Noah had just turned seven years old when I met him; he was a young boy struggling with a severe auditory processing disorder and developmental coordination disorder. His audiologist referred him to me for Interactive Metronome (IM) and Fast ForWord. During his intake, I learned that since he was six months old, he had been enrolled in intense feeding, speech, occupational and physical therapy. After 6 years of therapy, he had achieved low average speech and language skill levels, but his motor skills were still significantly delayed. His auditory and visual skills were at the same level of a three year old, and his overall muscle tone was very low.
His personality behaviors were also inconsistent. He was moody, clingy and showed a severe lack of energy because it took him so much effort to complete simple tasks. Noah presumed anything new would be difficult, so he refused to attmept new things because he feared failure.
We began with IM three times a week. The program involved pairing auditory with visual cues, practicing simple movements to give Noah a sense of success. We repeated short, simple motor tasks thousands of times – repetition helped him achieve success, and increased his confidence. We continued to work intensively on timing, sequencing and separate auditory and visual cues. After two weeks, he was able to walk up and down the stairs without a problem; before training, he had to hang onto handrails for each step because he was unable to coordinate his movements.
After eight weeks, we added Fast ForWord and Forbrain for auditory processing, and in six months, his IM scores tested within an above average age range. He’s eight years old now and he’s part of afterschool activities like martial arts and basketball. On the weekends he enjoys the beach and his new craze - surfing! There was no motivator that could ever have convinced Noah to consider trying anything related to athletics before IM.
His Reading Progress Indicator assessment after 16 weeks of Fast ForWord boasted a gain of 2.3 years, and according to his parents and teacher, he is processing and understanding much more efficiently both inside and outside the classroom..
Noah is now finishing up Fast ForWord and will soon begin IM again with a new focus, to work further on visual processing and reflex skills. We’re looking forward to seeing more of Noah’s progress! His parents are ecstatic and we are so proud of his improvement.