Occupation: Speech and Language Pathologist
Population: I mostly work with the young adult and adult/geriatric populations.
Number of Years Using IM?
I’ve been using IM for 20 years now.
Tell us about your business:
I have served as Interactive Metronome’s Clinical Education Director since 2006.
What made you look into IM?
I worked with adolescents and adults in brain injury rehabilitation and was looking for a better way to address issues with processing speed, attention, and executive functions. I first learned about Interactive Metronome (IM) at a Brain Injury Association Conference. I raised my hand to be the person in the room to try it, and as I experienced it for the first time (20 years ago!), I knew this was the missing piece to achieving even greater outcomes for my patients. We quickly adopted IM at the hospital where I worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist (a major trauma center) and never looked back! Our patients achieved new heights as we used IM to restore cognitive, motor, and sensory functions following catastrophic neurologic injuries and illnesses. Patients, who previously would not have been able to return to work at all because of residual deficits, were returning to high-level employment (physician returning to practice medicine, engineer returning to work and managing 25 employees, high-rise construction worker returning to building skyscrapers) and resuming things like driving. In 2006, I transitioned from the clinical setting to come work for IM as their Clinical Education Director to share my knowledge and experience with IM and to develop educational materials to advance the skills of IM Providers.
What do you like most about IM?
What I love the most about IM and IM Home is its EFFECTIVENESS. It WORKS! Whereas many of the therapies we offer our clients are top-down, IM, and IM Home work from the BOTTOM UP addressing cognitive speed, language processing, attention and concentration, working memory, and self-control.
What are your thoughts on IM Universe?
When I first started using IM, it did not have any visual displays which made it extra challenging for patients that struggled with auditory processing. Not long after my hospital acquired the IM, they came out with new visual displays that provided VISUAL FEEDBACK that was synchronized with the feedback sounds they were hearing – that was immensely helpful for many! Over time, IM added gamification. And WOW! The games really help to hold a patient’s attention and to achieve BURSTS – which means they are performing most of the time in the Super-Right On zone where so much progress is achieved. I have found the games to be very motivating which encourages even better timing and rhythm and OUTCOMES!
Do you incorporate Best Practices with your IM training?
I always individualized IM for each client and still recommend that to IM Providers who call for Clinical Support. I developed a way to address VISUAL ATTENTION, VISUAL PROCESSING & EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS using certain settings on the IM and combining IM with various visual stimuli that were quite effective at moving the bar on standardized testing. I have found that once a client gets a good sense of timing, it is necessary to raise the bar and introduce a new learning situation into IM training – this approach has helped many overcome cognitive deficits that otherwise would have prevented them from returning to work or driving.
Tips for other IM Providers:
I recommend that new IM Providers put themselves through IM training and get their scores down into the low 20s. This will give them a good feel for it which will help them greatly with adjusting settings for their clients. In addition, there are many times when you will need to provide hand-over-hand IM training with your client and you are more effective in helping them achieve better timing if your own timing is excellent.
I love IM. Unlike any other intervention I’ve used, it is the most effective and works the fastest. I will never practice Speech-Language Pathology again without it.
If you have any questions about IM and how to use it most effectively for your clients reach out to Amy Vega at email@example.com