Interactive Metronome & IM-Home Blog
Get the latest news on Interactive metronome training, it's application and breakthroughs as well as insights in the science behind it and the latest tips and success stories from clients and therapist using IM and IM-Home.
A new system for treating ADHD symptoms and other types of learning challenges isn't only drug free-- but brings new meaning to the term 'timing is everything.'
It's not the latest video game to hit big. This is 25 year old Malachi Wristen participating in a classic session with the Interactive Metronome treatment.
Wow, did you ever think you would hear those words come out of your child with ADHD’s mouth? Homework tends to be a struggle with our kids affected by ADHD. Afterschool can be rough in general, as they have held it together all day long in school, and then there is the issue of their medication wearing off around that time. No matter what, homework tends to stretch into the evening hours as you work with your child to get all of their homework done. This is such a bad cycle, as then the kids don’t have time to go outside and play or to just be a kid!
A recent study by the Kennedy Krieger Institute (2011) showed that areas of the brain that control thinking and motor skills are different (smaller) in children with ADHD compared to other children. The specific regions of the brain that were mentioned are known to be involved in mental timing. Mental timing (AKA timing in the brain) is vital for many of our thinking skills and for good motor coordination. Studies have shown that timing in the brain is disrupted in children and adults with ADHD, leading to problems with focus, other cognitive abilities, and motor skills. Interactive Metronome, a patented non-medical treatment for ADHD, is the ONLY program that simultaneously works on thinking AND motor skills by specifically addressing and improving the areas of the brain responsible for mental timing.
Kennedy Krieger Institute (2011, June 10). Brain imaging study of preschoolers with ADHD detects brain differences linked to symptoms.
Molly, a 10-year-old 5th grader, had a recent diagnosis that included ADHD, and she was said to be showing signs of High Functioning Autism. Molly’s mother noticed that her daughter would regularly forget things at home and school, and was unable to keep her belongings organized. She had trouble focusing, and even doing the smallest amount of homework was a daily battle. When a school test was over, she would regularly forget most of what she had worked so hard to learn.
As Molly moves into her junior high school years, she would be required to memorize more writing and reading, and Molly’s mother was anxious that she could only spend limited time assisting Molly with her studies. She wondered how her daughter would make her way through this seemingly overwhelming challenge.
When Molly’s mother saw the Interactive Metronome (IM) website, she read the content with a certain level of suspicion and doubt, but as a parent who wanted to do whatever she could to help Molly and lessen her frustrations, she decided to give IM a try...
Have you ever heard that ADHD is genetic? Ever notice that children with ADHD seem out of sync? Here is a research study by Nanda et al (2007) that supports this view and does so by showing that not only is timing in the brain disrupted in children with ADHD, but that it IS ALSO slightly disrupted in their siblings who do not have ADHD (when compared to children from families with no diagnosis of ADHD). From this and other studies, evidence shows that the more the brain’s timing skills are off, the more symptoms like impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattention, lack of organization, poor time-management, or difficulty with reading and other academic work are evident. The Interactive Metronome is a relatively easy, non-medical treatment program for ADHD that improves the brain’s critical timing skills and is tailored to each child’s specific needs.
Nanda, N.J., Rommelse, M.S., Oosterlaan, J., Buitelaar, J., Faraone, S.V., and Sergeant, J.A. (2007). Time reproduction in children with ADHD and their nonaffected siblings. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 5.
ADHD as a brain network dysfunction—IM as a tool to “fine tune” and control this network.
The explosion of research on large scale brain networks, and the “resting state” or “default mode or default network” in particular, has been dizzying. I previously reviewedkey brain network research describing the interaction between the default, salience (attention) and executive controlled networks. The most important conclusion, which was reinforced by my personal experiencewith Interactive Metronome (IM), is that problems with controlled attention (focus) may be responsible for a number of the behavioral symptoms of ADHD—and this is due to the poor ability to suppress the random self-talk “background noise” of the default brain network. [Click herefor related IM-HOME ADHD posts; click herefor ADHD- related Brain Clock.]
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a noted expert in autism and child development/disorders, and his team of researchers conducted a study to see whether Interactive Metronome (IM) was a beneficial treatment for children with ADHD. They compared boys who received IM to boys who received either no treatment at all or boys who only played video games to try to improve their ability to focus. They found that those children with ADHD who received IM did far better than those that did not, with significant improvement in the areas of attention, motor skills, language processing, reading, and self-control (i.e., less aggressive behavior).
Shaffer R.J., Jacokes L.E., Cassily J.F., Greenspan S.I., Tuchman R.F., Stemmer P.J. Jr. (2001). Effect of
Interactive Metronome on children with ADHD. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 155–162
Humans perceive time. We use this ability to predict what is coming, to think about how we will react, and then to respond in a timely fashion. It is well-documented that children with ADHD have an impaired sense of time. Areas of the brain that control our perception of time are affected in children with ADHD (i.e., working memory). In an article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers found that children with ADHD who also have a Reading Disorder have even more difficulty with timing skills. Research has shown that Interactive Metronome, a training program that addresses the underlying problem with timing in the brain, improves symptoms of ADHD and reading.
Toplak, M.E., Rucklidge, J.J., Hetherington, R., John, S.C.F., and Tannock, R. (2003). Time perception
deficits in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid reading difficulties in child and adolescent samples. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(6), 888-903.
Some of my patients are very sports oriented. When we start IM, I tell them all about how professional sports teams such as the Miami Dolphins or the golf pro ViJay Singh use IM as part of their training to improve and enhance their performance. Every once in a while, I get a patient who just really “gets on a roll” and makes improvements very quickly earning lots of “bursts” (so many consecutive super right on the beat hits).
Bill was one of those kids. He just loved beating his scores during every visit. He got the idea in his head, that he wanted to reach 1000 bursts before he completed his sessions. Every visit, Bill would request to perform various exercise that he knew he was good at, just to increase his number of bursts so he could reach his goal. Now a kiddo (who happened to have Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD) who has set his mind to something is very difficult to stop!...
Has your child ever had trouble concentrating on daily tasks? Although Mason Roach, a 6-year-old boy, was not diagnosed with ADHD, he still showed similar symptoms. Mason had trouble following through with simple tasks, such as taking a shower and brushing his teeth. His Mom came to Lisa Poe, OTR/L for help...
Multi tasking and IM
The ability to multi task is a very important skill that we learn at a very young age. Typically when we enter a classroom, we are required to listen to a teacher while filtering out extraneous noises or while writing notes. This skill requires a tremendous amount of good quality focus that can be held even through distractions in our environment...
I have many parents ask me right away – “How long until we see some improvement?” or “What should I look for?” In my experience, this is very unpredictable. Some of the patients who I see who I think will do really well, take much longer to show improvements and others who have more difficulty make progress more quickly. But it also sometimes happens in the opposite way.
Sometimes the children who have the most difficulty have the furthest to go – so improvement may seem to come more quickly. Sometimes its easier to see even the littlest thing – like they were able to feed themselves an entire meal instead of throwing their food or spoon – are much more obvious. In other situations, especially with my patients who have more of the ADHD/ADD type symptoms we need to look more closely at what they are doing and how they are doing it. I especially see progress first in these patients during homework time. That is when I hear that they are sticking with their homework longer or getting it done faster or even just that they can sit at their desk for 20 minutes at a time when before it was more like 5 minutes before they were up and running around or asking questions.
Brain training helps Topeka child with ADHD
When Aaron Davis hears a beat his brain fires a reaction to his hands or his feet. When his parents, Richard and Brenda, see the mental to physical connection, they remember at one time the simple task was impossible. Richard says, "We get emotional. It's incredible, the difference."
A year ago, Aaron struggled in school, lacked social interaction, and seemed to be in a world of his own. Brenda says, "We were told he had a wheat allergy and he had a gluten allergy and to take all of that out of his diet. So we did that for a month and there was no improvement. Then we were told the natural food market has these wonderful vitamins and that will help. We tried that and nothing worked."
Doctors then told Richard and Brenda their son had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. The solution: medication. But Richard says, "He was still struggling in school, he was still behind."
Nothing made Aaron better. Just when the family had given up all hope, a friend suggested Interactive Metronome. A program that retrains the brain. Doctors say IM uses a repetitive exercise that changes or remaps neurons in a certain part of the brain resulting in a change in behavior. Brenda says, "The first time he went to IM, that night, we already saw a difference."
TUSTIN CHRONIC CONDITION CENTER
The Tustin Chronic Condition Center has incorporated a new software program called the Interactive Metronome. The software helps children who have ADD or ADHD, autism, dyslexia and learning disabilities. The equipment helps children with working memory, attention, processing information, sequencing information in order and motor coordination.
“Our new Interactive Metronome® helps us work with and improve the function of the frontal cortex. The fontal cortex controls things like impulsiveness and attention span, and it’s where the personality “lives”. It’s also where things like depression and anxiety are created, and for these children it’s the region in the brain that’s not working as well as it could be.”
Why I choose to use the Interactive Metronome (IM)
Hi there! My name is Wendy Harron and I am an Occupational Therapist. I have worked at A.I. duPont Hospital in Wilmington, DE for the past 20 years helping kids suffering from Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Learning Disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and various other genetic and developmental disabilities.
When heard about the Interactive Metronome words like "Technology", "Computers", "Cowbells", "Clapping" and "Tapping" flooded my ears. How could any of these help a child who has special needs? It seems that there are tons of techniques and modalities out there to help our children. How do you know which one to choose? Therapeutic Listening Programs, Astronaut Training Protocols, Captain’s Log, Brain Gym…. the list goes on and on. Each one different and requiring investigation to see which one will work for your family and your child. I had been reviewing research about a program called Interactive Metronome, seeing its positive impact on not only children with special needs, but adults with special needs, children in school, musicians, football players and even golfers! This was something that I needed to check out!
Many parents who hear the diagnosis ADD or ADHD are sent into a tailspin of information overload and “friendly” advice from a variety of sources. As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I am often faced with the task of helping parents and caregivers interpret what the information they have been given means for their child. Here are a few common questions I get during evaluations: “Will medication really help my child?”; “Why aren’t the medications helping my child sleep at night?”; “When can we expect to wean our child off medication now that he’s started therapy?” and, “Will a special diet be a substitute for medication?”