As a new mother, you have hopes and dreams for your child. You hope your child will be delivered with ten fingers and ten toes. You hope your child will cry, giggle and burp. You hope he or she will crawl, walk and eventually run. You even dream your child will grow up to be happy, healthy and successful. But as we know for some mothers, our biggest fear is that all that our child will ever be is just a hope and a dream.
Ten fingers, ten toes, one diagnosis: autism
Within one month of Robin’s birth we knew something was not right. In 1971, my husband and I rejected institutional placement for our infant daughter who was recently diagnosed as severely disabled and later with classic (severe) autism. The doctor said to us, “…as long as she’s progressing, be thankful…any progress she might make in childhood will regress as an adult.” Scared and in disbelief, we chose not to accept his negative diagnosis - we chose not to believe the limited potential of our daughter.
At the earliest stages of Robin’s autism, my husband and I overcame our first challenge - we just wanted to stop the wild screaming, rocking and self-injurious behaviors. We did not know if she could develop beyond what we saw...
I have had the opportunity of working with many children who are diagnosed with PDD. The diagnosis in general seems to have a very wide range of abilities and areas that are affected. I have found in my area (Northeastern part of the country), that these children seem to fall somewhere between those who are diagnosed with Autism, and those diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. So their responses to using the Interactive Metronome have been very similar, with great progress in a shorter amount of time...
Guidance shows improvement in children with Pervasive Developmental Delay
I have had the opportunity of working with many children who are diagnosed with PDD. The diagnosis in general seems to have a very wide range of abilities and areas that are affected. I have found in my area (Northeastern part of the country), that these children seem to fall somewhere between those who are diagnosed with Autism, and those diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. So their responses to using the Interactive Metronome have been very similar, with great progress in a shorter amount of time.
Fireworks! Autism Spectrum, Social Interaction and IM!
Children who are on the Autism Spectrum generally have great difficulty with their social skills. They don’t know when or how to interact with others. Following conversations is very difficult for them as is giving eye contact. It seems that they are sometimes “Out of Sync” with their environment and the people who are in it.
Hanging out with friends after school is a big part of a teenager’s life and is crucial for developing people and communication skills. For those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), social activity is very rare, especially after school and out of the family circle. This is something that has kept Professor Paul Shattuck of Washington University in St. Louis busy for many years; he says that limited or absent peer relationships can negatively influence health and mental health, especially during this difficult age.
A “Real Birthday Party” was in order for Raymond this Year!
Several years ago, I met a 9-year-old boy named “Raymond”, who had recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. He was very bright and got A’s in classes like math and history. Raymond knew a lot about video games and video game systems, and was willing to tell you every detail about them. He also confided in me that he had no friends and that kids laughed at him and turned the other way when he came over to them. The reason that he came to me was that his handwriting was illegible and very slow. And during his OT evaluation, I discovered that his coordination was well below age level (much more like a 4 year old) and that he had weakness throughout his body. I also noticed that his focus and concentration was very poor for non-preferred topics.
Burned Out No More! How IM gave PDD/Autism patient the best school year of her life!
Erin had a diagnosis of PDD/Autism. She was verbal, but unable to have a purposeful conversation. Her voice was very high pitched, and other children turned away from her when she would go up to them and start reciting lines from various Disney movies or Barney episodes on TV. She had been attending traditional OT/PT and Speech therapy visits for 7 out of her 8 years of life and the family was reaching burn out status, as her progress seemed to be very slow.
Prior to her discharge, we decided to give one more thing a try. Interactive Metronome. Mom had been reading about progress in attention and focus with children who performed the IM exercises. She wasn’t sure how Erin would do, but since it was summertime and their schedule wasn’t as busy it would be worth the time needed to give IM a try.
Colin always had trouble focusing, being attentive in school, and behaving with other kids, with little to know headway made during his therapy sessions. After incorporating IM into his session, both his parents and his teachers began to see dramatic improvements in Colin’s behavior, attention to detail, and ability to focus. Read the full story and find out how.