By Wendy Harron - December 7, 2011
IM helps with reading skills
One of the things that many of the parents of the children whom I have worked with have told me while we were doing IM sessions was that they noticed some type of improvement with reading. Some of these children had difficulty with reading and letter recognition from the start, and others did not, but improvement was still observed by parents or teachers.
When reading the research, it seems that they are thinking that performing the Interactive Metronome exercises helps to improve the internal time clock in the brain and speeding it up would help us to be more efficient in interpreting and decoding skills that are involved in reading.
In the clinical setting, my first experience was with an 11 year old who had developmental delay. She was being homeschooled and although she could recognize letters and print them, she just had great difficulty trying to sound them out to combine them into words. She went to a reading tutor weekly as well. We did IM sessions 3x/week, and after our second week, her mother came in and told me some great news. On the way home from therapy the night before when they were stuck in traffic, this child started reading the billboards along I-95! The words were big and clear to read, but she was quickly sounding them out and also comprehending what she was reading.
Several children that I have seen with diagnosis of ADHD have also made improvements in reading skills. Their progress was in the area of reading for leisure. Mom’s would come in and report to me that their children were picking up books to read for fun over the weekend. One child struggled with completing 15 minute reading assignments as nightly homework, but this diminished quickly as he demonstrated improvement in his timing and focusing skills during our IM sessions. These very active children were now focusing and enjoying age appropriate books.
Another child who had a diagnosis of dyslexia along with developmental delay and ADD also began to read for enjoyment. Her mother reported that she felt that her daughter was making fewer mistakes when reading out loud as well. This child also had motor planning issues which showed great improvement in the 8 weeks that I use the IM program with her.
While I have not seen a child specifically for reading difficulties, improvement in this foundational skill has been an added bonus. Reading for learning as well as reading for enjoyment is something that will be beneficial for a lifetime.