Our journey through autism

Posts tagged ‘interactive metronome’

Interactive Metronome

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Definition: a device used by musicians that marks time at a selected rate by giving a regular tick.

So basically its a device that helps musicians keep a steady beat or rhythm while playing. So what’s an interactive one and how does that help my child? That was the same question I had when I was first told that Bilal would benefit from it. His physical therapist suggested it and gave me a brochure and website to check out, I did and still didn’t see the need of it, Bilal being musically talented already had perfect rhythm I even asked his piano teacher and they practiced some “rhythm cards” and did perfectly, so why does his therapist want to do this? just a waste of time and money in my opinion. I went back and told her what I thought and she said okay, we’ll just continue doing PT then, a couple weeks later she left CTW to continue her studies and that was the end of that. A few months later during Bilal’s annual OT re-evaluation, his therapist also suggested that Bilal would benefit from IM, so I brought up my concerns again and this time I got an explanation that would help and that made me convinced it would be a great therapy for Bilal. Yes Bilal may have perfect musical rhythm, but that is controlled in one area of the brain, while physical or motion rhythm is controlled in another area, and for Bilal a weak one. Take for example, dribbling a basketball, your hand, wrist and arm are moving at a certain speed and rhythm with the ball bouncing against the ground, if you go too fast, you would either miss the ball or change the bounce speed, if you went too slow, you’d most probably miss the ball altogether. You need rhythm, most individuals would have a short trial and error period and then they’re dribbling a ball, but for Bilal and other individuals with hand/eye coordination, motor planning or gross motor issues will not easily find the rhythm to dribble a ball, they need to be taught or trained and that’s where the IM program comes in. There is a home based computer program and there’s the in office program. We did the in-office one, the most basic program is to clap your hands in a steady beat (either fast or slow) as you hear a beep in the headphones. That’s the most basic, over the course of the summer, 3 times a week (from Memorial Day till the second week of August) he went and did an IM program. Started off with just the clapping at different speeds but then it got truly interactive and beneficial, there was clapping the hands at different positions, above head or hands low, toe tapping, heel tapping, alternating foot, hand to knee, step back (lunges), leg lifts from a sitting position, sit-ups, etc. He went through every body movement and position, learning to move at a steady rhythm at fast and slow speeds. It improves the physical aspect of his body, and improves, focus and attention and allows him to move, and play games along with his peers, he can jump better, helps with games like hopscotch or jump-rope, and ball games. His therapists have seen improvements in OT and PT after having completed the IM summer program. The in-office program was covered by insurance and we went in 3 times a week for an hour instead of regular OT. The whole therapy is recorded through a program with charts, tables and percentages, with each visit you can see the gains.

Example:

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The numbers all didn’t make sense to me right away but his OT explained them, in the graph, the objective was the to have both lines as close to each other as possible, showing that he kept the beat he was hearing with the motion required. Really interesting and really beneficial. I would highly recommend it.

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