Interactive Metronome

At SDCST, we offer the Interactive Metronome (IM) program. IM is a research-based assessment and treatment tool used in therapy to improve the neurological processes of motor planning, sequencing and processing. The IM program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the patient to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The participant attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions. An auditory-visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds, and a score is provided. Over the course of the treatment, patients learn to:

  • Focus and attend for longer periods of time
  • Increase physical endurance and stamina
  • Filter out internal and external distractions
  • Improve ability to monitor mental and physical actions as they are occurring
  • Progressively improve coordinated performance
  • Such patients include:
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • PDD
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Non-verbal Learning Disorder
  • Balance Disorders
  • Attention and Motor Impairments
  • Stuttering
  • Apraxia

IM is beneficial for most neurological conditions. Here are some of the common ones:


  • ADHD
  • Apraxia/Dyspraxia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s, PDD)
  • Brain Injury
  • Brain Tumor (following surgery or chemotherapy)
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dyslexia and Other Reading Disorders
  • Language-Learning Disabled
  • Limb Amputation
  • Non-verbal Learning Disorder
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Stuttering
  • Stroke


Adults diagnosed with a wide variety of conditions benefit from using IM.  Here are some:

  • ADHD
  • Brain Injury
  • Brain Tumor (following surgery or chemotherapy)
  • Limb Amputation
  • MS
  • Parkinson’s
  • Stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injury

The program can also be used for enhancement of cognitive and athletic performance

  • General brain fitness
  • Academic improvement
  • Sports performance
  • Career advancement

For research studies and media coverage of IM therapy, view the Interactive Metronome website. If you are interested in signing your child up for Interactive Metronome therapy, please contact us.

How It Works

Did you know that your brain has an “internal clock” that keeps time? And that it does so at various intervals: microseconds, milliseconds, seconds, minutes, and hours? Timing in the brain (or what scientists call “temporal processing”) is responsible for detecting where a sound is coming from as sound hits one ear microseconds before the other, for waking up and putting to sleep our brain every 12 hours or so, and for focusing attention, reading comprehension, remembering information, processing speech, motor coordination, and several other human capabilities.

There exists a growing body of literature describing the neural timing deficits in ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Reading Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorder, Parkinson’s, and other conditions. Traumatic Brain Injury or Stroke may also disrupt timing in the brain. By addressing timing in the brain with Interactive Metronome (IM) alongside functional therapy interventions you are not only addressing areas of ability that impact achievement and independence but also the heart of the problem, that of deficient neural timing within and between regions of the brain that are underlying many of the problems you are working on in therapy. This leads to more efficient treatment and better overall treatment outcomes.

IM’s game-like auditory-visual platform engages the patient and provides constant feedback at the millisecond level to promote synchronized timing in the brain. Exercises can be customized and involve a hierarchy of increasingly complex and precisely timed motor movements intertwined with gradually higher & faster cognitive processing, attention and decision-making. It is the only neuro-motor therapy tool that can be used successfully with all patients across the therapy spectrum, even those that require total hands-on assistance due to cognitive and/or physical impairments and those that are very young or elderly.

IM takes therapy to a new level. Rather than simply performing repetitive movement or cognitive activities to achieve functional gains, therapists that incorporate IM into functional therapy activities report their patients are more engaged, more alert, complete far more repetitions of functional movement patterns and activities in a more precise and timely manner, and demonstrate faster progress toward cognitive, communicative, and physical therapy goals. Patients who are challenged and can see measurable improvements are more motivated to continue their therapy and achieve optimal success.

Professionals Who Use IM

IM works on the body and mind simultaneously in a motivating and engaging way while addressing critical timing skills that underlie all of our human capabilities (i.e., speech, language, attention, memory/learning, reading, motor skills, self-control, etc).

Since IM addresses both cognitive and physical abilities at once, it is used by a wide variety of professionals to address the symptoms of many conditions like ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Stroke, Parkinson’s, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

As timing in the brain becomes more synchronous through IM training, the brain’s efficiency and performance also improves. This leads to gains in focus, cognitive speed, language processing, reading achievement, and motor skills (coordination, gait, balance).  The following are some of the professionals may use IM:

  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Educators/Psychologists
  • Neurologists

The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist Using Interactive Metronome

Speech and Language Pathologists specialize in communication and swallowing disorders, but the effect these conditions have on individuals goes well beyond trouble expressing words. So, what is really needed is a tool that will help address these problems at their core, deep in the nervous system. Without proper training, pediatric clients may be left struggling to keep up with their peers and adults may lose their independence and safety in a world growing faster and more dangerous every minute.

There is help, and SLPs are talking about Interactive Metronome® (IM). Neurotiming® is critical to speech, language and cognitive function. Timing is the basis for attention, working memory and processing speed, all of which are critical for auditory processing, reading and language development.

Part of what makes IM so unique is its ability to improve domain-general mechanisms. The domain-general mechanism of timing is a “jack of all trades” mechanism that manifests itself in sleep cycles, speech patterns, ability to attend over time and overall efficacy of brain communication. This timing in the brain, or temporal processing, has been shown to be deficient in several common conditions, including everything from mild learning disability to severe developmental disorders; clearly, neuro-timing is essential for the brain to work at peak levels. IM is the only training program that improves timing in the brain in an organized, systematic, flexible and engaging format.

IM is the only training program that improves timing in the brain in an organized, systematic, flexible and engaging format. Research shows that combining whole body movements with cognitive tasks leads to overall better outcomes. Interactive Metronome® is a patented and unique training tool that challenges thinking and movement simultaneously, providing real-time millisecond feedback to help synchronize the body’s “internal clock.” When your brain’s functional networks are working efficiently the neurons are able to fire more often and in sync. That results in improved communication, memory, processing and coordination today, and the stronger neural networks can help prevent some of the damaging effects of future conditions.

IM training helps clients start improving in the following areas:

  • Attention
  • Executive function
  • Working memory
  • Processing speed
  • Speech fluency
  • Self monitoring and impulse control
  • Planning and sequencing

IM training helps clients overcome difficulties associated with:

  • ADHD
  • General language disorders
  • Stuttering
  • Oral motor deficits
  • Dyslexia/dysgraphia
  • Autism
  • Brain injury