It was amazing; Danielle never used to show signs of anticipation of a trip or meeting someone new, but I had been telling her about our new adventure for a while and on the day we left to swim with the dolphins the excitement was all over her face.
The actual people at the dolphin discovery centre were great and so helpful. At the dolphin discovery centre you experience swimming with the dolphins in the wild, if you can swim you can go out on the boat and get in the water with the dolphins, as Danielle is unable to swim we just held her with us in the water and on some occasions a pod of 20 to 30 dolphins would swim around and under us, Danielle would be calm but smiling each time we went out and when we arrived back she would laugh and giggle. Other days if people cannot swim the beach is also a place where the dolphins come to visit and you can walk out to waist depth and they come in and swim around you. This was actually just as amazing! One day they came up and touched Danielle’s leg and then just stayed a while looking at her. Another day they came swam around us and the hovered in front of Danielle looking at her and you could actually feel the sonar pulses they send out, some say they do this to heal, but others don't believe in that.
We have seen many positive changes in Danielle. She has no speech but we heard her say her first word, at first were shocked, then we just cried and wanted her to say it again, and even though it didn't happen, it was still amazing! Although we would love to tell you what that word was, it was a swear word, and 'no' we do not regularly encourage the use of swear words with our children and would normally tell them so, well that all went out the window as you can imagine. When we did tell her 'that’s very clever, it's fantastic' we also said 'ooooh that’s a naughty word' and with that she fell about laughing! She knew it was naughty too! Danielle is also a child who could not stand with out us helping but soon she was standing holding onto a chair with us ready behind her, every day brang new and positive things.
When we finally came home the physio's and her teachers at school also noticed positive differences with Danielle’s progression and she just carried on achieving more goals. We are not saying she was never ill again or never had another set back because that would be untrue, but today we still have her with us and she is 14yrs old. She has come so far and she is still very happy, she continues to say an odd word when she wants to but never said that one again!
Together myself, Dan, Sally and Dave were so overwhelmed by ours and our family’s experiences and the positive affects that both Aaron and Danielle gained from swimming with dolphins that we also want to help other families to experience what we have.
Last entry for now
5 years ago