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Arizona-invented TouchPoints, formerly Buzzies, now helping 100,000 people with autism

Posted: 8:32 PM, May 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-23 22:20:14Z

One out of every 59 people in the US is diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC.

In Arizona that number is one in 64, says Paige Raetz, the director of employment services for SARRC, the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center.

It's a condition that can make it tough to get a job, go to school or even connect with family.

In 2017, a Valley neuropsychologist developed a device, now called TouchPoints, to help those with autism overcome the sensory overload  which often is part of their daily lives. Initially called "Buzzies," Dr. Amy Serin says more than 100,000 people are now using the devices. She says they can calm you down and help you focus by altering your body's fight or flight response.

The small devices, about the size of a wristwatch, are worn on both arms and create a gentle alternating buzzing sensation.  The technology is known as Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation. 

Jacob Holma has been using them for years, in both high school and now college and at home. For those living with autism, those accomplishments are not easy to reach.

"Of the individuals who graduate high school, about 20 percent are actually working in the community after [graduation]," said Raetz. "That is a low rate, and means 80 percent are not." 

TouchPoints are sold online at  http://ILoveTouchPoints.com . One set runs about $160. 

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