From time to time, we get questions on how to use IM with specific populations, how to work with the equipment and anything else that is causing our Providers headaches. Amy Vega, a fabulous SLP and our Clinical Education Director, is here to answer those questions in a weekly series. Each week, we will address one topic in-depth that has plagued our Providers. So, be sure to check back here for all the answers to your questions. While you're at it, send in a question that has been on your mind. You never know who else it may help.
Ben is a 12-year-old with ADHD, who used to have trouble in school. His grades were below average, and he was easily distracted, unable to remember much of the material taught in class. Ben struggled with homework assignments and studying for tests. He felt defeated, and was frustrated by his parents' attempts to get him to study harder. He put in the extra effort, but nothing seemed to help.
Larry began to experience symptoms in September of 2007, including fasciculations that became more and more severe, difficulty manipulating his fingers especially when it was cold, and trouble with fine motor skills for tasks such as buttoning his shirt, tying his shoes, or snapping his fingers. After working as a steel fabricator and crane operator for 35 years, Larry attributed his symptoms to “arthritis.” However, over the next 2 1/2 years it became gradually more difficult to lift heavy objects, to do intricate work with his fingers such as threading a needle, and it eventually became difficult to write. By the middle of 2009, Larry began to notice muscle atrophy in his hands and forearms. In March 25, 2010, after several EMGs and MRIs, Larry was given the devastating diagnosis of ALS.
These alternative treatments -- electrotherapy stimulation, low-energy neurofeedback, working memory training, and interactive metronome -- can help attention deficit adults and children manage ADHD symptoms without medication.
"People with attention deficit have an interesting brain wave profile,” says Richard Brown, M.D., author of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care. “Parts of the brain -- areas responsible for planning and sequencing, making decisions, and maintaining focus -- aren’t functioning as they do in other people.”
Therapies aimed at sharpening those faculties are sometimes required. Read on to learn about four brain training techniques that may help ADHD adults and attention deficit children improve focus and memory, and decrease impulsivity, hyperactivity, and other ADHD symptoms.
Sean was adopted at nine months old, now 11 years old, lives with his mother, father, and two sisters. For much of his life, Sean has suffered from mood swings, severe behavioral problems, and difficulty sleeping. He’s been diagnosed with several different disorders, including Cognitive Deficits, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), and possible Ring 21 Syndrome. He takes several medications to manage these conditions. When Sean first started IM, his performance measured in the extreme deficiency range. His speech-language, listening, and comprehension skills were also far below average. He also struggled with low self-confidence. During the course of the IM, Sean showed marked gains. Sean’s mother reports a fantastic improvement in his behavior at home, as well as his attitude toward education and social skills. She credits the IM program with restoring hope for her little boy, where medication and traditional therapy had failed.
It’s a weekday afternoon at the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club and about a dozen children ages 5 to 8 enter the computer room. Each puts on headphones, straps a round plastic button to one hand and starts clapping.
Most of these children are struggling in school, and some have learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder.
They are participating in a three- to four-week pilot program called Hardy Brain Camp, a unique form of therapy designed to help the young pupils focus and succeed in school.
Heuser Chiropractic is featured in the news as a provider of Interactive Metronome (IM). Therapists soon realized that IM can be used to help not only people with ADHD, but people suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Malachi, 25, who has suffered from TBI while overseas with the Army says that IM has helped his focus and saw great improvement.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So, without further ado, below I unveil the following pictorial representation that captures, in my professional opinion, “what is happening under the hood” with Interactive Metronome (IM) technology, particularly as it relates to improved attention, focus, and thinking efficiency.