WHAT IS INTERACTIVE METRONOME THERAPY?
(A PROGRAM AVAILABLE THAT SIMILAR IS CALLED BRAIN BEAT)
**SEE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE TO SEE IT IN ACTION!!**
The Interactive Metronome (IM) was initially used in the music industry. The inventor, Jim Cassily, wanted to help musicians improve their rhythm in order to become better performers. The traditional metronome has been used for decades but it could only offer passive guidance. It provided no feedback therefore it had limitations. Jim’s idea was to provide a metronome beat and measure how far off the beat (in milliseconds) the performers were, and whether they were ahead of or behind the beat, and to give the musician auditory feedback that would help them improve.
Little did Jim know that he was onto something!! Today IM is used in settings as varied as schools, hospitals, clinics, universities, the military, and large corporations to improve the bran’s efficiency and performance.
Jim was proud to know that his music industry device was used to help children with learning and developmental deficits and patients who suffered a stroke, brain injury, or Parkinson ’s disease. Jim passed away in March 2005, but he was able to see his dream adopted by thousands of clinicians around the world and patented in more than 30 countries.
Rhythm and timing are at the core of all human abilities. Our ability to attend and concentrate, to tune out distractions, to take notes while listening to the teacher’s instructions or during a work meeting, to keep up with conversation in a group of individuals, to comprehend what is being said in a noisy environment, to read and attach meaning to printed words, to form legible letters on paper, to jump, ride a bicycle, ambulate with a prosthetic limb, or to learn and retain new information.
Rhythm and timing varies to a small degree in normally functioning individuals. However, research has shown it is quite deficient in individuals who suffer from developmental and acquired disorders.
So, what is it???
Interactive Metronome (IM) is a brain-based, multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment tool that has been shown, in clinical research, to improve the neurological functions of motor planning and sequencing.
Motor planning and sequencing are core functions of the brain. They determine the simple ability to reach out for a glass of water, walk smoothly, or arrange words in a sentence so the speech makes sense.
Over the years, clinicians have identified and attempted to measure deficits in motor planning and sequencing. An Occupational or Physical Therapist might chart that their patient demonstrated “poor motor planning for activities of daily living.”
Despite well explained observations, the questioned remained, “What is the best method for MEASURING the degree of impairment?” Clinicians have always relied on the terms ‘minimally, moderately, or maximally impaired’ to document the degree of functional impairment. A tool for precise and accurate measuring was lacking.
Another question arose, “What is the most effective and efficient way to restore this core function of the brain?” Traditionally, clinicians have addressed such areas through motor planning activities and activities of daily living, which can take weeks to months to achieve functional outcomes.
Tightly controlled, randomized clinical research has led to the development of normative data for IM from the age of six through adult. Now, clinicians can objectively measure motor planning and sequencing and assign a level of impairment in milliseconds (ms). The ms average score provides for each IM task represents the patient’s ability to motor plan and sequence.
While widely recognized for improving motor skills, randomized and placebo-controlled research studies have unveiled several other unexpected benefits of IM treatment.
Substantial improvements may also be demonstrated in the areas of:
-Attention and concentration
-Reading and math fluency
-Control of aggression/impulsivity
Interactive Metronome was first developed for the starting age of 6 years old to adult but has been known to be used for younger children during guided play (i.e.: patty-cake and high fiving).
Interactive Metronome has been shown to improve the function and recovery of patients diagnosed with:
-Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger Syndrome
-Sensory Processing Disorder
-Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
-Developmental Delays/Learning Disabilities
-Traumatic Brain Injury
-Cerebral Vascular Accident
IM was originally developed to assist professional musicians with improving their rhythm and timing. The importance of proper rhythm and timing to a quality musical performance is clear. Investigators began to see a correlation between proper rhythm and timing and motor planning and sequencing. After the first clinical research was conducted in 1994, rehabilitation professionals and other disciplines began to apply the IM to a full spectrum of patients with developmental and acquired neurological disorders.
IM is enhancing several environments, including:
*Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation:
-spinal cord injury rehabilitation
*Vision Rehabilitation :
-improving classroom skills and behavior
-increasing sustained attention and vigilance
-improving academic skills and reading and math
-improving performance on standardized assessments
-improving athletic skills
*Colleges, Universities, and Professional Sports Teams:
-improving performance of athletes
All information obtained from the IM Certification Provider Training Manual. (interactivemetronome.com)