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
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
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
The all new DAVID PAL 36 is $295.00 click here to purchase
The DAVID PAL36 is
our newest in portable audio-visual entrainment (AVE) devices. What the new
PAL36 offers is 12 more preset sessions than the PAL (30 in all! click to see) and six
empty spaces to store your own personally designed sessions. It is the
same size as the DAVID PAL (approximate dimensions - 2.5 x 1
x 3.5 inches / 7 x 2.5 x 9cm ) and will allow you to experience AVE wherever you go. Perfect for people who are on the go.
Also available is the PAL36 with CES which has the
added benefits and features of CES (Cranio-Electro Stimulation).
- Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
Eyesets - Our unique Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
Eyesets were carefully designed to provide you with the most effective and
safe light and sound experience. The Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
Eyesets for the PAL use eight blue-tinted white LEDs mounted over a silver reflector
behind a translucent screen. This disperses the light
evenly. Our new Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
Eyesets are specially designed to allow for the left and right visual fields
of each eye to be individually stimulated rather than the entire eye. With
the Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
Eyesets, the lights flash into the left visual fields of both eyes, then
alternately flashes into the right visual fields of both eyes. This approach
allows the ability to stimulate either visual cortex with a frequency different
from the other visual cortex. For example, a person who functions strongly
from the left brain could have 8 Hz stimulated into the right visual field
(and therefore the left brain) to slow down left brain function and have
18 Hz stimulated into the left visual field to increase right brain function.
- Isochronic Pulsed Tones, Binaural Beats and Chime - The tones of the DAVID PAL36 are
evenly spaced, are of equal pitch and are turned on and off at a specified
rate. This is important to enhance the effectiveness of audio entrainment.
- The gradual lowering of the lights and tones at the end of the session
prevents a startle response (also known as somnatic shock). Soft-OffTM
ensures that relaxation and other benefits carry over even after a session
- Battery Power Indicator - At a quick glance you can tell if your
battery has enough power to run your session. New eyeset technology
allows for much longer life for your 9-volt battery.
- Easy-To-Find Intensity and Volume Buttons
- The intensity and volume buttons are raised so that you
can make the necessary adjustments easily and quickly, even with your eyes
closed. Adjust the intensity
of the OmniscreenTM
Eyeset with the easy-to-find INT button.
- 30 Preset Sessions -
Including Brain Brightener (for ADD and cognition), Fractioned Hypnosis,
Alpha/Beta Mix (for depression), Schumann with Dissociation & HRV (for
meditation), Beta Perker, Theta with Dissociation (for sleeping), and
Sound Sync (to turn your music into an intriguing light show).
Please note: a
9 volt adapter is available at an extra cost.
- Tru-Vu OmniscreenTM
- Quality Stereo Headphones
- Stereo Patch Cord
- DAVID Carry Bag
- 9-Volt Alkaline Battery
- Comprehensive Operator's Manual (click to
preview in pdf format)
Click to Purchase
The heart speeds up with every breath in and slows down with every breath
out. This swing in heart rate is HRV. A typical heart beat swing is in the
order of about 15 beats per minute (bpm). When people get stressed, the heart
typically clamps to sometimes as low as five bpm HRV at times intermixed with
sharp spikes in heart rate. This is all abnormal activity and is rough on
The HRV technique used clinically is based on a 10 second breathing cycle
(six breaths/minute, by inhaling slowly for five seconds and exhaling slowly
for five seconds in an easy, relaxed breath). When using HRV paced breathing,
listen to the heartbeat generated by the DAVID PALTM
through the headphones. Inhale for two heartbeats and exhale for two heartbeats
(not your own heartbeats!). Most sessions begin at seven breathing cycles/minute
(28 heartbeats/min) and slow to six breaths /minute (24 heartbeats/min). This
allows the user to breathe a little faster at the onset of a session until
he/she has had time to relax.
Other testimonials: from those with either
ADD and autism spectrum disorders or a combination
"Charles has always had problems with
self-esteem and paying attention and being able
to perform assigned tasks due to poor fine and
gross motor skills. After using the DAVID he is
a happy with self esteem, friends and lots more
patience. He brought up his grades thirteen grades
the first nine-week period of using the machine.
. Devera Jan Sneed.
"My son Michael, who is severely autistic
doesn't like anything unfamiliar so we had to
restrain him gently in order for him to wear the
headphones and he fought steadily for three weeks
until the 21st day when something happened and
he relaxed. It as a dramatic change he started
listening and giggling and didn't want to take
it off. I even received a note from Mike's teacher
asking, "what has happened? Mike is calmer
and we are seeing eye contact, which was non-existent
prior to this. The funny thing was that I hadn't
mentioned using anything different prior to this
Susan Klingenberg, mother
For further information and brainwave frequencies
Brainwaves change frequencies based on neural
activity within the brain. Each of our senses
(vision, touch, smell, taste and hearing) respond
to activity from the environment and transmit
that information to the brain. The senses of sight
and hearing, by their very nature, provide a favorable
mechanism to influence brainwaves. By presenting
this pulsed audio and visual stimulation to the
brain, after a short period of time, the brain
begins to resonate, or entrain, at the same frequency
as the stimulus. Because of this, we can slow
down the brainwaves for: meditation, providing
pain relief, inducing dream states and improving
sleep. The DAVID (Digital Audio/Visual Integration
Device) can also be used to speed up brainwaves,
making the DAVID an ideal tool to treat slow brainwave
disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder,
closed-head brain injury, Fibromyalgia, PMS, and
Chronic Fatigue. The DAVID can also used to reduce
depression, anxiety, insomnia and hypertension
and for non-clinical applications such as for
enhancing mental performance and boosting creativity.
In addition to entrainment, the imagery created
by the visual and auditory stimulation provides
a focus for the mind and quiets internal dialogue
or chatter. The various areas of the brain begin
to integrate into one whole functioning unit like
the masters of meditation. With the DAVID, it
is normal for most people to experience that same
peace and tranquility of a meditator with only
a half hour of use with any of the DAVIDs.
AVE is not only valuable for clinical use, but
it has done wonders for increasing peak performance.
Former Mr. Olympia - Bodybuilder Frank Zane "I'm
in the best shape of my life, and one reason is
mind machines." Golfer Rocky Thompson attributes
his winning of the PGA to using the Paradise.
Sports Psychologist, Tom Hawes has used the Paradise
in training several golfers in the LPGA. Christine
Boudrais attributed her Silver Medal at the Lillihammer
Olympics to using the Paradise for relaxing and
Michael Hutchison, author of Megabrain, states,
"In fact, out of all the mind machines I
have evaluated, the DAVID is the one that I keep
by my bed for my own light and sound/audio-visual
New Visions School NeuroTechnology Replication
Project 2000 - 2001
This hallmark study is the largest, most convincing
study showing the effectiveness of the DAVID Paradise
driving a multiple system to treat children with
attentional disorders. The data generated in the
NeuroTechnology (NT) replication project are the
result of the efforts of seven Minnesota public
schools (five elementary, one middle and one K-12).
The NeuroTechnology sites, referred to as Designated
Learning Sites (DLS), provided one to several
school personnel to participate in a three-day
NT training at New Visions School (NVS)/Minnesota
Learning Resource Center (MLRC). This training
(by Michael Joyce and Dave Siever) provided the
skills used to initiate brain training on the
children in their home districts. All of the hardware,
software and related supplies were provided for
each site through a charter school dissemination
grant. Scheduled on-site mentoring was offered
along with email and telephone correspondence
as needed. The following report describes the
results of their efforts.
Four of the elementary schools are located in
rural Minnesota (Cold Spring, Perham, Naytahwaush,
Bemidji) and another is located in the west Minneapolis
suburb of Hopkins. The middle school is located
in a north Minneapolis suburb, Fridley. The K-12
school is in the small northern Minnesota farming
community of Greenbush. The Bemidji site was represented
by several elementary schools that were serviced
by a Bemidji State University psychology professor.
All sites, at this time, continue to successfully
operate their programs. Through the successful
implementation and demonstration of these sites,
there are presently nine public elementary schools
and one parochial school in Minnesota, along with
three schools in Wisconsin and a K-12 school in
South Dakota, who have started NeuroTech programs
without grant assistance. These visionary schools
have found that developmental neurological functions
are a necessity for all successful learners and
that NT tools can address essential developmental
foundations of learning.
The Education Challenge
Traditionally, educators have viewed conditions
such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as primarily medical
conditions and therefore outside the realm of
education. Typically, children with such conditions
are referred to the medical world to identify
an appropriate medication to ameliorate the problem
behavior. Therefore, one of the critical factors
for the success of this project is training for
educators so they understand the neuro-physiological
basis for such problem behaviors and the effectiveness
of NT, in this case, Audio Visual Entrainment
(AVE) in re-educating the brain.
ADD/ADHD spans a broad diagnostic category, which
is being applied to more and more disorders and
therefore evaluation and treatment has traditionally
been left to the medical community. ADHD is recognized
as one of the most complex psychiatric and neurologically-based
disorders of childhood with significant representation
in adolescents and adults. ADHD rarely occurs
in isolation and is often combined with other
conditions including depression, oppositional
defiant disorder, conduct disorder, obsessive
compulsive disorder, learning disabilities, anxiety
disorders, and other significant psychological,
psychiatric, and neurological problems (Barkley,
1981; Ross & Ross, 1982; Rutter, 1983, Whalen,
ADHD is also one of the fastest growing conditions
leading to children receiving special education
services in the public school setting. Children
with ADHD are often disruptive in the classroom,
require frequent teacher input, do not generally
keep up with their peers in academic pursuits,
and often require additional services due to their
significant difficulty with all aspects of learning.
Additionally many children are misdiagnosed and
actually have conditions of depression and anxiety.
Medicating such children with stimulant medications
in these cases is contraindicated and can even
make their conditions significantly worse. More
recently, schools have become involved to a much
greater degree, and now provide screening tests
to identify students with attentional disorders.
This scenario suggests that a training program
that results in more or less permanent resolution
of ADHD symptoms be preferred over the traditional
medication management approach. NeuroTechnology
(NT) is such an approach. NT has been studied
extensively in clinical and research settings
for the past twenty years. This approach, however,
has not been utilized on a large scale in the
school setting - until now.
This project substantiates
previous projects in schools in Minneapolis and
Perham, MN and in Yonkers, NY. These demonstration
projects illustrate that the public school setting
is an ideal environment for conducting this type
of training. This is particularly true for low-income
inner city and rural families who do not have
access to such training.
This project demonstrated the viability of utilizing
this type of training/education process in the
public elementary school setting. Because this
intervention is a training process and not a clinical
intervention, it is more appropriately applied
in the educational setting rather than in the
clinical setting. It is also clear that this intervention
will not be available to the vast majority of
children who need it due to the medical profession's
reliance on medication management, rather then
educational approaches for such problems. Additionally,
the evidence that medication compliance is significantly
lower in low income families suggests that applying
this training method in inner city and rural schools
in low income areas would be a more effective
method of addressing such impediments to learning.
Further, low-income students cannot afford such
training from a physician or psychologist and
so do not have access to such an alternative approach
for the remedy of their disability, even if it
is available in their area.
This project provided the opportunity to demonstrate
that effective alternatives are available that
offer, in many cases, an essentially permanent
resolution of student learning and behavioral
challenges. This project employed AVE to address
the inattention, impulsiveness and behavioral
challenges in school-age children, thus reducing
the need for medication management of these children
and reducing the educational resources that are
devoted to responding to their disabilities.
Students selected had a history of learning and
reading challenges, impulsiveness, and a propensity
to be distracted and to distract others. The students
were selected by an ongoing, dynamic evaluation
process based upon referrals from classroom teachers,
parents, special education staff, and/or other
concerned people in the student's life. Parents
were notified about their child's possible inclusion
in the project and they were invited to information
sessions conducted by project staff. Parents and
teachers completed a behavior rating scale, while
the students completed a standardized reading
inventory. The majority of the 204 students participating
in the NT project were of elementary age.
The AVE device used was the DAVID Paradise XL
(manufactured by Comptronic Devices Limited, Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada). The eyeglasses for the DAVID
Paradise XL are field independent, in that they
are able to independently stimulate the individual
left and right visual fields of each eye thus
producing a different frequency in each hemisphere
of the brain. In this project, independent field
stimulation was chosen.
At two sites the DAVID Paradise XL was attached
to a multi-user amplifier, which enabled up to
ten students to receive treatment simultaneously.
Each student had his/her own station, which consisted
of a set of headphones and an eye set. The students
could control both the audio volume and the light
intensity. The students preferred brighter intensities,
between approximately 400 and 600 lux (full spectrum)
measured approximately 0.3 inches from the eye
set screen (approximating their average eye distance
from the screen).
Students participated in two or three AVE sessions
(20-30 minute) per week. Occasionally there were
compelling reasons to increase the frequency of
sessions, so some students with severe impairments
may have had daily sessions. The training is part
of the student's regular curriculum, scheduled
around other activities. Training is accomplished
using protocols established by the foremost clinicians
and researchers in the field, modified to reflect
New Visions' experience working within the school
environment. Protocols were occasionally updated
to reflect the continuing growth of knowledge
in this field.
Data was gathered for a total of 204 students
from seven different school districts that participated
in the NeuroTechnology Program statewide. The
average student completed nearly 30 twenty-minute
sessions over a period of three months, and gained
eight months in grade-equivalent oral reading
scores. Pre- and post-intervention data was obtained
using direct assessment and behavior rating scales
completed by both parents and teachers. Oral reading
proficiency was assessed with the Slosson-R reading
test (Figure 1). Behavioral and personality ratings
were obtained via the BDS, both the home and school
What is Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)?
By flashing lights through an eyeset and pulsing
tones through headphones, we can gently guide
ourselves into various brainwave states. After
a short period of time, the brain begins to resonate
at (or mirror) the same frequency as the stimuli.
This is called Audio-Visual Entrainment or AVE.
Our brains produce four basic brainwave states:
beta, alpha, theta and delta. A healthy brain
will produce the appropriate brainwaves for a
given situation. For example, when reading, a
healthy brain will be producing beta brainwaves.
Due to stress, chemical imbalances, genetics,
etc, people may produce improper brainwaves for
For example people with ADD produce excessive
theta brainwaves while reading, instead of beta
brainwaves, which are necessary for reading. Because
people with ADD suppress beta brainwaves, they
need to increase their beta brainwaves, which
is why true cases of ADD respond to a stimulant
like Ritalin. AVE is an alternative to these dugs.
Another example of inappropriate brainwave production
is depression. People who are suffering from depression
are not making enough alpha brainwaves, which
we need for a more balanced and happy life.
Research has shown that AVE is an effective non-drug
approach to reduce the symptoms of many disorders
that are caused by improper brainwave production.
The DAVID is being successfully used by thousands
of people for autism, ADD/ADHD, insomnia, chronic
pain, post traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia,
stress management, seasonal affective disorder
(SAD), hypertension (high blood pressure), PMS
and general well being and relaxation. It also
improves self-esteem, cognition (mental agility)
and performance in sports and business.
Epileptics and Photo-Epileptics should NOT use
any DAVID without the consent of their physician.
Persons with a history of brain seizures, mental
disorders or alcohol and/or drug abuse should
also not use the DAVID unless first consulting
their medical doctor.
The David PALs are a non-pharmaceutical approach to assist in reducing and relieving the symptoms of Stress and Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Depression, Insomnia, Autism, Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia. These products can also be used to improve academic and sports performances.
They are not recognized as a treatment or cure of any medical condition or disability. Research suggests that the DAVID devices, EDA BIOSCAN and OASIS are effective relaxation and meditation tools.