Why IM?

Picture a student having to run through an obstacle course or a maze to get to the goal while everyone else can just run in a straight, unobstructed line. This is what a classroom is like for students with ADHD and other types of learning disabilities.

Why implement Interactive Metronome?

There is growing understanding that neurological and motor planning and sequencing are among the most significant processing capacities in humans. Everything the human brain does requires very precise timing. This unconscious capability is critical to the brain’s ability to plan and sequence thoughts and actions and connect them to their consequences. Thus, “natural timing” is an important foundation of our ability to attend, learn, process information, and physically execute actions.

Current theory, supported by fMRI brain imaging, is that IM substantially affects several structures of the human brain recognized as being central to effective and efficient information processing.

This program impacts three key aspects of human functioning:

  1. Timing and synchronization, which involves:
  • Precise physical movement
  • Consistent physical movement
  • Efficient physical movement
  • Effective motor planning and sequencing (coordination)
  1. Information processing, which involves:
  • Processing speed
  • Organization of information
  • Planning and sequencing of mental processes
  • More accurate recall of information
  1. Focus and concentration, which involves:
  • Ability to apply intense focus when needed
  • Ability to focus for short durations
  • Ability to maintain focus for extended periods of time
  • Ability to apply and maintain focus despite challenging conditions such as fatigue, stress, and situational distractions

The Clinic has been offering IM since 2003, with children and adults, presenting with a myriad of issues. One student, who had struggled through every academic year, is now doing her medical residency. Another student, who had no concept of time, shocked her mother by actually being in the car when told, “We’re leaving in five minutes.” Another, who always brought mountains of homework home, was now completing the work in the class time that was given to everyone, after 8 sessions of IM. This was a 9-year-old who was taking medication. He also gave his dad a story that he had written and Dad just had to initial that he had read it. Dad read it and said, “This is really good. Who wrote it out for you?” His son responded in a hurt voice, “It’s my story.” The father replied, “I know but who copied it on the paper for you?” The boy responded, “I put it on the paper.” Dad came back to the table and asked all three sons for their agendas, but really was looking at this boy’s agenda. He had been writing in his agenda, in cursive, but it had always looked like an epileptic chicken had run across the page. Now, it looked like the story: easy to read, a nice flow. They had not been practicing cursive since the year before, but the change in neural timing smoothed it out. 

Students with dyslexia, math issues, stuttering, etc. can’t retrieve the word to describe something; athletes who could now land a jump in skating or kick equally well with either foot; individuals who couldn’t prioritize what had to be done, how to do it, turn off the surrounding world to focus on what was in front of them are now able to do so. These are just some of the anecdotal results that families have shared with us over the past twenty years.

The IM pretest takes approximately 90 minutes and the program involves 15 physical exercises which are performed wearing hand and/or foot sensors, while attempting to do the movement to a specific beat. There are also 6 cognitive tests that are done to measure areas of processing speed (visual and auditory), short-term memory and auditory processing. These then provide a profile of the individual’s cognitive efficiency, working memory, processing speed, and broad attention.

For more information on the Interactive Metronome program, please contact us at 514-966-1553 or info@strategiclearning.ca.