Brain Balance Program as a treatment for ADHD, OCD, Dyslexia, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and other learning disabilities and special needs.
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Robert Melillo, an internationally known lecturer, author, educator, researcher and clinician specializing in the areas of neurology, rehabilitation, neuropsychology and neurobehavioral disorders in children. Dr Melillo is the author of Autism The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders – and What Parents Can Do Now. The focus of the interview centers on Dr. Robert Melillo’s Brain Balance Program to correct autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, OCD and other learning disabilities.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – I know a child who is severely autistic and her parents have tried many things (diet, holistic approach, ABA, occupational therapy, etc.) and she is still not improving. She is almost nine. Is there an age where it is too late? Could Dr. Melillo’s Brain Balance Program help her at any point in life?
Dr. Robert Melillo – It is important to understand that in regard to Autism, there are two major subsets, one is called syndromic and the other is called essential autism. Sydromic means that the child has another syndrome or genetic mutation like Downs syndrome, tuber sclerosis or fragile X and they are also diagnosed with Autism. These children make up about 10-15 % of all children with Autism and it looks very different from the other 85-90%. These children can improve a bit but there potential is somewhat limited. However in the other essential type which I believe is due primarily to a Functional Disconnection, there does not appear to be a genetic mutation and there is no injury or pathology in the brain. If this is all ruled out and the child is otherwise healthy then the child has the potential of getting better. Children that are very severe and nonverbal may require more than we can provide at Brain Balance, but this can be determined only after an assessment in one of our centers. If it is beyond our scope then we will recommend a specialist in Functional Neurology, I also see these children in my own private practice.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Can Dr. Melillo explain a little bit how the Brain Balance Program works and is it available nationally, or would a family have to visit a treatment center near him?
Dr. Robert Melillo / Author of Autism – To understand the Brain Balance Program you need to first understand the primary question that drove the development of the program. What is happening in the brain of a child with ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism etc ,and the answer to that question based on our research and the research of others has to do with “functional connectivity” or “functional disconnection”. Simply put in these disorders we see that certain areas of the brain are “overconnected” and other areas are “underconnected” ,the most significant reduction in connectivity appears to be between the two hemispheres of the brain. The reason for this seems to be primarily developmental, where one hemisphere seems to be growing and maturing and developing skills at a slowed rate, while the other side is maturing at a much faster rate. This imbalance in activity, connectivity and synchronization disrupts the normal flow and integration of information across the hemispheres and causes the information about the world to be fragmented and disconnected. Along with this we see an unevenness of skills, where certain skills and abilities may be advanced while others are delayed. In fact the primary problem in ADHD, Dyslexia, learning disabilities, OCD, Autism etc is that we have a combination of skills that are too good or overactive with other skills that are underactive and the combination leads to a disability. The main difference is what areas of the brain are disconnected and what are the makeup of strengths and weaknesses, which is different in every child even though the underlying problem is the same. The other main difference is which hemisphere is underconnected and underdeveloped and which is overconnected and overdeveloped. In ADHD, OCD, Tourettes, Aspergers it is the right hemisphere that is delayed and the left is advanced. In learning disabilities, processing disorders, dyslexia, math problems it is a left hemisphere that is delayed while the right hemisphere is advanced. All of this is happening absent of any damage ,injury or lesion in the brain, and as far as we can tell for the most part there are no genetic mutations or damaged DNA responsible. These problems are primarily environmental and therefore they are preventable and they are reversible. The key is to understand that there is not only one problem there are many problems happening at the same time, there are many areas that need to be addressed, but if we can get all the areas of the brain to be balanced and get all of their skills to match their age and one another, then the problem is solved.
We subscribe to the theory that the brain can be changed—something once thought impossible. That means your child’s problems aren’t permanent, and the situation isn’t hopeless. Additionally, we measure and improve your child’s brain and body function on numerous dimensions.
See related posts below to read another interview with Dr. Robert Melillo.
To learn more or to find a Brain Balance Achievement Center near you, visit their website.
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