Friday, January 15, 2010

Hope this works...

Thanks to the recent arrival of my below mentioned flexible spending account Visa card, Jameson will begin her interactive metronome adventures next week. Oh, how I love the beginning of a new year with a new balance in my medical flex account.

This is a shot in the dark for me. I've read a lot about this, and I am praying it works. While she has made a lot of progress in two years, she is no where near grade level. Reading, spelling and paying attention are SO very difficult for her. Homeschooling her has become so frustrating for both of us. But I know struggling at a 2nd grade level with reading and spelling and everything else, she would be lost in the public school 5th grade where they insist she be.

This is a very extensive, very expensive treatment that has been shown to improve attention, coordination and timing for people with sensory processing difficulties.

In reading about IM, I've found that it is a treatment used for both children and adults who suffer from attention deficit disorders, motor planning problems, poor coordination, post-stroke or traumatic brain injury issues, gross and fine-motor concerns, and some learning and language disorders. IM can also be used as a way to enhance academic performance and help with a variety of cognitive difficulties.

IM uses both the principles of the music metronome with the power of a computer to precisely measure and improve human performance.Research has shown that the interactive exercises help to measure and improve one's rhythm and timing. By improving timing and rhythm, hopefully Jameson will learn to plan, sequence and process information more effectively.

She will use special head phones and hand and foot sensors to measure her reactions. She will also be challenged to synchronize her hand and foot movements with a tone heard through headphones. When doing IM, she will get both audio and visual feedback to see how she's doing. IM is supposed to stimulate learning and motor development.

I have researched a lot about neurodevelopmental issues. It was recommended that we go to see a specialist, but I really want to give IM a try.

Neurodevelopmental delays can be caused from:
In-utero stress (which may include birthmother's stress over pending adoption) Foster Care
Sudden separation from primary caregiver
Moves between families
Move to a new country
Unresolved pain issues such as reflux or ear infections
Neglect (including unintentional, due to orphanage stay)

According to A4everFamily attachment website:
"Functional neurology results from the completion of the developmental sequence. If there is any interruption, injury, or disruption to the developmental sequence, a functional deficit will result. For some individuals, it creates a small impact on their lives. However, the majority of serious emotional, behavioral, and academic concerns have a neurological basis due to disrupted development."

For more information, click here for a list of symptoms. It's really interesting but also very sad and scary.

We know very little about Jameson's background before she was in the orphanage at around age 6 or 7. Josh will only say that she cried all the time. He offers nothing else to help us. We know that her father died before she was born, and her mother died when she was about 4. She does have memories of her mother. I can only assume she was in pain, hungry and scared for much of her early life.

The girls recently reported to me that Jameson often wakes up screaming in the night, "My mom's alive..." I knew she often had nightmares and kicked, screamed and fought in Amharic from the very beginning, but now it's in English. Wow.

I'm at a loss.
Please pray that this IM works.
We both need this to work.


dkengelman said...

Praying for you and for Jameson as you begin this new treament.

Edward Jonathans said...

As an IM provider since 2002, I'd suggest being very clear about the functional goals for IM treatment [e.g., improvements towards grade level reading, reading for longer periods, etc...].

Also consider specific social / emotional functional goals for your daughter as _acting out_ behaviors often accompany LD's [e.g., goal = improved sleep patterns / reduced night terrors].

One additional benefit as a result of IM training is improved motor fine/gross motor control. Often the child may avoid physical exercise, sports participation, games, etc... with improved coordination they may play more and physical exertion = better sleep.

Its important to also request specific pre/post benchmarking tools are used [e.g., Woodcock Johnson standardized tests for reading fluency, comprehension, etc.] that measure your functional goals. Individual gains measured only by the IM scores are NOT enough.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Edward Jonathans, B.Sc., IMC, ADOS-C