Sally's Final Intervention - Interactive Metronome™
When we first realized our daughter Sally had a significant dyslexia, we immediately began work to create a realistic, yet ambitious, rehabilitation plan that would be completed before she reached high school. Our ultimate goal for Sally was that she would be independent and competitive academically with other college-bound students, without the need for accommodations or excessive parental involvement. Well, Sally is in 8th grade now and overall doing well! Since high school is less than a year away, our last intervention is to push processing speed, a key component in auditory processing and other cognitive functions.
Using Rhythm and Timing to Boost Processing Speed
Why is timing so important if there are auditory processing deficits?
Rhythm and timing are core strategies that impact the brain, especially for sequencing, motor planning and processing speed. Most of us learned very important core information to rhythm. A great example of this is the alphabet; in fact, when saying the alphabet even years later, many of us still use rhythm. However, if we have slow processing speed, we often miss incoming information because of a delay. For example, if we are still processing information unit A when information unit B is being given there will be an “information traffic jam”. If processing speed is slow, the individual may be able to solve the problem and obtain the correct answer; it just takes longer to do so when compared others. Slow processing speed can be problematic in a school or work environment, because the individual is not as competitive as his peers.
Part of the distortion of auditory manipulation is related to timing. Many errors are timing errors, the difference between “vase” and “base,” as well as “ant” and “and.” Furthermore, auditory processing is particularly dependent on processing speed because auditory information is temporal and vanishes; there is not a permanent image to hold on to or refer back to as a reference.
Rhythm and timing skills also support other cognitive abilities like organization, logic and reasoning, auditory manipulation, working memory and the ability to follow directions. Applying rhythm to activities and working to increase speed is an effective way to boost auditory processing and processing speed overall. What’s more, targeting and improving these areas can also provide benefits for a number of other cognitive abilities.
Improving Processing Speed
How can you improve processing speed?
You can use rhythm; as many of you are aware, in speech therapy and in our learning center we use the metronome to drive processing speed. Continuing to increase the rhythm speed to further push processing speed.
Time tasks and then working to “beat your time” is also an effective way to achieve results.
Sports training or participation in activities such as ping pong, tennis, hip-hop or Celtic dance, agility and speed training is often useful as well.
With Sally, we have chosen to use Interactive Metronome TM to push her processing speed; we feel this strategy will continue to not only progress her processing speed, but it will also assist with the root cause of her difficulties - auditory timing and processing.
For additional information about Interactive Metronome, visit their website: www.interactivemetronome.com.
Getting Results with Interactive Metronome TM
Besides Sally, here are some of my recent success stories:
- A 10 year old boy experiencing generalized difficulties below the 25th percentile on most measures of cognitive function, especially memory. He has progressed from facilitated training to more supervised practice. In classroom activities he is showing better attention. His vocabulary in science is improving as he can remember the new words he is learning about.
- Along with other rehabilitation strategies, I have used Interactive Metronome™ to help an adult improve his attention and processing speed with strong and rapid results. The adult is showing more organization in his business and faster responding when engaging in his hobby of comedy.
- I have also seen success with multiple individuals of all ages with auditory processing deficits.
For additional information about Interactive Metronome™, please contact our office at 704-541-1373 or visit us online at www.thebraintrainer.com.