Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)

What is Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)?

Audio-Visual Entrainment Light and Sound Brain Machine now helping those with autism spectrum disorders

Can brain functioning be improved with flashing lights and pulsing tones? Many seem to think so reports David Siever, CEO of Mind Alive and the inventor and developer of a unique patented audio-visual device called the DAVID machine, which stands for Digital Audio Visual Integration Device. The actual creation of this machine in 1984 was driven by the needs of others at first to reduce stage fright, stress and anxiety and later to help people cope with their Attention Deficit problems such as concentration.

For many years it has been known that sound therapy utilizing strictly sound training, which de-sensitizes the person with sensory issues, has been helpful for many on the autism spectrum. By stimulating the auditory system, and through it, by stimulating the brain, methods such as the Tomatis Method has been able to reduce the autistic symptoms to varying degrees.

Each autistic person is different and may respond differently to this program. In some cases results are seen within a few weeks, There are still good days and bad days but the trend is often upward, especially when you look back over a period of a few months. In many cases improvement has been noted in the following areas, decreased hypersensitivity to sound, reduced tactile defensiveness, improved language skills, improved appreciation for food and less picky in food preferences, better self image, improved social skills, better eye contact and less aggressive behaviors

Audio-Visual Entrainment Combining a method similar to this auditory training technique with the visual aspect of flashing lights also seems to have a very strong impact on the minds of those with autism spectrum disorders. The light and sound device consists of a set of earphones and eye goggles. What makes this piece of equipment work is a series of timed flashing white lights, coupled with intermittent pulsing tones that graduate in intensity so as not to overwhelm the listener.

The actual process that take place is called brainwave entrainment, which is exactly as the name implies that is, training brain waves to fall into an specific pre-determined brainwave pattern such as the alpha state. This is much like what happens during a similar process called biofeedback, which helps the patient concentrate to relax their minds. The results are even verified by tracking brain wave patterns through a clinically administered EEG. The same or even better results are achieved even though a different process is utilized. The mix of the two sensory tools gently bring the mind to a relaxed calm alpha state which is the state that is achieved through years and years of training in the process of meditation all in a single session. No wonder it has such a wonderful effect on people.

When my son Jonathan was first diagnosed with autism, I was so frustrated with him that I actually went "outside the box" of traditional thinking and decided to give this unit a try. We were desperately looking for something other than the typical route prescribed by doctors of medicating our young child. This was way back in 1994, which were most likely, a therapy ten years ahead of its time. With the help of the staff of Mind Alive we managed to get Jonny, then 3 ½ years old to try the DAVID. Placing the earphones and eye goggles on his little head was no easy task. In spite of this fact, we persevered. Later we discovered doing this once he was sleeping was far more effective and less intrusive.

We saw such great results at first that we decided to run our own little "mini study" on him. For a period of six weeks we slipped into his bedroom after he had fallen to sleep and slipped the gear on his little head three times a week. The changes were quite evident in the areas of improved behavior, increased eye contact and more appropriate interaction to mention a few observations. His doctor even commented:

"Jonathan has been using a sound and light machine which his mother and the program perceive to have been of benefit to him. Although there is no formal information available to support this observation, there is certainly some informal information suggesting that this might in fact be a useful therapy" It is certainly worthy of further exploration and I will be in contact with the people using the machine for further information about it"

Pioneering new ideas are what I tend to gravitate to though carving out new things is no easy task. We were so impressed with the technology I decided to open a clinic to help others called "The Wellness Center". Due to the sensory nature of the equipment the biggest challenge was getting the children to have the gear so close to their faces though this obstacle has since been overcome by using external light and sound tools. As long as we were able to get the gear on the other children with autism the results were typically good. . I then became pregnant with my fifth child and after two years of operation closed the clinic.

The easiest alternative to the actual clinic is the portable device carried by Mind Alive.

The original David PAL is $240.00 USD and can be purchased here

The all new DAVID PAL 36 is $295.00
click here to purchase

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