Down syndrome is a disability caused by a genetic alteration known medically as trisomy 21. A person's cells typically contain 23 pairs of chromosomes; this anomaly occurs when an extra chromosome, or a fragment of the same, is present in pair 21. This causes effects in the course of the development of the person, which is reflected in physical and cognitive characteristics.
According to the United Nations Organization, the incidence of Down syndrome in the world is of 1 out of every 1,000 or 1,100 newborn. At present, there are technological medical 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 system, jobs and other social and recreational activities.
Since the year 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization designated March 21 of each year as the World Down Syndrome Day, referring to the tripling (3rd. month) of chromosome 21 (day 21). The purpose of this commemoration is to raise public awareness of the syndrome, the autonomy and independence of people with this disability, and to promote their integration into the society and the community.
Children with Down syndrome visit our dolphin interaction habitats in the Delphinus Assisted Therapy Program. The participation of children in the program is planned by their therapist from his/her office, so that each session has a purpose and aspect to evaluate:
- improvement of physical condition
- discipline, among others.
In the water, the activities are purely educational with the participation of: the beneficiary, the therapist, one 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.