Our brains are like a finely tuned orchestra

It is composed of many different sections that all need to come together in perfect timing in order to resonate their greatest symphony.  The concept of timing is playing an important role in understanding the inner workings of early childhood disorders such as autism and dyslexia.  The two hemispheres (halves) of the brain must communicate efficiently and in a timely manner in order to function optimally, just like the different sections of our orchestra playing in harmony create that perfect symphony. Research papers and imaging studies have yielded mounting evidence to show that communication problems between the two halves of the brain are responsible for the myriad of the learning and developmental disabilities seen today.  The book, “Disconnected Kids” by Dr. Robert Melillo provided a wealth of insight along with home-based assessment and exercises.

Where brain research all began

Our understanding into the differences between the two halves of the brain began in the 1960’s in Berkeley, CA.  A certain area called the corpus callosum, a communication super-highway, was found to be a bridge between the two halves of the brain.  Severing this connection was helpful in reducing the severity of seizures in those individuals studied.  However, the true jewel in the research was in the bounty of information that provided greater insight into the inner functions of brain communications.  MRI, PET scans, and other advanced imaging techniques continue to take us deeper into these inner workings. Brain-based therapies are yielding phenomenal results based on 50 years of brain and cognitive research.

Right and Left Brain The human brain became so complex over developmental time that certain functions, take for example language, began to function more predominantly in one half of the brain as compared to the other.  For instance, approximately 90% of the worlds population, left or right handed, have their dominant speech center located in their left hemisphere.  If there is any delay in communication between the two halves of the brain (e.g. the string section is playing slowly then the end output is less than pristine.  Besides certain functions, certain traits reside predominantly in one half of the brain as compared to the other.

Right and Left Brain Traits in Functional Disconnected Syndrome (FDS) there is an underconnectivity between sections of our brain orchestra.  The traditional approach has been to provide a non-specific stimulate to the entire brain-orchestra in hopes of speeding-up a section that is performing less than optimally. However, using a prescription stimulant such as Ritalin to harmonize  our brain-orchestra has proven to be less than efficient in the successful resolution of the systems.  In fact, these drugs have such a high incidence of serious side effects, the American Pediatric Association recommends a complete cardiac examination prior to starting a treatment protocol using any stimulant medication. The Florida Functional Neurology Group (FFNG) takes a brain-based approach to restoring timing and synchronization. FFNG by utilizing specific treatments, therapies, along with nutritional support, to provide the areas of hypo(low)functioning, areas of the child’s brain-orchestra.

A very important assessment is that of the primitive reflexes.  These primitive reflexes lay a foundation for the proper development of our postural muscles and higher motor functions; of which thought is the greatest.