Boost Literacy With Clapping & Metronomes

By AASLMay 27, 2018

AASL is a Certified Provider of Interactive Metronome Therapy. This is why we like to stay up-to-date on the latest research. Here’s what we found recently: A recent study from the New York Academy of Sciences shows that clapping can make a significant difference during speech therapy. The abstract is below. You can read the full study on  clapping and interactive metronome therapy here.


The auditory system is extremely precise in processing the temporal information of perceptual events and using these cues to coordinate action. Synchronizing movement to a steady beat relies on this bidirectional connection between sensory and motor systems, and activates many of the auditory and cognitive processes used when reading.

Here, we use InteractiveMetronome, a clinical intervention technology requiring an individual to clap her hands in time with a steady beat, to investigate whether the links between literacy and synchronization skills, previously established in older children, are also evident in children who are learning to read.

We tested 64 typically developing children (ages 5–7 years) on their synchronization abilities, neurophysiological responses to speech in noise, and literacy skills. We found that children who have lower variability in synchronizing have higher phase consistency, higher stability, and more accurate envelope encoding—all neurophysiological response components linked to language skills.Moreover,

performing the same task with visual feedback reveals links with literacy skills, notably processing speed, phonological processing, word reading, spelling, morphology, and syntax. These results suggest that rhythm skills and literacy call on overlapping neural mechanisms, supporting the idea that rhythm training may boost literacy in part by engaging sensory-motor systems.

To learn more about Interactive Metronome and how this program can be utilized in your therapy session, please speak with your speech or occupational therapist and visit our page on Interactive Metronome Therapy.

DISCLAIMER: Information published about one particular disorder does not necessarily apply to every individual who has the disorder discussed in this article. Treatments and therapies are highly individual and must be customized to the needs of each person to be effective. Do not make changes to your/your child’s treatment plan as a result of what you read in this article (or any content published by AASL) without consulting your/your child’s physicians and therapists. This content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of All About Speech and Language or its therapists. To understand the opinions and recommendations of your/your child’s AASL therapist, schedule an appointment with your therapist to discuss your concerns.

Sharing is caring!

Tags: , , ,