UK autism expert and neuroscientist, Dr Lorene Amet has conducted a pilot evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the Alpha-Stim Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) device on children with autism. Her findings and experiences of this newly emerging therapy will be both surprising and reassuring for many parents...
The Alpha-Stim is a small medical device that children can use safely, that transmits an imperceptible and controllable microcurrent across the brain via ear clips. It was invented by neuroscientist, Dr Daniel Kirsch in the US and has become very popular in America to treat a wide range of psychological conditions. It also has a wealth of clinical evidence to back up its efficacy. And now practitioners in the UK are starting to realise the potential of this machine, including autism expert, Dr Lorene Amet.
Dr Amet relays how this unique CES device has helped, “This is a small scale evaluation, but my experience of using the Alpha-Stim with children with autism, is that it has been very beneficial to reduce issues related to anxiety, sleep and pain. Additionally and quite unexpectedly for some children, there was also a diminution of restricted, repetitive, self-stimulatory behaviours such as hand flapping and twirling both in frequency and intensity. Generally the children improved physically, and became consequently more engaged. In one child presenting with hyperventilation issues, the device has also helped in reducing the problem”
“I have also noticed that the social disengagement often associated with autism is lessened because the Alpha-Stim has a calming effect and rebalances the central nervous system, very much like a diet is frequently found to calm the digestive and immune systems, the Alpha-Stim further helps rebalancing individuals bring an equilibrium and improved wellbeing”
“There are also no side-effects and it’s not painful although there can sometimes be a sensory issue for the child, relating to fact that they will need to use ear clips.”
“I recently conducted a trial on the Alpha-Stim . I asked five parents to trial the Alpha-Stim at home with their child. One family did not use it as their son was not sufficiently calm to use the device. Another family used the device one or two days a week, but felt they had not used the device enough to judge the effect, but were interested to use the device at a higher level.”
“Of the remaining 3 families, each child used the device on average for 5 or more days a week for a month, and the results were positive.”
“Parents were asked to rate their child’s anxiety out of 5 before and after, and there was on average a 2 point drop. Two parents commented further: ‘Calmer in the mornings after using Alpha-Stim.’ ‘Hyper ventilation totally stopped. And two of the three families reported an improvement in their child’s sleep. ‘More restful.’ ‘Sleep more hours over the week.’”
“One family said: ‘Child no longer displaying a range of anxiety-related behaviours such as constant hands flicking. This has now totally gone.’ And one of the families said that they would like to trial the Alpha-Stim for a further month at a higher level.”
Lorene’s findings are further backed up by a study carried out in China using the Alpha-Stim, entitled, ‘Safety and effectiveness of cranial electrotherapy stimulation in treating children with emotional disorders’. It found that “Compared to baseline scores, the SAS [The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale] standard score of all subjects significantly decreased and returned to a normal value (<50) after the treatment...’ And in addition, ‘Compared to baseline scores, there was a significant decrease in SDS [the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale] scores at endpoint of the study (p<0.01)...’
“I am very, very excited by what the Alpha-Stim can offer to those with autism.”
The Alpha-Stim AID retails for £549 or is available on a buy-to-rent scheme from £51 a month. For more information please visit www.alpha-stim.co.uk or call 01487 208041.