A metronome is a piece of equipment commonly used by musicians to count out beats while playing and practicing music. A study completed at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University showed some positive results in helping children to better pay attention as well as improving language and reading skills. Participants in the study were diagnosed with ADHD prior to the study. Ages of the children ranged between 6 and 12 years old.
The participants tried to match the beat of the metronome in a series of exercises. The researchers believed that common deficits in children with ADHD, for example motor planning and timing, could be corrected with these exercises. The researchers further believed that once these deficits were corrected, behavior would improve as well. The study did show some improvement in attention, motor control, language processing, reading and behavior.
The results of the study were promising, but, this was the only study performed to date and does not provide enough information to draw conclusions on the efficacy of using the metronome as a treatment for ADHD. This may offer parents an option to help in completing specific tasks in the future, but further research and studies will need to be completed to see if the results are similar. This is still considered to be an experimental treatment and is controversial in the medical community.
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Bernard-Bonnin, Dr. Anne-Claude. “The use of alternative therapies in treating children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Canadian Pediatrics Committee. 2003.
RJ Shaffer, LE Jacokes, JF Assily, SI Greenspan, RF Tuchman, PJ Stemmer Jr.,Effect of Interactive Metronome Training on Children with ADHD,College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, 2001, as listed on NCBI Pub Med. www.pubmed.gov.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.