By Amy Vega - June 19, 2012

A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Interactive Metronome Training on the Language Skills of an Adolescent Female With a Language Learning Disorder


This 2008 study published in Contemporary Issues In Communication Science and Disorders demonstrated the effect of IM training on expressive and receptive language skills in an adolescent female with a language learning disorder (LLD).  According to the study, the subject (Renee) was in 7th grade and was experiencing difficulty with both oral and written language.  Renee was extremely frustrated and required several special accommodations at school like increased time for test-taking, altered or shortened assignments, modified grading scale, open book exams, and shortened verbal instruction. She spent part of the time in the regular classroom and received special education services in the areas of reading, writing, and math.  The IEP showed specific emphasis on word retrieval, syntax (with pronouns specifically), reading,writing, and math.

Renee participated in 15 – 50 minute sessions of IM training with her speech therapist 4 times per week.  Pre & post-testing was completed with the following dramatic results:

  • Improvement from Standard Score of 106 to 138 (increase from age-equivalent 11yrs, 4 months to age-equivalent >19 yrs) on the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test.
  • Readministration of the Oral and Written Language Scales revealed improvement from Standard Score of 86 to 99 (increase in age-equivalency from 9 yrs, 6 months to that of a child age 12 years, 9 months).
  • The authors reported that Renee improved in all of the language skills that were assessed.

Upon completion of the study, the authors mentioned that “Renee had completed more tasks on the posttest than she had on the pretest.”  Additionally, Renee stated her thinking was “cleaner” and “lighter.” Her mother noted that after IM training it took less time for Renee to process language and that she was less frustrated over all and better able to cope when frustrating situations did arise.  The authors concluded that IM training may be a useful tool in the treatment of communication disorders for a wide range of clinical conditions.

Sabado, J.J. & Fuller, D.R. (2008). A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Interactive Metronome Training on the Language Skills of an Adolescent Female With a Language Learning Disorder. Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 35, 65-71.

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