Ten fingers and ten toes
As a new mother, you have hopes and dreams for your child. You hope your child will be delivered with ten fingers and ten toes. You hope your child will cry, giggle and burp. You hope he or she will crawl, walk and eventually run. You even dream your child will grow up to be happy, healthy and successful.
But as we know for some mothers, our biggest fear is that all that our child will ever be is just a hope and a dream.
Ten fingers, ten toes, one diagnosis: autism
Within one month of Robin’s birth we knew something was not right. In 1971, my husband and I rejected institutional placement for our infant daughter who was recently diagnosed as severely disabled and later with classic (severe) autism. The doctor said to us, “…as long as she’s progressing, be thankful…any progress she might make in childhood will regress as an adult.” Scared and in disbelief, we chose not to accept his negative diagnosis - we chose not to believe the limited potential of our daughter.
At the earliest stages of Robin’s autism, my husband and I overcame our first challenge - we just wanted to stop the wild screaming, rocking and self-injurious behaviors. We did not know if she could develop beyond what we saw...
Molly, a 10-year-old 5th grader, had a recent diagnosis that included ADHD, and she was said to be showing signs of High Functioning Autism. Molly’s mother noticed that her daughter would regularly forget things at home and school, and was unable to keep her belongings organized. She had trouble focusing, and even doing the smallest amount of homework was a daily battle. When a school test was over, she would regularly forget most of what she had worked so hard to learn.
As Molly moves into her junior high school years, she would be required to memorize more writing and reading, and Molly’s mother was anxious that she could only spend limited time assisting Molly with her studies. She wondered how her daughter would make her way through this seemingly overwhelming challenge.
When Molly’s mother saw the Interactive Metronome (IM) website, she read the content with a certain level of suspicion and doubt, but as a parent who wanted to do whatever she could to help Molly and lessen her frustrations, she decided to give IM a try...
Families across the US are fighting ADHD and Autism with a personalized brain fitness program. The computer based program is called 'Interactive Metronome' and its video game like technology has helped one student go from special needs to top of his class.
Just a few years ago, Adam Solomon was struggling with a severe case of ADHD. Labeled a special needs student at school, he was often relegated to the corner of the classroom to be on his own.
His parents were met with a decision: provide medicinal treatment for their son or leave him in the state that he was in. Unhappy with the choices available to them, his parents opted for an alternative measure recommended by a friend...
There is still controversy over whether Autism Spectrum Disorders result from some interaction with environment after birth (i.e., toxic exposures, immune-modulation post-vaccination, etc) or whether they result from genetic defect(s). Some would argue both are contributing factors, that certain individuals are born with a genetic predisposition and that exposure(s) in the environment turn on or off certain genes that may contribute to the development of Autism Spectrum Disorders. In this study, researchers provide a strong argument for a genetic defect in the “clock genes,” genes that control our perception of time and with genes for a process called “methylation” that controls the turning on and off of our genes or how they are expressed (ultimately how they control our abilities). Individuals on the Autism Spectrum demonstrate numerous symptoms resulting from an impaired perception of time from circadian rhythm (sleep/wake/appetite) to millisecond timing required for speech-language, social/behavioral, cognitive, motor, and visual skills. The Interactive Metronome (IM) is a training program that is administered under the guidance of a certified professional. It is designed to improve the basic timing skills necessary for development of speech, language, cognitive, and motor skills. Many parents and professionals also report decrease in aggressive behavior, improved social skills, and better sensory processing following IM training.
Wimpory, D. (2002). Social timing clock genes and autism: A new hypothesis. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research,...
Guidance shows improvement in children with Pervasive Developmental Delay
I have had the opportunity of working with many children who are diagnosed with PDD. The diagnosis in general seems to have a very wide range of abilities and areas that are affected. I have found in my area (Northeastern part of the country), that these children seem to fall somewhere between those who are diagnosed with Autism, and those diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. So their responses to using the Interactive Metronome have been very similar, with great progress in a shorter amount of time.
Researchers (Nicholas et al, 2007) are asking whether genes responsible for timing in the brain are in some way flawed in children with Autism (including High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s). Individuals on the Autism Spectrum display a significant number of symptoms that show timing in the brain is severely disrupted, from difficulty with sleep to the brain’s ability to process information, to attention or the ability to switch from focusing on one thing to another (they often become fixated), to communicating & reciprocating in conversation, to sensory processing and integration, to motor coordination (including the muscles for vision and visual perception). The authors found that there is indeed a case to be made that “clock genes” are involved, however they urge further research. More and more professionals are including Interactive Metronome in their comprehensive treatment programs for children on the Autism Spectrum in order to improve the timing skills that are critical for development of speech & language, cognitive, social, and motor skills.
Nicholas, B., Rudrasingham, V., Nash, S., Kirov, G., Own, M.J., and Wimpory, D.C. (2007). Association of Per1 and Npas2 with autistic disorder: Support for the clock genes/social timing hypothesis. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 581-592.
IM Provider April Christopherson OTR/L guest stars in the “Focus Point” Voice America National Radio program.
She discuses “The Shandy Clinic” in Colorado Springs, CO, Interactive Metronome, other programs that she has worked with, and the use of modalities to treat pediatrics (SPD, ADHD, Autism), TBI, and Stroke Rehab. The show also discusses the importance of rhythm and timing in the brain, and how it affects our everyday lives. You can listen to the interview at this link: VoiceAmerica
TUSTIN CHRONIC CONDITION CENTER
The Tustin Chronic Condition Center has incorporated a new software program called the Interactive Metronome. The software helps children who have ADD or ADHD, autism, dyslexia and learning disabilities. The equipment helps children with working memory, attention, processing information, sequencing information in order and motor coordination.
“Our new Interactive Metronome®helps us work with and improve the function of the frontal cortex. The fontal cortex controls things like impulsiveness and attention span, and it’s where the personality “lives”. It’s also where things like depression and anxiety are created, and for these children it’s the region in the brain that’s not working as well as it could be.”
A new tool for the Autistic!
When it comes to the treatment of autism, early intervention is key—yet African-American children are typically diagnosed two years later than Caucasian children. Now here’s some better news: Interactive Metronome is a health program shown to improve the brain functions of people with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, According to a 2011 study published in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy.