By Amy Vega - October 17, 2014

Timing or Sequencing, Which Comes First?


I’m working with an 10 year old boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD and executive function issues. He tends to space out when doing written assignments, both at school and at home. I did the LFA and attend over time with him. His scores were mostly in the 80s.

He’s come for 4 sessions since then. I’ve been able to introduce the guide sounds and he’s doing well, with his scores coming down. However, as we’ve done the exercises with more repetitions, I’ve noticed his attention waning a little. So, I tried to do a sequence with him: clap 2x, hit right leg 2x and continue this sequence for 200 reps. He was definitely more focused, but then I noticed that if he focused on the timing, he had a lot of difficulty remembering and focusing on the sequence, and vice versa – if he tried hard to get the sequence right, his timing really deteriorated. I’ve seen this with other kids and I realize it’s normal to not be able to do timing and sequencing well right away.

So, my question is this…should I direct him to focus more on the timing or the sequencing initially? I want to tell him to get the sequence going first, and then we’ll focus on the timing. That’s what I’ve done with other kids, but just want to be sure I’m on the right track.


This may be a problem with active working memory & sustained attention/attention-shifting – there is an excellent on-demand webinar you can access on the IM website that outlines several activities to incorporate with IM training to help these issues.

·       IM Best Practices: An Educator’s Approach *FREE*

I would first establish good timing with his hands (his best Task Average), then introduce additional cognitive load to further address higher level attention (if still necessary) and working memory.



Amy Vega, MS, CCC-SLP

Interactive Metronome, Inc

Clinical Education Director

Clinical Advisory Board Director

Clinical Education Administrator

One thought on “Timing or Sequencing, Which Comes First?”

  1. This is an excellent question. And appreciate the referral to the webinar that would help. I just finished working with a 9 year old male student and a 14 year old female both with ADD issues. I did not introduce sequencing enhancements until training mid-point. The extra challenge of the sequence helps keep them engaged while continuing to work them at the resting heart rate. Initially, it’s hard for them to remember the sequence but by the second or third session incorporating this type of exercise they usually do well. I find the biggest challenge is keeping a balance between proper execution (Controlled, Fluid Body Motions) with continuing to improving timing, consistancy and stamina. Sometimes we have to spend the time during training to reinforce or practice areas that need more work. The sequencing does work in giving them the stimulus and challenge that keeps them more actively engaged in the training.

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