The popularity of Dolphin-assisted therapy in treating children with mental disabilities is growing in China, state-owned media outlet China Daily reports.
The therapy is currently being offered at Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park where over 80 parents of children with mental disabilities have signed up.
The report revealed that 15 sessions with a pair of bottle-nosed dolphins helped a 5-year old autistic boy become "aware" and "alert". New members wishing to enroll in the therapy will now have to wait until 2014.
The manager of Hangzhou Park, Liu Quansheng said that playing with the dolphins help the children to become relaxed and focused. "People with mental disabilities often have short attention spans. Swimming with dolphins helps them relax and focus. Dolphin therapy is effective because these animals hold the kids' attention better than even the most engaging human therapist", Liu said.