Article by newspaper The Press and Journal Limited, 22.11.2010, author: STEPHEN CHRISTIE
THE parents of a severely disabled north-east boy have launched an appeal to send the youngster for pioneering dolphin therapy in Turkey.
Six-year-old Ethan Scott, from Fraserburgh, has autism, epilepsy and suffers from extreme behavioural problems and was once described by nursery teachers as the most complex child they had ever taught.
His parents, Victoria and Robert, are now hoping to raise the £4,300 needed for the dolphin programme in Marmaris, in the south-west of the country.
The course is run by marine biological psychologists and Mr and Mrs Scott hope it could make even the smallest difference to Ethan’s condition.
“If there’s even the slightest glimmer of hope we’re going to pursue it,” his mother said.
Mrs Scott, 26, added: “It was my mum who learned about the course during a holiday to Turkey.
“This time it will be far from a family holiday and we really hope it will make a difference.”
The £4,300 the family hope to raise would be enough to fund the two-week course. Mr and Mrs Scott would still have to pay for travel costs and accommodation.
“We really think this could be a major step in improving Ethan’s quality of life,” added Mrs Scott.
“All I want is to help him find some inner peace and be happy with himself.”
A spokeswoman for Onmega, the group that runs the programme, said she believes stress, fear and tension are “lessened” through contact with a dolphin.
She added: “Experienced doctors and therapists progress carefully with a made-to-measure programme for the patient without creating too much strain or stress for the child.
“Children can suddenly laugh or move freely – they can even speak their first words.”
The Scotts, who live in Charlotte Street, fought a bitter battle to get Ethan out of state-funded education and into a private special needs school.
After a year in talks with council officials, education chiefs agreed to support the move and fund Ethan’s lessons at the specialist Linn Moor School at Culter, Aberdeen.
He started at the residential establishment last year.
In an effort to raise money for the dolphin therapy, Mr and Mrs Scott have organised a coffee morning for Saturday, December 11 at St Andrews Hall, Mid Street, Fraserburgh, from 10am-11.30am.