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The Last Dolphin Therapy Fundraiser for Atara Stolovitsky


Anyone that has ever done any research on dolphins has likely heard the tales of how dolphins were believed to carry drowning sailors from sunken ships and deliver the sailors safely to land. It is a part of the dolphin mythos that they are helpers of humankind. It turns out those myths may be based on some truth as far as dolphins being helpers.

Dolphin assisted therapy, under the umbrella of Large Animal Assisted Therapy, is a rehabilitation method which among other things enables children with special needs to find, together with the dolphin, a new direction towards success. Dolphin assisted therapy was developed by American psychologist Dr. David E. Nathanson.

“There is something about working with large animals like dolphins and horses that can help individuals with challenges. By virtue of the nature of working with large animals, it can bring about new possibilities by helping the individuals break barriers and bringing them out of their shell.” Says Erika Tencer whose daughter Atara Stolovitsky has Down Syndrome. “It can only do good things.”

At age 17, Atara barely speaks. She started to learn sign language when she was 2 years old at Miriam Home in Montreal, but would only sign back to someone if someone prompted her. It was not until she had been doing animal assisted therapy for a number of years that she signed, “Come dogs” (a command to the dogs that were supposed to follow her along a trail). This was her first direct act of communication to anyone and anything, which was not initially prompted by an educator or caregiver. Erika feels that if Atara had not been enrolled in animal assisted therapy, then Atara would be much less alert in mind and body than she is today. Erika has held a number of fundraisers to help raise the money needed to send Atara and a caregiver to Dolphin Assisted Therapy and the very last fundraiser she is holding will be on Monday September 30th 2013. They have almost reached their goal, and any excess money that is raised will be paid forward to the next family in line for Dolphin Assisted Therapy as administrated by Dolphin Aid Canada.

The Dolphin Assisted Therapy that Atara is being sent too with the raised funds is an intensive 2-week program at the Curacao Dolphin Therapy Center (CDTC) this coming November. The CDTC employs psychologists, physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as 4 bottlenose dolphins that will work with Atara in a unique therapeutic treatment program. Dolphin Aid Canada enables children with special needs to benefit from the therapy program at the CDTC and has provided some money for Atara’s therapy, however Erika must still raise the remaining funds herself.

This final fundraiser will be a special movie screening, complete with wine and hors-d’oeuvres served before the screening, followed by coffee and dessert after the screening. There will also be a raffle as well as various auction prizes including concert tickets, resort and spa passes, artwork and more. Tickets are $30 per person for this eventful night that starts at 7:00 PM held on Monday, September 30th 2013 at Summit School located at 1750 Deguire Sreet in St .Laurent H4L 1M7. To purchase tickets, please go to: https://dolphinaidtherapy.eventbrite.com and for further event information, you can email: jcovet@videotron.ca or etencer2@sympatico.ca, or dolphinaidtherapy@gmail.com

The movie being screened is the award-winning documentary film: Dolphin Boy. It is a documentary about a teenage boy named Morad who was cruel beaten by his classmates to the point where he was traumatized and reverted back to behaving like a 2 year old infant. His devoted father desperate not to commit his son to a life in a mental institution enrolled him in dolphin assisted therapy. In time, Morad started speaking again but has memory blocks about his life before his experiences with the dolphins. This documentary was filmed over the course of the past four years.

Frank Kermit, ND is Montreal’s #1 Dating-and-Relationship Coach and a NaturoTherapist covered under employee insurance plans under naturopath. He is a best selling author, keynote speaker, match-maker, conducts pre-marital coaching, relationship columnist for The West End Times Newspaper and also appears regularly on the Dr Laurie Betito radio program Passion on CJAD 800 AM. Come out and meet Frank in person at Frank’s Saturday night workshops, support groups and public appearances. Tel: 514-680-3278, email: frank@franktalks.com

dolphin assisted therapy
The award winning documentary: Dolphin Boy about a teenager who survived a violent attack and was helped to recover from the trauma using Dolphin Assisted Therapy
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