By Interactive Metronome - September 30, 2011
Mizuki was 3 when he was diagnosed with autism and his parents knew he had a tough road ahead of him if they didn’t start early. So they tried many therapies over the years and when he was 8 they found one of our only IM Providers in Japan to go to, IMproved. After just 15 sessions Mizuki was doing amazing. He was able to communicate more normally and hold eye contact now. His handwriting became legible and was doing math at grade level. His balance has improved, and he runs more smoothly than before and he can even ride his bicycle in standing position. Mizuki made such great gains in the clinic that they purchased a home unit for continued success. Read his full story below.
Mizuki, a 10-year-old boy, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. He showed strong signs of being overly sensitive to touch and sound. He would panic at the sound of the vacuum cleaner or blender. Rather than speaking, Mizuki would only make noises. Over the next few years, Mizuki participated in a variety of therapies to improve auditory processing, language and sensory processing issues.
When Mizuki began attending school he had a hard time reading out loud and he could not write properly. His spoken language consisted almost exclusively of echolalia (parroting) and he could not give an answer when questioned. Mizuki could not tell right from left and could not even do the simplest of addition problems.
At age 8, when Mizuki was brought to IMprove in Yokohama, Japan, he began to use Interactive Metronome (IM). IM provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the patient to synchronize whole-body exercises to a precise computer-generated reference beat. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions. An auditory-visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds, and a score is provided. Mizuki’s initial IM score was 157 milliseconds indicating a timing deficiency. He loved the IM and willingly cooperated with the IM Provider’s directives.
IM was instrumental in helping Mizuki communicate more normally and hold eye contact. After his second session, his fine motor skills showed improvement. His handwriting is becoming legible and he is doing math at grade level. His balance has improved and he runs more smoothly than before. He can even ride his bicycle in standing position now.
After 15 IM sessions Mizuki’s post IM score was an amazing 26 milliseconds! His mother purchased an IM-Home unit, which allowed him to do Interactive Metronome in the comfort of their own home. Over the course of two years, Mizuki completed over 55 IM-training sessions.
Mizuki’s development has brought him from being classified as autistic to “a slow developer” or having a “learning disability”. Mizuki is a much more relaxed boy. It is as if he were a totally different person than he used to be. His mother intends to continue to use the IM-Home with him every 6 months.
Thomas Burkard B.Ed.