the faulty assumptions that may follow when one pursues some experience touted as a “therapy” and offer some important questions to ask providers.

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