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Sensory Integration Program with Interactive Metronome Training Benefits Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Pilot Study



Pediatric, Cognitive Skills, Motor Skills, Sensory Processing

In this study, a group of 10 children aged between 5 to 9, with varying diagnoses such as delayed development, autism, mental retardation, speech delay, ADHD, and Down’s syndrome, underwent Interactive Metronome (IM) training as part of a Sensory Integration (SI) programme.

The children were carefully selected based on specific criteria, including a confirmed developmental disability diagnosis by a child psychologist and commitment from parents to implement a home program. These children were not receiving SI therapy from any other source during the study period.

The training sessions were held 5 days a week, each session lasting 45 minutes, from May 30, 2011, to July 1, 2011. IM exercises, tailored to the children’s needs, were incorporated into each session for 10 minutes. An occupational therapist, professionally trained in sensory integration, conducted all the sessions.

Statistical analysis revealed that, following the IM training, there was a significant improvement in tactile sensitivity, gustatory/olfactory sensitivity, motor sensitivity, high/low response, hearing filtering, low endurance, visual/auditory sensitivity, as well as total scores on the Short Sensory Profile (p < .05).

There was also marked improvement in attention and a decrease in hyperactivity as measured on the Conner’s Teachers Rating Scale (p < .05). The DeGangi-Berk Test also reflected significant improvements in postural control, bilateral integration, reflex integration, and overall scores (p < .05).

The study concluded that the application of IM in the SI programme can notably enhance sensory processing and executive functions. This is particularly due to the role of IM in promoting auditory memory, attention, and praxis, and helping children practice fast, accurate movements.

Abridged Summary & Results of Study

The Effects of a Sensory Integration Programme with Applied Interactive Metronome Training for Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Pilot Study

YEAR: 2012


AUTHOR: Hyun Ho Kim, Gak Hwang Bo, & Byung Kook Yoo

Following a course of IM training, 10 children diagnosed with delayed development (20%), autism (10%), mental retardation (10%), speech delay (30%), ADHD (20%), and Down’s syndrome (10%) demonstrated significant differences in tactile sensitivity, gustatory/ olfactory sensitivity, motor sensitivity, high/low response, hearing filtering, low endurance, visual/auditory sensitivity, and the total score (p < .05) on the Short Sensory Profile. Additionally, they showed improved attention and decreased hyperactivity (p < .05) on the Conner’s Teachers Rating Scale and significant changes in postural control, bilateral integration, reflex integration, and the total score (p < .05) on the DeGangi-Berk Test.


  • n=10 children

Inclusion criteria:

  • 5 to 9 years of age
  • Diagnosed developmental disability by a child psychologist
  • The absence of other medical or developmental diseases which would affect physical and cognitive performances • not undergoing SI therapy elsewhere during the study period
  • Parents willing and committed to carrying out the home programme


  • Carried out by occupational therapist professionally trained in sensory integration
  • Subjects received interventions 5 days per week for 45 minutes each session from May 30, 2011 to July 1, 2011;
    Interactive Metronome was carried out with modifications for 10 minutes of each session
  • SPSS statistical software version 12.0 was used to assess the pre-/post-treatment differences within the study group. The level of significance (p) was set at .05.
  • Interactive Metronome training promotes auditory memory, attention, and praxis. Especially, auditory metronome training assists children in practicing fast and accurate motions. Therefore, the SI programme, with applied interactive metronome training, can improve executive function as well as sensory processing.

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