By Interactive Metronome, Bricole Reincke - June 5, 2014
Provider of the Month: June
Name: Lori Schmidt
Type of Professional: Educator
Years using IM: 11 (since 2003)
Facility Name: IM Focused, LLC
Location: Topeka, Kansas
As a private pay small business, I serve both typically developing individuals and those with mild learning challenges. I see students with ADHD, LD, and high functioning ASD, as well as athletes and professional adults. My ‘students’ range in age from 3 to 83!
What made you look into IM?
My own son struggled greatly with attention, social/emotional delays and sensory issues. At the age of 17, his life was transformed by IM. I watched him change from an unhappy, isolated teen into a happy, fully connected young man. I was sold!
Tell us about your business (patients served, size of practice, services offered, how often you use IM and IM-Home in daily practice):
I use IM intensely because it is the basis of my business. My goal is to place every student into an IM group of similar students. Groups are more affordable and provide influential peer role models. Making IM affordable allows parents to bring students back for advanced training modes. This in turn results in more students who fully catch up with their peers. Students may complete as many as 200,000 reps over 5 or 10 years and make significant gains with every 30,000 reps of training.
What is your favorite thing about Interactive Metronome? And IM-Home (if used)?
IM’s impact on the lives of individuals is what I love!
IM can elicit subtle, unexpected gains, such as internalizing music. A student may begin humming or singing for the first time, which is often seen right after a challenging but successful IM session.
Parents love the gain in dialogue. Rather than listening to their child monologue about his/her own interest for hours on end, parents now share ideas back and forth with their child.
Empathetic and caring behavior is the gain that brings moms to tears. The first day their child looks them directly in the eyes and performs a simple act of affection, moms melt. ‘He touched my arm and said thanks for making my lunch mom.’
Even the ‘negative-positive’ gains are fabulous! I have had students begin to tell lies for the first time in their lives at 9 years old! Once parents understand that the child is now able to see the world from someone else’s perspective, giving the child the ‘ability’ to lie, parents are thrilled that this ‘negative’ behavior is a sign of mental connectivity and growth! The child is catching up!
What other modalities do you use in your practice that you like to combine with IM?
IM is the foundation, but I incorporate other activities; reflex integration exercises, Bal-A-Vis X, Integrated Listening Systems and some easy challenge course activities round out the program.
What marketing methods have you found successful, what ones have failed:
Parents are my best friends. Almost all of my new families come from personal contact with a previous family. I ask parents to give testimonials for my website. Sending note cards out to the local private schools is helpful for gathering those beginning relationships.
Tip for other IM Providers:
Tip Number One: Don’t stop offering IM too soon! I use IM as long as there are behaviors that IM could address. A student who completes 30,000 reps every year or two, may complete 150,000 or 200,000 reps by college. Gains will continue to be seen with each format of IM training. My goal is to help every child reach his fullest potential. The more challenges a child has, the more time this takes.
Tip Number Two: Movement quality is as important as timing. Subtle aberrant movements tell much about the neuronal network underlying it. I observe the easy fluid movement qualities of neuro typical students and set that goal for all of my IM students! If the movements are immature, even though timing is in the elite range, the child will likely have remaining challenges. Movement quality matters.
Tip Number Three: Major brain changes seem to take place when a student can predictably perform long tasks and score BELOW 18 ms with correct movement quality. When this student loses track of time and space the student has reached a distinct level of excellence. This state is often described as meditative bliss and indicates processing has become subconscious and automatic. I frequently continue training well beyond this point, resulting in powerful social and emotional gains.
also, check out IM Focused, LLC on Facebook here.