New Mexico

Alliance for Children

Creating healthy communities through the arts

The ALPHA Effect encourages learning through the

Arts, Language Games, Phonemic Awareness Skills,

Hands-on Learning, and Active Listening. This 30 to 40

session program incorporates art and sensory

motor activities with a set of Tomatis-based listening

sessions. The program enhances reading skills, as well

as problem solving ability, and results in increased

attention span, and better pro-social skills.

According to a year-long, university-based study conducted by Professor Anne Calhoun of the University of New Mexico, students enrolled in the ALPHA Effect gained more than two years in reading

level in three months time. “Students in the ALPHA group not only improved dramatically in their reading skill, but were reported by both teachers and parents as being happier, less disruptive, and better able to focus in class.”


The program is not age-dependent, and can

benefit both children and adults. Beginning in

2003, the ALPHA Effect has been implemented

in school settings with children, K-12, including

general education, gifted, and special needs

students. In private settings, we have worked

with a number of adults who have participated in

the program for a variety of reasons. Some come

to us because of memory loss due to injury or

aging, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,

depression, low self-esteem issues, or anxiety.

Some simply wish to sharpen their cognitive

abilities or spark a deeper level of creativity in

their work.


In an independent, university-based study of 64 students, including an ALPHA group and

control, conducted during the 2005-2006 school year, ALPHA students saw statistically

significant gains in receptive vocabulary and cognitive skills; reading comprehension, fluency,

and accuracy; and retelling and predictive abilities. Steve Brady, a parent of one of our ALPHA

students reported "Tristan's enunciation and speaking ability have improved noticeably. His attention span is better and he also has an increased understanding of material he has read. His coordination

has improved and he is more able to focus on tasks. His handwriting has improved, also."

According to Dr. Anne Calhoun from UNM who conducted this study, "Overall the picture presented of The ALPHA Effect students is one that shows immense growth in cognitive, academic, and psychological areas." Consultations and Train the Trainer workshops are available. We envision making these methods known to a larger audience in the medical and art-therapy fields, whom we feel could

greatly benefit from this knowledge. For example, we have seen children and adults with significant head injuries, clinically depressed individuals, and those who are grieving make great strides through participation in The ALPHA Effect™ . We have worked with people of all ages with ADD/ADHD,

dyslexia and other learning disorders, Downs Syndrome, those who have experienced emotional or physical trauma and autism. All have been helped by the program.

It is our belief that The ALPHA Effect™ has a place beyond the classroom: in hospitals, other

health care and clinical settings, after school programs such as Boys & Girls Clubs, summer

camps, prisons and juvenile detention facilities to name just a few.

A recent study conducted by professors at Stanford University demonstrates that "Children do

not develop in particular domains independently of other domains. To the contrary, social

development and academic development are inextricably connected. Efforts to improve

development in one domain will be more successful if attention is given to development in the


A separate independent study conducted by Dr. Janette Issacson, Ed.D. reports, "Judging from my analysis of the Mental Status Exams and Pro-social Testing conducted thus far of the ALPHA Study

Group, there are definitely pro-social improvements for the students who were enrolled in The ALPHA Effect™ in the fall of 2005. The areas of improvement focus around increased attention span, increased resiliency and reciprocity, lower frustration levels, improved listening skills and heightened creativity and imagination."

Consultations are available.


The ALPHA Effect is offered exclusively through New Mexico Alliance for Children and our certified affiliates. We offer a five-day training for professionals interested in Certification to facilitate the ALPHA Effect in a classroom or private setting.  Please contact us for more details.

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