Kid's Work Therapy Getting Your Child in Gear Mon, 23 Oct 2023 20:33:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kid's Work Therapy 32 32 Certified Occupational Therapist Wins Prestigious NBCOT Impact Award Wed, 06 Sep 2023 17:14:47 +0000 Certified Occupational Therapist Wins Prestigious NBCOT Impact Award Read More »

Gaithersburg, MD: The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT Ⓡ) announces Stephanie M. Foster, PhD, OTR/L, CYT500, a registered occupational therapist from Santa Maria, CA, has won the 2023 NBCOT Impact Award. This award recognizes occupational therapy (OT) practitioners who demonstrate exceptional professional commitment through their dedication, hard work, and outstanding OT skills to improve their clients’ overall life satisfaction and engagement in valued occupations.

Dr. Foster received the NBCOT Impact Award for her work with over 3,000 families in helping their children reach their greatest potential. At her private practice, Dr. Foster provides state-of-the-art pediatric occupational therapy to children with developmental delays and self-regulation difficulties like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She believes children progress when they are comfortable and having fun.

“Our focus is to teach new skills and empower kids to meet challenges, but make it feel like play, not work”.

Dr. Stephanie Foster

Parents who nominated Dr. Foster for the award cited that their children had fewer outbursts and fights at school, needed fewer reminders from teachers to stay on task, and improved interactions with siblings and peers. In addition, 100% of clients who wanted to improve their child’s functioning without the use of medication were able to do so successfully as a result of evidence-based OT therapies used in the clinic, reports Dr. Foster.

“We want to provide parents with options in how to best treat their children and find what works best for their families”.

Dr. Stephanie Foster

Dr. Foster applies her clinical expertise to improve the attachment patterns between parents and children and creates an environment where parents learn alongside their children.

“Our practice is not a stop-and-drop clinic because the transfer of skills to home, school, and the community is critical to the effectiveness of therapy. We see the best outcomes for children and parents who are supported and educated”.

Dr. Stephanie Foster

Dr. Foster earned her national OT certification in 1989. In addition to receiving the NBCOT Impact award, she received the Occupational Therapy Practice Award by the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) in 2020. Dr. Foster is a dedicated researcher, a published author, and an accomplished international lecturer. She is a former Major in the United States Army Reserve and has provided OT services abroad in Germany and Japan. For more information about Dr. Foster’s practice, visit For more information about the NBCOT Impact Award, visit


The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT Ⓡ) is a national not-for-profit organization that provides certification to over 218, 000 occupational therapy professionals. NBCOT develops, administers, and continually reviews its certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence of occupational therapy practice. Above all else, our mission is to serve the public interest. Initial certification from NBCOT is a requirement for licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. We also work with state regulators and employers to provide information on credentials, professional conduct, and regulatory issues. NBCOT’s certification programs have received and maintain accreditation from the International Accreditation Service (IAS) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Contact: Angela Macauley / / 301-944-2104.

For further reading on this topic:

The Santa Maria Times

The Santa Maria Sun

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Oh Just Sit Still by Kayla Nicholson Fri, 04 Aug 2023 05:17:30 +0000 Oh Just Sit Still by Kayla Nicholson Read More »


On July 12, 2023, Kid’s Work Therapy held an inservice session led by our occupational therapy student, Kayla Nicholson! During this session, caregivers were given tools on how to help their children sit still in various social situations. Thank you Kayla for all of your dedication and hard work! And thank you to all that were in attendance!

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Summer Playgroups 2023! Mon, 03 Apr 2023 23:23:07 +0000 Summer Playgroups 2023! Read More »


Give your kids a unique opportunity to learn and grow and learn in 2023. Kid’s Work is offering play groups for enrichment and learning, which helps kids practice skills vital for success in school and in life. Groups consist of up to 5 children of similar ages or developmental needs. Parents are also requested to participate with their children. Each child must have attended at least one screening session with Dr. Foster before the group begins.

Location: Kid’s Work Therapy Clinic in Orcutt, CA

Contact: Stephanie M. Foster PhD, OTR/L

Phone: (805) 815-5634

This summer, Kid’s Work therapy is offering the following Play Groups:

Let’s Play Preschool Readiness 9:00 am to 10:30 am for 2 to 4 year olds

This group offers young children fun developmental activities including gross motor, fine motor, and visual motor skills. Groups will consist of 4-6 children practicing social skills, and are Intended for children with sensory regulation issues, ADD, ADHD, and ASD.

Fabulous Food Eaters 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

This group is for all picky eaters. If your child has difficulty eating a variety of foods & textures, then this is the session for you. Children will explore foods and textures, learn principles of healthy nutrition, and learn to create & eat a balanced diet without stress.

Happy Handwriting 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm on Wednesdays only

Fun fine motor games, creative art projects, and home activities to help children develop necessary pre-writing skills and build a more positive attitude towards writing and fine motor tasks. Topics include pre-handwriting readiness, hand-strengthening and proper letter formation.

Superflex Academy (Social Skills Training) 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

This group uses a sensory integrative approach to assist children in flexible thinking, and to understand the social world. Social feedback and examining how non-verbal communication affect our relationships in a play-based atmosphere.

For more info, please contact Dr. Stephanie Foster on how to enroll! We hope to provide your children a fun-filled summer!

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Sensory Integration by Ashtyn South Mon, 03 Apr 2023 23:00:22 +0000

For additional resources on sensory integration, use your smart phone’s camera app to scan the code above!

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Astronaut Training Camp 2023 Mon, 03 Apr 2023 20:23:44 +0000 Astronaut Training Camp 2023 Read More »


Kid’s Work Therapy is proud to present our Astronaut Training Camp intensive on April 3rd, 4th, and 5th Monday to Wednesday! This three-day course utilizes exciting motor games, creative art projects, and home activities to help children develop necessary vestibular functioning. Specific ability groups include children who have difficulty with their overall balance, motor coordination, movement, and handwriting. Topics include (Moving, Looking, and Listening”, “Rotary Activation,”, handwriting readiness, and hand-strengthening.

Times and groups are listed in the flyer above. Groups consist of up to 5 children of similar ages or developmental needs. Prior to the start of group, each child must have attended at least one session with Dr. Foster.

See you all there!

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Sit Up Straight to Start the Year Right! Fri, 17 Mar 2023 17:12:57 +0000 Sit Up Straight to Start the Year Right! Read More »

By: Stephanie M. Foster PhD, OTR/L

School is back in session! Students are once again adjusting to sitting still in their desks for long periods of time. Many students have trouble sitting in their chairs after an active summer. This article presents a few simple adjustments to help ease this transition.

A study published by Smith-Zuzovsky and Exner (2004) examined how proper seat positioning affected typical six and seven-year-old children’s object manipulation. They compared children who sat in too large standard classroom furniture to those in individually fitted furniture. The latter group sat in chairs that allowed the child’s hips to flex to 90 degrees, their feet to rest flat on the floor, and with the table allowing for flexed elbows. Both groups completed a standardized test of object manipulation, in which the child played games with the examiner that involved picking up small objects, using a pencil to write, turning the pencil over to erase, cutting with scissors, handling papers, constructing projects, and manipulating coins. Children who were optimally seated performed significantly better in all tasks. The study’s results suggest that the fit of furniture relative to the child’s size has a large impact on students’ manipulation skills. Complex hand skills, like moving objects around in your hand, using both hands at the same time, and stabilizing paper with the non-dominant hand, appear to be easier when the child sits in a correctly fitted chair.

There are several easy methods to ensure your child fits into their new school desk. First, start with your child’s chair– make sure the student sits back comfortably with their back just touching the back-rest. Their feet should rest with their ankles and knees bent to 90 degrees. If their feet swing or their knees are bent over 90 degrees, then they should use a chair that is shorter. Consider using last year’s chairs until the child grows. If new chairs are not available, then put a sturdy box or large book under their feet, so that their ankles rest comfortably at the recommended 90 degrees. In addition, you can have the child trace their feet onto poster board, cut these out, and color them in bright colors. Secure the paper feet under the desk in the correct position, This serves as a reminder for the student to keep their feet in the proper place. It is harder to slouch when a student’s feet lay flat on the floor. In addition, teachers may need to remind students to use good posture throughout the day.

Adjusting a desk takes a little more work. Ask the school custodian to bring their wrenches to your classroom to help with this task. The desk should hit the student mid-chest height, so that their elbows are loosely flexed.

As children grow throughout the school year, their desks, and chairs will need to change. As many teachers can testify, students typically start the school year off in desks and chairs that are too big, enjoy about 2 months of proper positioning around December and January, and then outgrow this again at the end of the year. Later in the year when students no longer fit, the desks can be raised up, and seats exchanged to optimally match the students’ bodies. See Figure 1 below for correct positioning guidelines.

Teachers work very hard all year long to ensure each student learns all that they are capable of learning. They use a variety of senses and lots of hands-on activities to demonstrate new concepts. Proper seating not only ensures students have an easier time
manipulating their paper and pencils, but also improves attention to learning.

For more information on promoting good student desk & chair positioning, contact your school’s occupational therapist. Stephanie Foster has been practicing OT for over 24 years and worked in schools much of that time. You may contact Dr. Foster at
EDIS or by visiting

Smith-Zuzovsky, N., & Exner, C. E. (2004). The effect of seated positioning quality on typical 6- and 7- year old children’s object

manipulation skills. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58, 380-388.

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The Efficacy of Therapeutic Listening in a Clinical Setting Mon, 23 Jan 2023 17:59:01 +0000 The Efficacy of Therapeutic Listening in a Clinical Setting Read More »

An Evidence-Based Review by Marie Foster

What is Therapeutic Listening? How Does It Help?

Therapeutic Listening Program (TLP) is a neuroscience-based program that produces highly beneficial outcomes for people with autism.  People who use TLP find improvements in language development, sensory processing skills, find & gross motor coordination, memory, thinking skills, and emotional wellness (Advanced Brain, 2021)

Music modulation “exercises” the auditory processing system and central nervous system by altering the tone, pitch, frequency, and strength of the various sounds & music, as well as designating which ear hears sounds through headphones (Advanced Brain, 2021).

The ear integrates the neural organization of the nervous system, so when exercised, the eartaps into the power of the central nervous system to listen to and process information within the auditory environment (Pawell, 2006, 6). 

Additionally, the modified sounds slightly alter the frequency coming through each headphone, which causes the brain to create and register a balanced new frequency, known as the binaural beat. The Quickshifts technique uses binaural beat technology to increase alpha brainwave activity in order to quickly shift alertness and set up the nervous system for optimal success (Hair et al., 2018, 4).  

Therapeutic Listening Program improves communication between both hemispheres of the brain to promote inter-hemispheric collaboration and produce a calm, alert state (Hair et al., 2018, 4). 

Sound-based therapies have been supported by a multitude of outcomes including enhanced awareness, improvement in interpersonal skills and social behavior, enhanced body awareness, improvement in activities of daily living, self-care, sleeping patterns, academic performance, and reduced anxiety (Hair et al., 2018, 3). 

Therapeutic Listening Benefits and Autism

For people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of the biggest challenges reported is hypersensitivity to sound, triggering a flight or flight response from the body. Therapeutic Listening Programs address this fear response by slowly desensitizing the listener to the sounds during treatment, and reprogramming the emotional memory system to recognize the sound as calming. When a listener is completing the training, they are in a calm and relaxed state, doing normal things, and by integrating the triggering sounds on a less intense level, the sounds are normalized and paired with everyday tasks (Advanced Brain, 2021). 

Music as a Therapeutic Intervention with Autism

This systematic review of literature is focused on the outcomes of the therapeutic use of music with children living with autism and was written to enhance the practice of using music as a therapeutic intervention by studying program needs and design. Outcomes from the use of music as a therapeutic intervention with children with autism spectrum disorder included improvement in interpersonal skills, social skills, and cognitive skills. Reported benefits included, but were not limited to increased appropriate social behavior; increased attention to task; increased vocalization, verbalization, gesture, and vocabulary comprehension; increased communication and social skills; enhanced body awareness and coordination; improved self-care skills; and reduced anxiety (De Vries et al., 2015, 229).  They found that benefits of therapeutic listening include:

  • Increased socially acceptable behaviors
  • Increased social response behaviors
  • Increased verbal communication
  • Increased understanding and recognition of emotions
  • Decreased anxiety 

Intensive Therapeutic Listening Program with 6 Boys with ASD

Three (50%) boys showed positive changes in behavior after the treatment. From a developmental point of view, the changes occurred in pre-linguistic areas for 5 out of 6 boys that are considered prerequisites for verbal communication. One boy was no longer considered autistic, two boys showed mild symptoms of ASD and three boys remained within the severely autistic range. (Brbić & Tomić, 2020, 53).

A Study of 100 Children with ASD After 60 Hours of Therapeutic Listening

This study intended to investigate 12 areas of consideration after a therapeutic listening program. The parents rated each area before and after treatment from their point of view. The researchers found the following percentages of growth for each category (Brbić & Tomić, 2020, 52):

  • Interpersonal Growth: 87%
  • Listening and Speech: 85%
  • Academic Achievement, Thinking, and Learning: 81% 
  • Attention: 80%
  • Behavior: 79%
  • Intrapersonal Growth to Know and Express Self: 69%
  • Movement, Sports, and Rhythm: 66%
  • Well-Being: 20%

Study On Children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Visual Motor Delays

The study started with 4 weeks of a sensory diet (chewing gum, heavy work, activities that provide sensory input), then 8 weeks of therapeutic listening programs. The children were assessed using the Sensory Profile and the Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting (ETCH) assessment. Overall, the children showed improvements in auditory, multi-sensory, and tactile processing, as well as improvements in emotional regulation and behavioral outcomes. For their handwriting, the researchers found improvements in overall legibility of handwriting and improvements in lowercase letters and numbers (Hall & Case-Smith, 2007). 

Study on Developmental Disabilities in Preschoolers and Therapeutic Listening

The children followed a Therapeutic Listening Program and teachers and OTs tracked students’ progress. This study found significant improvements in social skills, fine, gross, and visual gross skills, and verbal and nonverbal communication following treatment. These improvements were demonstrated in each child except one, in at least two of the areas studied (fine-motor, language, social, sensory processing, and visual-motor) (Bazyk et al., 2010).

Therapeutic Listening Training & Children with Learning Disabilities Ages 3-12

In this study, 13 children with a diagnosis of a learning or developmental disability and sensory integration concerns. Each participant was currently receiving OT services, and diagnoses ranged from autism, ADD/ADHD, sensory integration disorder, anxiety, and/or developmental coordination disorder (Hair et al., 2018, 16). Overall, significant improvement was demonstrated in individualized goals, as measured by the COPM, and in posture and balance as measured by Clinical Observations. Analysis of qualitative statements from parent observation logs found improvements in all areas (social, visual, hearing, touch, body awareness, balance, planning, and ideas), except for touch. (Hair et al., 2018, 29). 

Nonverbal ASD in a 14-Year-Old Girl

In spite of 10 years of speech therapy, the patient pronounced only a few syllables “Ba, Da, Ma.” After 150 hours of passive and active Therapeutic Listening, she significantly improved in communication, attention, understanding, socialization, and learning in general (Brbić & Tomić, 2020, 53). 

Ruben- ASD Diagnosis at 22 Months Old

“After the first intensive, the patient started to talk more spontaneously. During the second intensive, mother voice recording and active vocal work were introduced, echolalia appeared as well as her coordination and motor planning improved. After her third intensive, a girl started to talk, sing and express herself. After the fourth intensive she had more balance and coordination, spoke spontaneously, hugged, and showed her affection, only a year and a half beforehand she was still nonverbal. After her 5th intensive, the girl was retested and the results showed a normal child’s development. 6th intensive brought further improvement in her body – not only promoted her speech, it liberated her from typical repetitive mannerisms.” (Brbić & Tomić, 2020, 54). 

Therapeutic Listening vs. Normal Music Listening

Therapeutic music is more beneficial than listening to the normal music, as one study compared listening to therapeutic music vs normal music in children with ASD for 25 sessions over 8 months for students aged 4 to 7. The group listening to therapeutic music had better scores at the end of the study than regular music listeners (Raberyron et al., 2020, 1)

More Articles for Further Reading:

The Efficacy of Therapeutic Listening on Auditory Processing and Attention in Children Ages 3-11

Measuring the Outcomes of Therapeutic Listening in Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities


Advanced Brain. (2021, April 6). The Listening Program®: A Trusted Approach for Autism Treatment. Advanced Brain Technologies. Retrieved November 6, 2022, from

Bazyk, S., Cimino, J., Hayes, K., Goodman, G., & Farrell, P. (2010). The use of therapeutic listening with preschoolers with developmental disabilities: a look at the outcomes. Journal Of Occupational Therapy, Schools & Early Intervention, 3(2), 124- 138. doi:10.1080/19411243.2010.491013 

Brbić, I., & Tomić, L. (2020, July 22). An Integrative Review of the Effectiveness of the Tomatis Method in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. RAD CASA – MEDICAL SCIENCES, 543(50-51), 49-56.

De Vries, D., Beck, T., Stacey, B., Winslow, K., & Meines, K. (2015). Music as a Therapeutic Intervention with Autism: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 49(3),220-237.

Hair, D., Taasan, P., & Tashjian, H. (2018, May). Measuring the Outcomes of Therapeutic Listening® in Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities. Graduate Master’s Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects, 292.

Hall, L., & Case-Smith, J. (2007). The effect of sound-based intervention on children with sensory processing disorders and visual-motor delays. The American journal of occupational therapy: official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association, 61(2), 209–215.

Pawell, C. J. (2006). Efficacy of Therapeutic Listening Intervention on Auditory Processing/Attention in Children Ages 3-11. Master’s Theses, 1-46.

Raberyron, T., Robledo del Canto, J.-P., Carasco, E., Bisson, V., Bodeau, N., Vrait, F.-X., Berna, F., & Bonnet, O. (2020, August 12). A randomized controlled trial of 25 sessions comparing music therapy and music listening for children with autism spectrum disorder,. Psychiatry Research, 293(113377).

How We Use Therapeutic Listening Programs at Kid’s Work Therapy

Kid’s Work is a pediatric occupational therapy clinic specializing in the use of sensory integration techniques to treat children’s sensory motor development difficulties. Sensory integration (SI) is the way the brain organizes & processes information from the senses— simply put, “Information processing”. SI treatment has been used for over 30 years throughout the country and is growing in many other parts of the world. During the past 10-15 years this knowledge base has grown tremendously and SI treatment is accepted as part of the mainstream practice by pediatric OT practitioners. This approach utilizes tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, oral motor, and visual senses.

Occupational therapists include the auditory channels via a Therapeutic Listening Program with specialized headphones & specially modulated music on MP3 chips. These therapists have been using this program for many years and show very promising and often remarkable results in a relatively short period of time. This is a new treatment approach and is cutting edge rather than mainstream. We feel that Therapeutic Listening has tremendous potential and therefore offer this treatment to our students.

Many researchers consider Therapeutic Listening Program (TLP) to be a form of sensory integration therapy that uses sound vibration to stimulate brain processing. There are many theories as to why TLP works, including the close connection between the ear & voice, language, emotional, and psychological development. It is felt the movement that occurs in the structures of the ear in response to the vibration of sound has a tremendous effect on total brain functioning. In addition, information about time & space is conveyed and internal rhythms are influenced

The TLP may be used separately from or as an adjunct to your current therapy program. This dynamic home program involves listening to specifically modulated music through headphones. The sounds are modulated and filtered by electronic means. A specifically tailored treatment plan is developed for each child and may incorporate 6-12 chips. The program involves listening two times per day for 30 minutes a session. The program lasts from a minimum of six weeks to several months, depending on the child’s response & carry-through. As a child progresses in response to the TLP, changes in music selection & protocol are recommended.

Changes that May Occur With TLP:

Arousal, attentiveness, and focusPragmatic language
Speed of processing for motor and languageAffect, facial expression and responsiveness
Balance and coordinationMotivation
Praxis, which includes the following:Coming up with an ideaPlanning how to carry it ourSequencing & timing the tasksCompleting the taskAwareness of the environment and increased verbal interaction
Self initiation of play & work behaviorsAwareness and regulation of hunger/thirst pattern
Social & emotional developmentMost regular eating and sleeping patterns
Improved eye contact & trackingGravitational security (decrease in fear of movement/feet leaving the ground)
Decrease in self-stimulating behaviorsDecreased sensory defensiveness
Receptive and expressive languageIncreased organization

Please call Kid’s Work at (805) 815-5634 if you would like to learn more about obtaining this specialized therapy for your child or someone you know. For additional information & research, please refer to the Vital Links website at This handout is adapted from materials developed by Frick/Oetter/Lawton-Shirley, 1997. 

In conclusion, the ​​therapeutic listening program has been extensively studied in the field of occupational therapy. We have highlighted the benefits of these programs in areas such as sensory processing, attention, social skills, and overall functional abilities. It has been found that TLP can help individuals with neurological conditions improve their ability to process auditory information, leading to improvements in attention, communication, and behavior. Additionally, these programs have been found to improve gross and fine motor skills as well as social skills. Overall, the use of therapeutic listening programs in occupational therapy can lead to meaningful improvements in the functional abilities of individuals with neurological conditions, making it a valuable addition to any occupational therapy treatment plan.

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Efficacy of Synchronized Metronome Training: Interactive Metronome Program Fri, 13 Jan 2023 21:48:45 +0000 Efficacy of Synchronized Metronome Training: Interactive Metronome Program Read More »

By Marie Foster

Kid’s Work is committed to providing state of the art Occupational Therapy to children experiencing self-regulation difficulties.  One of the interventions we offer is Interactive Metronome (IM). 

 “Interactive Metronome, otherwise known as IM, is a training tool to improve brain ability for the information processes, attention, and executive functions by increasing the capacity and speed of the integrated nervous system to perform the rhythm training accurately and repeatedly. The training consists of thirteen total tasks, divided into hand, foot, and hand-foot coordination tasks. These tasks are performed by touching or tapping the trigger with the user’s hand or foot according to the sound of a constant interval from the headset.”

– Sung-Min Son, 2021

There’s a multitude of evidence-based research showing how IM helps children. This blog shares how Interactive Metronome helps children with  a variety of self-regulation diagnoses focus and accommodate their needs better.

Interactive Metronome and ADHD

Children with ADHD often have trouble paying attention to reading materials. IM helps strengthen neurological pathways relating to an internal rhythm, inducing the connection of the motor and sensory nerves in the brain (Son, 2021, 5351). Essentially, IM training helps organize the cognitive process, through motor planning, sequencing, and attention. 

One study consisted of 16 children, mean age of 11, with ADHD over an 8-week period. Students received IM 3 times a week. The researcher measured reading fluency with the Basic Academic Skills Assessment: Reading (BASA-R) and assessed the accuracy and ADHD levels with the ARS assessments, a diagnosis checklist of criteria for ADHD. Both visual attention and reading fluency greatly improved after IM training and the students were able to focus on tasks for longer times, more consistently (Son, 2021, 5354). 

A different clinical trial of 56 boys aged 6-12 years old diagnosed with ADHD also demonstrated a pattern of improvement for students working with the Interactive Metronome system. This study tested a control group (no treatment), an IM training group (15 hours of Interactive Metronome), and a non-violent video games group. This trial was performed to determine the effectiveness of IM vs games that involve eye-hand coordination, advanced mental planning, and task sequencing (Shaffer et al., 2001, 159). 

While both the video game group and the IM group demonstrated significant improvements, the IM group had stronger scores on more test categories. Parents of the IM group rated their children as significantly less aggressive than when they started the training, whereas children in the video game category showed decreased performance in areas involving control, concentration over time, reaction times, and overall attention (Shaffer et al., 2001, 160). Overall, students with ADHD who received the training improved more in areas of their motor control, language processing, attention, and reading skills than the other study participants (Shaffer et al., 2001, 160).

Interactive Metronome and High School Student and Language & Reading Skills

For high school students, another study found that after a 4-week session of intense IM training, students’ language fluency and reading comprehension were significantly improved when compared to a non-treatment control group (Taub et al., 2007). The researchers tribute this improvement to the students’ faster-processing speed and higher levels of visual attention. Since IM training accesses and exercises both hemispheres of the brain, IM supports students with developmental dyslexia, promoting more neural plasticity efficiency and forging new connections (McGrew, 2012). 

Interactive Metronome and Mental Health

While there aren’t available studies on Interactive Metronomes efficacy in treating depression and histories of self-harm, there are many personal stories like Natalies’ that describe how her symptoms of depression including weepiness, agitation/irritability, and fearfulness in the morning dramatically decreased while training with Interactive Metronome (Castellano, n.d.). One patient named Natalie suffered from depression for over 20 years before trying IM training. She was on a low dose of antidepressants but didn’t feel normal. After starting IM training, Natalie was able to regain control during a panic attack by remembering the “cowbell” tone of the IM system. After 4 months on her IM protocol, Natalie reported that she felt like she was living out of “survival mode” and able to plan ahead for her future, one of her main goals when starting IM (Castellano, n.d.).

Ricky was a 10-year-old boy diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, anxiety, and fine motor delays. After his third IM visit, his mom reported that he was starting to sleep through the night, an accomplishment he had never experienced before. After his training was complete, Ricky was scoring well within his appropriate age range scores, and in some tests, Ricky was scoring as exceptional (Harron, 2012). 

In conclusion,

Interactive Metronome (IM) is an innovative tool that has been shown to be effective in improving various cognitive and motor skills in individuals with neurological conditions. This literature review highlighted the benefits of IM in increasing attention, memory, and coordination, as well as reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity. IM has also been found to improve fine and gross motor skills, as well as language and communication abilities. Overall, the use of IM in Occupational Therapy has been shown to lead to meaningful improvements in the functional abilities of individuals with neurological conditions, making it a valuable addition to any occupational therapy treatment plan. This why we here at Kid’s Work Therapy use it to improve our children’s lives. 

Other Links and References For Further Consideration:

White Paper: Profound Effects of Interactive Metronome and Brain Balance Exercises on a Subset of Children with ADHD

Dyslexia: Gaining Clarity with Natural Timing and Rhythm

Effects of Visual Hemisphere-Specific Stimulation vs. Reading-Focused Training in Dyslexic Children

The Integration of the Neurosciences, Child Public Health, and Education Practice: Hemisphere-Specific Remediation Strategies as a Discipline Partnered Rehabilitation Tool in ADD/ADHD

Enhancing Motor Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Potential of an Interactive Metronome Approach

Effects of Interactive MetronomeTraining On Timing, Attention, Working Memory, and Processing Speed in Children with ADHD: A Case Study of Two Children


Castellano, E. (n.d.). Removing the Cloud of Depression With IM. Interactive Metronome. Retrieved November 11, 2022, from

Harron, W. (2012, October 29). Ricky – ADHD, Asbergers, Anxiety and IM. Interactive Metronome. Retrieved November 11, 2022, from

Lee, H. K. (2022, June 28). A review and meta-analysis of interactive metronome training: Positive effects for motor functioning. Perceptual and motor skills. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from 

McGrew. (2012). The Science Behind IM – Interactive Metronome. Interactive Metronome -. Retrieved November 11, 2022, from

Shaffer, R. J., Jacokes, L. E., Cassily, J. F., Greenspan, S. I., Tuchman, R. F., & Stemmer Jr, P. J. (2001). Effect of Interactive Metronome® Training on Children With ADHD. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 155-162.

Son, S.-M. (2021, May 20). Changes in Visual Attention and Reading Fluency of the Children with ADHD through the Interactive Metronome Training. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, 25(5), 5350-5359.

Song, J. (2013). Enhancing motor skills of children with autism spectrum. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from 

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“Alexithymia: Tell Me How You Feel” Wed, 21 Dec 2022 02:15:22 +0000 “Alexithymia: Tell Me How You Feel” Read More »

On Saturday, October 29, 2022, Dr. Stephanie Foster and graduate student Jessica Carranza presented at the annual OTAC conference on the condition alexithymia.

Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Foster and her graduate student, Jessica Carranza! Together, this team of two presented at the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) conference on Saturday, October 29, 2022, in Santa Clara, California. Their presentation to an audience of over seventy-five occupational therapists was titled “Alexithymia: Tell Me How You Feel”. Midway through the presentation, the group sang “The Zones of Regulation”.

If you are interested in learning more about the Zones of Regulation, a link to the song can be found here on YouTube. Try it out! It is a really fun way to learn about and understand emotions.

Alexithymia is a condition that makes understanding and expressing emotions difficult. People with autism spectrum disorders have a 50% chance of having this condition.

Stephanie Foster, PhD, OTR/L

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Congratulations to Dr. Bledsoe! Fri, 16 Sep 2022 18:17:17 +0000 Congratulations to Dr. Bledsoe! Read More »

Kid’s Work Therapy would like to congratulate Dr. Peg Bledsoe on being awarded the 2022 NBCOT Impact Award!

This award recognizes certified occupational therapy practitioners who demonstrate exceptional professional commitment through their dedication, hard work, and outstanding OT skills to improve their clients’ overall life satisfaction.

Dr. Bledsoe has received the NBCOT Impact Award because of her dedication to providing OT services and sharing her expertise with others. Dr. Bledsoe was nominated this award by Dr. Stephanie Foster. Dr. Bledsoe has delivered OT services to over 3,500 students as a private practitioner and an employee at 22 school districts in the Bay Area. Teachers and administrators seek her insight to solve and support students’ needs when other offered no solution. To Dr. Bledsoe, treatment begins when the occupational therapist establishes a bond with their client, and that bond leads to effective treatment. She believes in equitable access to services and to that end, she provides pro-bono therapy services to families who have an immediate need. Dr. Bledsoe is also committed to sharing her depth of knowledge and skills with others. She has helped OT students and practitioners gain an understanding of how to provide the best possible therapy services, which has often included acquiring skills about alternative treatment techniques. This includes those used with children who have had birth trauma. She has also taught teachers and parents techniques to support children with special needs. Dr. Bledsoe has been and continues to be an impactful practitioner.

Dr. Bledsoe, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, earned her national OT certification in 1979. She is an occupational therapist at Eastside Union School District in Lancaster, CA. She is also the owner of Pediatric Building Blocks, a private OT practice serving numerous school districts in California. Dr. Bledsoe is a former president and current board member of the Association For Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH). She was also the recipient of the Occupational Therapy Association of California’s Award of Excellence in 2021.

For more information about the NBCOT Impact award, visit

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