Many parents ask how to address ADHD and anxiety challenges without medication or with lower dosages. At 3D Learner we use the Interactive Metronome, Heart Math and the Safe and Sound Protocol, which together improve attention and reduce anxiety. Note, these tools have helped students with attention and anxiety challenges who do not have a formal diagnosis. We include them as an integral part of the 3D Learner Program ®, and we also offer them as a separate offering, where appropriate.
Five key points about these interventions:
- These tools have many applications including:
- For a student in grades k to 3 who is really struggling with attention and anxiety
- For students in grade 4 and up, who struggle with attention, anxiety and may be impulsive. Students in grades 4 and up, often get into trouble due to impulse control, and the way we utilize these tools can help them to gain greater control of their emotions.
- For the student athlete – these tools can improve academic and athletic performance
- The integration of these different tools can lead to:
- Significant improvements in attention, motor planning, handwriting and self-control.
- Your child being much calmer and in control.
- Improved performance at school, in sports and at home. Parents have reported that homework time has decreased by over an hour a day.
- Students find these interventions to be fun and to yield significant benefits — in their schoolwork, in getting homework done much faster and in improving performance in sports, dance and other activities.
- These tools can be used to complement medication and counseling, or as a possible alternative to these options.
- We do these interventions differently than most. While these items can be purchased for home use, we have found the results can be transformational when done either in our office or via zoom.
The Interactive Metronome
The Interactive Metronome is a combination of a computer-generated sound and the student matching the beat, first with their hands, then with their toes, then with one hand and the other foot, and lastly with their hands for 10 minutes or longer.
One father who was coming down from New Jersey suggested he was going to do the Interactive Metronome with a provider close to his home, since this was a commodity and what 3D Learner offered was a proprietary system. We were interested to see the results. He did the program up north and reported absolutely no benefit from the training.
We asked him where his son started and finished. He said his son was off by 251 milliseconds to start and after 15 sessions he was down to 52 milliseconds off. We shared that all 452 students we had had at that time did far better than that.
The goal with the Interactive Metronome is to hit the hand or foot device at the same time as the beat. A score of zero would be perfect.
We tried playing ping pong with his son the first day and he could only hit the ball back 5 times before missing. We did 5 sessions of the Interactive Metronome with him, the 3D Learner way, and got his score down to 24 milliseconds off. When we played ping pong with him before lunch on the fifth day, he hit the ball back 137 times before his dad suggested they needed to leave for lunch. The dad commented that was amazing and was really interested to see if it would reduce his son’s homework time down from 2 and a half hours.
Two weeks later, the dad called and said his son was now getting his homework done in less than an hour and his dad asked him what happened. His son said, “it is easy to do my homework now that I can pay attention in class”.
The other benefits of the Interactive Metronome include improved motor planning, handwriting and math and reading fluency. It also helps improve attention at night, when medication historically wore off.
Heart Math and the Safe and Sound Protocol
Anxiety is a big issue for many of our students. When we even mention testing, we have seen students’ heart rate go from 95 to over 140. Heart Math is an excellent tool that calms the student proactively, can be used to reduce stress during stressful moments and can be used to help students to go to sleep. It provides the student with instant feedback on whether their hearts and minds are in sync. It has also been shown to significantly improve test scores.
The Safe and Sound Protocol is a research based filtered music program that calms the Vagus Nerve. We have had students who did the Interactive Metronome, Heart Math and the Safe and Sound Protocol where parents have said to us, “it is like having a different kid” Mr. V, Plantation.
These services can be done at our Coral Springs Facility or online.