By Amy Vega - August 15, 2014
If my client performs fairly well on the pre-LFA (within 40ms range), will IM training still be beneficial?
Some individuals can focus (and focus intensely) for SHORT periods of time, but have difficulty sustaining attention over longer periods of time. It is important to remember that the Long Form Assessment (LFA) consists of very short tasks and is not a good measure of an individual’s ability to focus for longer periods of time.
Additionally, most of the LFA tasks do not include guide sounds. It is important to compare your client’s performance on Task 1 (Both Hands) to Task 14 (Both Hands with Guide Sounds). Do you see a discrepancy in performance? Individuals may perform well on IM when they do not have to process the additional information of the guide sounds, and may demonstrate improved cognitive performance after training on IM with guide sounds turned on.
Another factor to look at is your client’s ability to make circular, rhythmical movements during LFA Task 1 (Both Hands), Task 2 (Right Hand), & Task 3 (Left Hand). Also, is your client able to properly sequence the feet to hit the Tap Mat on LFA Task 4 (Both Toes) and Task 7 (Both Heels)? If your client’s movements are linear or are poorly sequenced (despite your instructions and modeling before you administered the LFA), this may be an indication of poor motor planning and sequencing skills. Auditory processing and motor planning & sequencing share common neural pathways. When there is a decriment in performance, it may mean cognitive resources are being used for motor skills and not available for cognitive processing. An individual in this circumstance will benefit from IM training even though initial LFA scores look good.
It is important to evaluate your client and have an understanding of his strengths and weaknesses prior to administering the pre-LFA. This will help you evaluate your client’s performance within the context of his or her specific goals for training. Then, you will be able to determine where to focus IM training for the maximum benefit to each client.
Amy Vega, MS, CCC-SLP
Interactive Metronome, Inc
Clinical Education Director
Clinical Advisory Board Director
Clinical Education Administrator