Alicia Spinelli, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS, has been working with her client, Mr. Goodman, to help him with a condition called apraxia.
Someone with apraxia has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. Apraxia is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to plan the movements involved in producing speech.
She has been using device called the Interactive Metronome (IM) with Mr. Goodman.
Here’s How It Works
The IM challenges the client to synchronize his actions to the beat called for in the game. IM’s game-like features engage the client with auditory and visual guidance and provide real-time feedback while encouraging him/her to improve their scores. These games keep the client interested and having fun while they are improving.
There are many types of triggering devices, from buttons the client will press, to floor tap mats and even gloves the client can wear. There are many engaging game-like screens to choose from which include golf, basketball, soccer, monkeys, fishing, fairies, aliens etc.
The science behind IM – It is believed to improve the resolution and efficiency of an individual’s internal brain clocks and temporal processing. This results in more efficient brain connectivity, and synchronization.
It Has Taught Me To Talk By Slowing Down
Mr. Goodman says, “It has taught me to talk by slowing down, meaning I will say a few words, take a breath, say some more words, take a breath etc. I quickly learned that by using rhythm it has helped me slow down, make full sentences, and pace myself to be better understood. It has been so helpful because you can tell anyone over and over again what to do, but when you can actually feel the rhythm it becomes real, and I understand what I need to do to pace myself in conversation.”
“Has Interactive Metronome helped my apraxia? The answer is absolutely, YES! From using this device, it has taught me to carry over what I have learned into my daily life. I participate in a lot of zoom calls, and I will find myself clapping against my leg to maintain my rhythm of speech just like I do with interactive metronome, to get myself back on track when I lose my rhythm of speech. I am much more aware of proper timing now to make my speech more understandable. It is all because of my teacher and interactive metronome!”
The Interactive Metronome is an evidence-based training and assessment tool, shown to improve cognition, attention, focus, memory, speech/language, executive functioning, and comprehension, as well as motor and sensory skills.