Functional Disconnection Syndrome:
Understanding Childhood Developmental Disorders
Did you know that in the year 2010, 16 million or 22% of children living in America were diagnosed with severe attention, behavioral, and learning disorders. Some of the more common of these developmental disorders are AD/HD, Dyslexia, Autism and other learning disabilities. Just 10 years ago, Autism was considered a rare disorder, diagnosed in 1 in 10,000 children. At the present time, 1 out of 88 children are diagnosed with Autism. In fact, New Jersey has one of the highest rates for Autism rising as high as 1 in every 75 children born. With such an alarming increase in these rates, one should be asking the question WHY? What is causing such a dramatic increase? Why haven’t techniques used to treat these children changed in over 50 years even yet the rate is still increasing at an alarming rate? The answer to that lies in the knowledge of the true cause to these disorders. Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience have found that there is a connection between each of these disorders. This connection is actually a “Disconnection.” A Disconnection that is being called a “Functional Disconnection Syndrome (FDS).”
Most of the information I am about to share comes from the Amazon Best Seller, “Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and other Neurological Disorders.”
I have had the honor of taking part in the most premier post-graduate program, focused on Childhood Developmental Disorders. The instructor of this program was none other than the author of this best seller, Dr Robert Melillo. Dr. Melillo is the leading expert in Childhood Development Disorders.
What is a Functional Disconnection Syndrome?
In order to understand what a “Functional Disconnection Syndrome” is we need to understand what a “Syndrome” is. A Syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition. With that being understood than we can say Functional Disconnection Syndrome is just a set of symptoms that occur when there is a Functional Disconnection in the Brain/Nervous System. Makes sense right?
When a child is diagnosed or “labeled” with ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, or any other developmental disorder, the mother is asked a serious of questions to determine if their child is showing “signs” or “symptoms”of a developmental disorder. The problem here is that the questionnaire is very subjective and it is primary tool used to diagnosed these children. There is no medical blood test or diagnostic test to diagnose these disorders, it is simply a questionnaire. So when the mother answers these questions, there is a tally being made, if the child shows enough “signs” of a certain disorder, then the child is labeled as that disorder. Does this sound like the best way to diagnose a child? Based on subjective questions that are very broad in context? There is no explanation of why these children act the way that they do, until now! Thanks to extensive research in neuroscience, we have found the explanation and that is a “Functional Disconnection” in Brain Function.
The Human Brain
Your Brain controls every aspect of your body. It controls your thoughts, your personality, your postural muscles, your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion…EVERYTHING. We all have a right and left side of the brain which both function uniquely. When functioning properly, there is a perfect synchronicity to that function, kinda like an orchestra. Each musician in the orchestra must play at the right tempo, rate, and rhythm in order to make their beautiful sound. This is exactly how your brain works as well. There is as ideal rate, rhythm, and frequency of firing needed to function properly. Unfortunately, during childhood development, the right or left side of the brain can begin to decrease in function, or slow down, and that synchronicity is no longer present. Now, there is one side of the brain that is functioning more efficiently than the other. This is an explanation of why some of us are REALLY GOOD at some things and not so great at others. This imbalance in function is what we call a “Functional Disconnection.” Functional Disconnection Syndrome is THE explanation behind children with developmental disorders. There is an imbalance in their brain function!
Children with ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders tend to have decreased function in their RIGHT BRAIN, where as Dyslexia, Auditory Processing and Speech Disorders tend to have decreased function in their LEFT BRAIN. Now this is not definitive but it is the pattern that is seen in these disorders. A COMPREHENSIVE FUNCTIONAL EXAMINATION IS NEEDED TO CONFIRM THIS!
Left Brain vs Right Brain Function:
Now that you understand that there can be an imbalance in brain function, we need to go over left brain vs right brain function, in order to understand these children.
Left Brain: (Dyslexia, Auditory Processing, sometimes Speech Disorders)
- “The Gas Pedal”- Initiates our Actions
- Verbal Communicator
- IQ (Intelligence)
- Small Muscular Control
- Word Reading
- Math Calculation (Basic Math)
- Theoretical “Planning”
- Conscious Actions
- Positive Emotions
- High-Frequency Sounds (Fast, High-Pitched)
- Low-Frequency Light (Red, Orange, Yellow)
- Linear/Logical Thinking
- Curious/Impulsive Actions
- Likes Routines, Sameness, and Familiarity
- Activates Immunity
- Spatial Awareness (Locally)
Right Brain: (ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorders)
- “The Brake-Pedal”- Withdrawal from Actions
- Sees the Big Picture
- EQ (Emotional)
- Non-Verbal Communicator’
- Social Skills
- Large Muscular Control
- Reading Comprehension
- Math Reasoning (Problem Solving)
- Practical “Doing”
- Unconscious Thoughts
- Negative Emotions
- Low-Frequency Sounds (Slow, Deeper Tones)
- High-Frequency Light (Blue, Indigo, Violet)
- Abstract Thinker
- Cautious/Safe Actions
- Likes Newness, Novelty
- Suppresses Immunity
- Spatial Awareness (Globally)