New Technology to Improve Academic Performance at YIT

by Sandy Fallon, M.S., CCC-SLP

NCIA’s Youth In Transition (YIT) School now offers the Interactive Metronome® (IM), a computer-based technology to enhance motor planning, sequencing and timing which can improve learning and a variety of types of performance that depend on the ability to plan and sequence actions and ideas.

Interactive Metronome’s® rhythmic and movement treatment exercises have been found to improve motor planning and coordination in both children and adults in academic and sports endeavors. In addition, IM performance correlates with academic achievement in areas such as mathematics, language, reading, and attention to task. In a recent clinical study the IM was found to produce significant gains in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the areas of concentration, motor planning, control of aggression, language processing and reading. These findings are consistent with recent research on the growth of the brain that indicates that environmental influences, not just genetics, can facilitate a child’s development.

The Interactive Metronome® involves the principles of the traditional, musical metronome, combined with the precision of a personal computer to create engaging interactive treatment exercises. The 12-15 hour program uses head phones along with hand and foot sensors to coordinate movements to computer-generated musical beats. Like training wheels on a bicycle, a patented auditory guidance system progressively challenges participants to improve their motor planning, sequencing and rhythmic timing performance.

Dr. Larry Norris, Executive Director of YIT School says the school has utilizied IM in speech-language and occupational therapy and is optimistic about its early results. “Students are using interactive metronome to make significant gains in language processing. One student’s reading level improved 3 grade levels after completing only 12 sessions of IM therapy.” In addition, “his ability to manage his own behavior improved, and he reported improved ability to listen and focus on his classroom lessons” states Sandy Fallon, YIT’s Speech Language Pathologist. Students are using the therapy for a variety of educational needs, including stuttering, language and listening processing, focus and attention, as well as sensory regulation, motor coordination, and motor control.

About NCIA Youth In Transition School

The NCIA Youth In Transition School operates a nonpublic special educational program – Type I full-day special education and related services program for students with autism, emotional disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities in a middle school (grades 6-8); a secondary school (grades 9-12); and in a non-graded (ages 14-21) educational program. YIT School has the capacity to serve 140 male and female students between the ages of 11 and 21. Each student is provided individualized instructional programming and related services based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

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