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Interactive Metronome (IM)

Interactive Metronome, also referred to as IM, is an engaging, evidence-based therapeutic modality that clinicians at the Boston Ability Center can use to address many different skills in physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) sessions.

Interactive Metronome involves synchronizing movements to a beat. The ability to move in a rhythmic pattern synchronized to the beat of the metronome can tell clinicians about a child's motor skills (such as coordination), ability to process and respond to information, and executive functioning skills (such as impulse control).

What does IM training look like?: IM software is set up on a computer, which can be placed in whatever setting best suits your child's needs (e.g. larger therapy gym, small treatment room). Additional supplies include a pair of headphones and a "trigger," which can be a button that the child presses with his hands or a pad on the floor that the child steps on with his feet. The child hears a metronome beat in his headphones and tries to press the trigger at the same time as the beat.

We can challenge children in a variety of ways during IM training, such as by asking them to stand on a balance board or by asking them to complete a sequence of different movements to the beat. The IM software even includes virtual games that motivate kids to give their best effort. For example, when a child's movements are perfectly synchronized with the beat in a basketball game, the ball will go in the hoop!

Who is IM for?: This technology can be used with a variety of patient populations, including individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, cerebral palsy, developmental delays. You also don't need a formal diagnosis to experience the potential benefits of IM.

During a PT, OT, and/or SLP session, IM can help improve...

  • Balance

  • Coordination

  • Gait

  • Endurance

  • Safety (reducing falls)

  • Fine motor skills

  • Self-regulation

  • Independence with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs)

  • Social skills

  • Attention

  • Memory

  • Executive Functioning

  • Processing speed

  • Reading Rate, Comprehension and Fluency

  • And more!

If you're curious to learn more about IM, give us a call at 781-239-0100 or email with your questions.

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