PHOENIX - Trouble focusing in class and wanting to get up and leave are issues that a lot of 17-year-olds deal with during the school day, but for Jacob Holma these are problems he really struggles with on a daily basis.
Jacob has Autism and has a difficult time concentrating both inside and outside of the classroom. He has endured a lifetime of trying different therapies and medications.
"Every day of my life there's a story going on in my head, a literal actual story with a plot and everything" Jacob said.
That is until his neuropsychologist, Dr. Amy Serin, PhD, suggested trying her new therapeutic technology called “Buzzies.”
Teaming up with Vicki Mayo, who runs a large IT company, the two co-founded TouchPoint Solution to develop Buzzies, based on a tried and true therapy technique called Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation Tactile, BLAST, and mobilized it with Bluetooth technology.
Buzzies can be worn around each wrist like a watch, or by placing each one in a pocket, and are controlled by an app on your phone. Dr. Serin said that it uses the stimulation to interfere with the body’s response to stress by overriding the fight or flight mechanism.
"People will negotiate better, they'll make better stock market picks. Peoples’ businesses do better when they use Buzzies in the morning. Kids calm down in real time." Dr. Serin said.
Jacob’s mom, Sherri, said that she started sending her son to school with Buzzies on every day and that and it has been a game-changer. She said that Jacob’s teachers reported better focus and that he stopped walking out of class and getting agitated.
Sherri said that now when Jacob has an episode at home, a few minutes with the Buzzies change his entire attitude.
"For him to be calm and doing his work is amazing," Sherri said. “There were some bad tantrums that if he would've had these, would've been really nice and saved a lot of stress."
"I feel like I stumbled on a miracle that I want more people to know about," said Dr. Serin, who uses Buzzies in her own home with her children. "I don’t' want people to live with chronic stress. I want them to know there's a cost effective, non-invasive solution and in real time calms them down so that frees them up to live their best life."