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...
Safety (reducing falls)
Fine motor skills
Independence with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (iADLs)
Reading Rate, Comprehension and Fluency
If you're curious to learn more about IM, give us a call at 781-239-0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.