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What's Rhythm Got To Do With It?

If you’re a parent of a child who struggles in school, this might interest you greatly.  I have a great passion to see people, especially kids, become all they are meant to be.  It breaks my heart to see kids struggle at school and have labels slapped on them that they don’t deserve.  It is common knowledge that kids, especially boys are having an increasingly difficult time paying attention and focusing on their school work.  It drives parents, teachers and even the kids crazy.  It is a complex problem that seems to be managed by stimulating or sedating drugs that are not without serious side effects.  Researchers and sound thinkers are beginning to see the problem differently, with promising results.


Photo © 2011 J. Ronald Lee


The problem lies in the brain and in how it functions.  These symptoms are beginning to be seen as a product of a neuro-developmental problem that falls on a continuum from mild ADHD all the way to severe autism.  The causes seem to be varied from in-utero or birth trauma to nutritional and activity deficits.  In many cases, there seems to be a malfunction of the brain’s internal clock.


A properly functioning internal clock is vital to normal brain function.  It’s needed to coordinate our motor and cognitive functions and to help us switch from one side of the brain to the other.  Because proper functioning of this timing mechanism is foundational, a malfunction can show up in many different ways.  For some children, it will show up as poor coordination, in others as poor attentional skills and lack of focus, and yet others with behavioral issues and impulse control.  As you can imagine, this has been a difficult problem to measure and an even more challenging deficit to remedy.  Until now


A number of years ago, a music teacher developed a computer program to help his students improve their timing skills.  It produced a steady beat to which the student had to keep time with hand claps.  The computer could easily measure how far off the beat they were and then provide feedback to generate improvement.  That was the origin of the Interactive Metronome (IM).


The IM has grown from that chance discovery to now be used for neurological rehabilitation in over 20,000 locations across the US.  It’s results are well researched with more research underway showing 2 grade level improvements in reading and math after only 10 hours of training.


We have one of only 3 units in Alberta and has been a great asset in our practice.  It’s simple to use and the results are promising.  For more information, check out Interactive Metronome’s website.


What challenges have you had in getting clear answers for your child’s school challenges?

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