SANDY BERSHAD, INDIGO CHILD: Paula (ph), what is your problem? At 14 years of age, you go through a really rebellious time, and that's what...
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the lens on her computer's camera, 17-year-old Sandy Bershad communicates with friends across the world.
S. BERSHAD: That's Eric. He is from Sweden.
TUCHMAN: But from her bedroom on the Jersey Shore, Sandy says she is wired into another universe, sort of supernatural super highway.
(on camera): Your dead grandmother visited you last night?
S. BERSHAD: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN: In your bedroom?
S. BERSHAD: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN: And what did she say to you?
S. BERSHAD: Just to say hello, that she loves me. That kind of thing. She usually just visits. Her energy is very, like, nice, like healing.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandy, who spends a lot of her time on the beach believes that guiding spirits surround her.
(on camera): So right now, you see angels?
S. BERSHAD: Yes. TUCHMAN: And where are they?
S. BERSHAD: They're over here.
TUCHMAN: Over here?
S. BERSHAD: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Like near my shoulder?
S. BERSHAD: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): It may sound like science fiction, but a growing network of believers say these types of visions are fact. Teens like Sandy claim they're part of a special generation born after 1978 known as "indigo children" for the deep blue auras that psychics say they see around them. Indigo children have high IQs and tend to be rebellious and oversensitive, they're often also said to share specials gifts, heightened intuition and psychic abilities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is one of them, isn't she.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An indigo, like my son.
TUCHMAN: In recent years, the indigo phenomenon has made its way into movies, books, Web sites and even to the therapist's office.
JULIE ROSENSHEIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: They will say, I've heard that you deal with indigo children or children who are highly sensitive. Can you help me with my child?
You think? Hmm. I don't know.
TUCHMAN: Psychotherapist Julie Rosenshein says parents seek her help with kids they believe are indigos, many of whom have trouble socializing and paying attention in school.
ROSENSHEIN: Usually I'll get an e-mail that will say, my child is having meltdowns, she can't sleep at night. She says that she sees things in her room. Can you help me?
TUCHMAN (on camera): And what do you say?
ROSENSHEIN: I usually say, wow, you're seeing something at night? Do you know that sometimes angels visit at night? And their eyes will sometimes cloud up with tears even maybe because it's a first time that anybody really affirmed for them that what they saw was not crazy, did not make them crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not really sure exactly what...
TUCHMAN: Sandy's parents, Tom and Margie Bershad, say from an early age, their daughter was highly intuitive and overly sensitive, and has never liked to be touched. (on camera): Do you believe she sees dead people and angels?
TOM BERSHAD, FATHER OF INDIGO CHILD: I believe that she sees something. What it is, I don't know. But I believe that she's definitely seeing something.
TUCHMAN: Are there ever times, Sandy, where you wish you were just like the more typical kids and didn't have any of these kinds of visions or spirits or anything like that?
S. BERSHAD: No. Life wouldn't be interesting then.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sandy says she is less depressed and doing better in school since discovering her indigo roots, but skeptics warn that being Indigo may really mean just having a colorful imagination or Attention Deficit Disorder.
DR. DAVID STEIN, AUTHOR, "STOP MEDICATING, START PARENTING": You take highly misbehaving children, and who are very, very bright, many of them are, and call them as indigo children, and I think it's a stab at trying to apply a more positive label to these children rather than the more pejorative terms like ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Margie, when a doctor says there's no such thing as indigo children, it's just a label that parents are putting on kids who have ADD or some other condition...
MARGIE BERSHAD, MOTHER OF INDIGO CHILD: I disagree. In my heart of hearts, I disagree. I've seen too many things.
DR. TRENT NICHOLS, GASTROENTEROLOGIST: OK. Well, come on back.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Trent Nichols is a gastroenterologist in Pennsylvania who treats children for extreme food sensitivities. He believes that up to 3 percent of those he sees are indigo kids.
NICHOLS: I think we are seeing children that really seem to be way advanced for their years or sensitive to certain things, or sensitive about other things in their environment. And I see this in some of my patients now. I don't think we saw it before. I don't remember it 30 years ago doing that, because I've been a physician since '69.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So you think something is going on here?
NICHOLS: Yes. I think something, but it is hard to say what.
TUCHMAN: So the claims of people that these could be a special group, indigo children, can't be rejected out of hand?
NANCY STEPHENS, AURA PHOTOGRAPHS: Inhale. Exhale.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Psychics claim that indigo children have indigo-colored energy fields or auras around them. STEPHENS: Smile. Good. OK.
TUCHMAN: We asked a woman who claims she can take pictures of your aura to come to the Bershad's home and snap some shots of Sandy and me with her so-called aura camera.
STEPHENS: That's the center of your being. And you do have transformation coming in.
TUCHMAN: In my photograph, there was a little indigo color. But in Sandy's, indigo dominated the picture. So are indigos really the next step in human evolution as many believe or suggest? If you have any doubts, Sandy says, just ask her angels.
S. BERSHAD: They want the world and we want the world to know that we are here and we are here to help and that they want everyone to become more aware of indigos, to get used to it.
COOPER: OK. I've never heard of this. I'm not going to ask you if you actually believe it or not. What did doctors say about it who you talked to?
TUCHMAN: A lot of pediatricians and child psychologists basically say, either they have never heard of it, or they don't really believe it. But I will tell you, Anderson, there are an awful lot of people throughout the world who do believe in this. And you do a Google search and put in indigo children, you will see 520,000 hits.
COOPER: don't understand, though, OK, allegedly these are kids or people born after 1978, what is it about that year, why would there suddenly be this rash of children in that age group?
TUCHMAN: The significance of that, 1978, the harmonic convergence that happened. This is a very new age thing.
COOPER: It certainly is. All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks. I'm actually going to get my aura photographed right now. I want to introduce you to Nancy Stephens, a photographer who says that she specializes in capturing auras, correct?
COOPER: So you sit here. This is your special camera.
STEPHENS: This is an aura camera.
COOPER: An aura camera. All right.
STEPHENS: Put your right hand and left hand on the hand plates. There are pickups that will register your predominant energy centers, which translates as your aura.
COOPER: All right.
COOPER: I'm not sure I have any predominant energy centers. But let's give it a whirl.
STEPHENS: Just look straight ahead. Take a nice deep breath. Exhale.
STEPHENS: Just takes a couple of seconds. It's calibrating your energy right now.
COOPER: It's calibrating my energy?
STEPHENS: Yes. Good. OK. We're done.
COOPER: OK. Walk over here with me, if you will. We'll develop the photograph in a little bit.
COOPER: How long have you been doing this?
STEPHENS: Since 1999.
COOPER: And -- here, if you'll just come over here. What is the aura that you're alleging you can photograph?
STEPHENS: The aura is a combination of your physical energy, your emotional energy, and important to me, at least, is your spiritual energy.
COOPER: And what can you tell or what do you say you can tell by people's aura? Is it color?
STEPHENS: Everyone has a unique -- it's like a snowflake or a thumbprint. Everyone has an unique aura. Red is your physical energy, to the other side of the spectrum which is purple, which is the spiritual side of you.
COOPER: And what is the benefit of knowing what one's aura is?
STEPHENS: It gives you insight as to what your gifts are, your strengths and also your challenges. Just like in everything in life, there's a challenge and there's a positive. There's a yin and a yang.
COOPER: I'm not sure I buy any of this. But we're going to develop the photograph in a little bit.
STEPHENS: OK. And we'll look at your...
COOPER: And we'll check out my aura.