And the Beat Goes On – How Timing Affects Learning By Beth Ardell, MPT
The tick-tock of a metronome has long been used by pianists while practicing their craft. Research now suggests that students with learning differences who “stay on beat” can increase their focus, mental processing and cognitive abilities. Rhythm and research?As infants, we very quickly develop a sense of rhythm. In the games we play and the songs we sing, rhythm is a way for children to learn about their bodies and their environment. For children with learning differences, activities using rhythm are increasingly being used as a tool to increase mental fluency, thereby improving the effectiveness of many brain and body functions. Growing evidence suggests a link between mental timekeeping and cognition and learning. Children diagnosed with dyslexia may have deficiencies in their timing and rhythm abilities, and some researchers believe the connection between time/rhythm and learning may be so significant that a student’s response time to a metronome beat may predict performance on standardized reading tests. Students have demonstrated significant improvements in broad reading and reading fluency, language processing, and even golf performance after participation in a program to improve timing. In addition, studies have indicated improvements in children with ADHD in the areas of attention, motor control, language processing, reading and ability to regulate aggression...
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.”
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.
Computer program benefits a variety of young patients
Nicole Dye-Anderson credits roller-skating lessons with alleviating her daughter's ADHD symptoms. It was Jenna's skating coach who noticed the 11-year-old seemed to prefer her left side over her right. She suggested physical therapy to improve Jenna's balance.
That's how Jenna wound up at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children using the Interactive Metronome, a computer-based rhythm program that uses simultaneous sound and images to help with the brain's processing, specifically when it comes to attention, motor planning and sequencing. Computer program benefits a variety of young patients
Three and a half years ago, Diane Solomon was at the end of her rope. Her son Adam was in second grade and nobody knew what was wrong with him. When Adam was 18 months old, he had been diagnosed with a rare childhood inflammatory disease called...