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March 21, 2018

World Down Syndrome Day

Children with Down syndrome constantly visit our dolphin interaction habitats in the Dolphin Assisted Therapy Program, in which didactic materials with different shapes and colors are used, plus activities with dolphins.

A person's cells typically contain 23 pairs of chromosomes; Down Syndrome occurs when an extra chromosome, or a fragment of it, appears in the number 21. This causes side effects in the development of the person from an embryo, to their physical and cognitive characteristics.

According to data from the United Nations (UN), the incidence of Down syndrome in the world is 1 in 1,000 - 1,100 newborns. Currently there are medical, technological and prevention advances that can improve the health and quality of life of people with this disability. This is also reflected in their integration into schools, health systems, jobs and other social and recreational activities. 

Since 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization designated March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day, making a refrerence to the triplication (month 3) of chromosome 21 (day 21). The purpose of this commemoration is to increase public awareness of the syndrome, the autonomy and independence of people with this disability, and to encourage their integration into society and the community.

Children with Down syndrome visit our dolphin interaction habitats in the Delphinus Assisted Therapy Program, which is done in cooperation with a specialist organization. Children's participation in the program is planned by their therapist beforehand, so that each session has a purpose and an aspect to evaluate:

  • socialization,
  • improvement of physical condition,
  • coordination,
  • discipline, among others.

In the water, the activities are purely educational and involve the child, the therapist, a dolphin and an animal care specialist. Materials with different shapes and colors are used during the session, and the dolphins complement each activity proposed by the therapist with an action.

At Delphinus we support the full social, economic and political inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.