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Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization Part 2

Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization PART 2

In the first part of this podcast on “Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization: Understanding its Role in Neurodevelopment”, you were introduced to brain lateralization and its role in a child’s behavior and development. 

In this second part of the podcast on “Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization: Understanding its Role in Neurodevelopment”, get ready to find out what happens when there’s a weakness on either the left brain or the right brain. 

Learn about how a clinicianexamines the left brain and right brain functionality and determine what needs to be addressed. And discover what the possible therapies that are available out there for parents who don’t have access to a practitioner.

Learn all these by listening to today’s podcast, with repeat guest expert, Dr. Peter Scire!

If you are enjoying learning about Brain Lateralization on the podcast and want to dive even deeper, I invite you to join us for a live masterclass on Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization with Dr. Peter Scire on March 28, 2023, at 12pm ET/ 9am PT. Sign up here to join us live, ask your questions and receive the limited access replay for the Masterclass with Dr. Scire so that you too can understand how the brain develops and the role that Functional Disconnection Syndrome plays in your child’s symptoms. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy and learn from the second half of our podcast episode on “Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization: Understanding its Role in Neurodevelopment” with Dr. Scire. 

Feel free to either listen in or read the transcript below!

Things You Will Learn
  • How the asymmetrical distribution of functionality of the right and left hemispheres makes the human brain unique.
  • The implications of Functional Disconnection Syndrome.
  • What are indications that the right brain is more developed than the left brain?
  • The role of the cerebellum in primitive reflexes.
  • What are lateral relationships?
  • How to assess functionality of the right and the left brain and determine what needs to be worked on.
  • What happens when there's a bit of both left brain and right brain weakness going on? 
  • What remedies are available for parents who don't have access to a practitioner?
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • Functionality of the right and left brain hemispheres (4:12)
    • Functional Disconnection Syndrome explained(6:26)
    • Right brain (7:35)
    • The role of the cerebellum in primitive reflexes (10:57)
    • Lateral relationships (15:32)
    • How do you assess right brain and left brain functionality to determine what needs to be worked on and how? (19:11)
    • What happens when there's a bit of both left brain and right brain weakness going on? (26:25)
    • What therapies can parents do at home if they can’t get to a practitioner? (43:17)

Resources and Links

Primitive Reflexes Cheat Sheet

Disconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo

Articles Related to Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization Part 2

Unlocking The Mystery Of Brain Lateralization Part 1

How Retained Primitive Reflexes Impact Your Child’s Brain Development

Toolkit Tuesday: Primitive Reflexes Cheat Sheet


More about Dr. Peter Scire

Dr. Peter J. Scire, known as the “Brain Doctor”, has examined and treated thousands of children with neurodevelopmental disorders since establishing his first practice in 2005 combined with 17 years of running his Brain Balance Centers. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in Atlanta and has completed graduate studies in clinical neurology, nutrition, and vestibular rehabilitation at the Carrick Institute of Graduate Studies. He is a board-eligible Chiropractic Neurologist. 

He’s also the past President of the International Association for Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation (IAFNR) and continues to lecture to health care providers, educators and support groups on Functional Disconnection Syndrome and its applications for adults and children with childhood developmental disorders. Dr.Scire has been co-teaching with his mentor Dr. Robert Melillo (author of Disconnected Kids) since 2008.

Dr. Scire currently practices at his private practice Scire Integrative Health in Newnan, Georgia, where he uses a multimodal approach to neuro-rehab combined with functional medicine to treat patients around the world.

00:00 Tara Hunkin
This is the My Child Will Thrive Podcast and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, certified functional nutritional therapy practitioner and mother. I am here to share with you the latest research expert advice, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing the health and development for your child with ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders.

My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on, research I can dig into, and conferences I can attend, have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey.

00: 47 Tara Hunkin
A quick disclaimer, please keep in mind that the information provided is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your child and is not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. You can sign up for free to watch 10 days of expert interviews and masterclass at mychildwillthrive.com/summit. Now on with the show.

Hi everyone. Welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I'm Tara Hunkin. I have with me again today, Dr. Peter Scire. We're gonna be talking about part two of the, of the series of Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization. So thanks for coming back again to join us, Dr. Scire.

1:42 Dr. Peter Scire
Absolutely. It's great to be here today.

1:44 Tara Hunkin
So just a quick reminder of who Dr. Scire is and why he is an expert you should be listening to today is Dr. Peter Scire is known as the "Brain Doctor" and he's examined and treated thousands of children with neurodevelopmental disorders since establishing his first practice in 2005, combined with its eight years of running, actually it's more than that now, running his Brain Balance Centers. How many years has it been?

2:08 Dr. Peter Scire
It's, we've been in, I think, operational almost 17 years now. My team, yeah, I'm not sure how handles it now, but yeah.

2:14 Tara Hunkin
I'm not sure why I have eight years there. I just realized that. So 17 years of running his Brain Balance Centers, Dr. Scire has received his (Doctor of) Chiropractic from Life University in Atlanta and has completed graduate studies in clinical neurology, nutrition, vestibular rehabilitation at the Carrick Institute of Graduate Studies. And he's a board eligible Chiropractic Neurologist. Dr. Scire has also done a, a lots of other trainings, which if you listen to last, the last episode of the podcast, you'll hear all of the, the work that he's done there.

He's also the past president of the International Association for the Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation, and he continues to lecture to healthcare providers, including working as a co-teaching with his mentor Dr. Robert Melillo, the author of Disconnected Kids since 2008. He currently practices at his private practice Scire Integrative Health in Newnan, Georgia, where he uses a multimodal approach to neurorehab combined with functional medicine to treat patients around the world.

03:02 Tara Hunkin
So thank you, as I said, again, for being here with us today. We wanted to continue the conversation around Brain Lateralization. We often talk here about neurorehab and, and all the aspects of it, but understanding why we need to do that work is so important and how the brain develops and how things like brain imbalances can impact our child, children and their symptomology.

So today we're gonna dive into the right brain and the left brain in terms of the specifics around how they work and how when they aren't functioning appropriately that might impact your child's symptoms. So why don't we just dive right in and start to talk a bit about the role of the right brain in terms of when we're, when we're looking at what's going on with our kids and their symptoms, how is the, what are, what are some symptoms of right brain deficiency and what is right brain deficiency?

4:12 Dr. Peter Scire
Sure. Well, first I think the most important thing we have to establish is the idea that what makes human brain unique is the asymmetrical distribution of functionality of the, the hemispheres. Okay. It's really important that we establish and or break down the fact that there's myths of a right brain and left brain simplicity 'cause it's very complex. Okay. You know, when we we're trying to take these very specific neuro networks that, that are housed between the right and left brain and, and break it down into a way where,

you know, the way public can understand it, but the reality of it is that there's so many different factors here. But when we talk about the right and left brain, what we're talking about is the distribution of functionality between each side of the brain and that there, there are certain functions that the right brain is more superior for. It doesn't mean that the left brain doesn't necessarily maybe contribute to that function,

but it's almost like maybe 70, 80{4537a52abafa24f75931b694e3f6d1d9b0beb5896e18e49b3141987b78b41d96}, or 90{4537a52abafa24f75931b694e3f6d1d9b0beb5896e18e49b3141987b78b41d96} of that functionality happens in more of one side of the brain versus the other. You know, for example, when we're just talking about language, verbal language is going to happen more in the left side of the brain where nonverbal communication is going to be more predominantly done by the right side of the brain.

05:33 Dr. Peter Scire
Okay? So the right side of the brain being designed for facial recognition, being able to pick up all the subtleties of changes in facial tone relative to just how your eyebrow may move and, and change, what someone might be saying or receiving from a non-verbal language to looking at just even your pupil response and the dilation and, and constriction of your pupil as we speak.

So, so the generation of nonverbal communication and then the then the receiving a nonverbal information is going to be more housed in the right side of the brain where verbal language is gonna come from more of the, the verbal side of the left brain. Okay. The, the different parts of the left brain that create the ability to generate language but also receive language.

So that's a, an example of a, of how just in that overall function that we need both functions and what we're always talking about and always relating to when we say a, a child has a, or an adult has a brain imbalance, or really the term is functional disconnection, a Functional Disconnection Syndrome because what we're looking at, there's an there's not or doesn't appear to have pathology.

Okay. That there is just a functional output difference. And so in, in a child, let's say with autism, the thing that we're gonna see a lot is we're probably gonna see that increased verbal function, especially in high-functioning autism or children that may have what we used to would refer to as an Asperger's type of diagnosis.

Or even that classical ADHD child that developed very hyperverbal skills early on developmentally at the expense of the non-verbal language that you will see more parents will talk about, they don't make good eye contact or they don't, they're not good at reading social cues or, or you know, non-verbal language cues, facial recognition.

7:35 Tara Hunkin
Let's go into that a little bit more in terms of the right brain. So a lot of parents will say, like you said, so we, we, you have the a the, the child that's high-functioning autism that can be hyperverbal, but then what then how do you explain the low-functioning, non-verbal Sure. Autistic child. So how does that play into that functional disconnection?

7:58 Dr. Peter Scire
That's a great question. Then we get that asked a lot. You know, and I, I believe that Dr. Melillo and I have probably a, a little different perspective on it. Number one, that just because a child is nonverbal doesn't mean that their verbal

their verbal centers or their language centers of their left brain may not or not developing. I've actually encountered a lot of children that when given a piece of technology they can actually communicate. Okay. They, I, I remember years ago, probably early in my early part of my career, we had a child that that could actually type in five different languages on a computer.

Okay. So the question is do they have certain parts of their right hemisphere that control a lot of the muscle control of actually producing language? Okay. I know Dr. Melillo's doing a lot of work right, right now where he's asking questions of nonverbal adults and you know, about their trying to communicate and they all want to communicate, they all try to communicate,

but is it possibly that the sensory motor system is not developed enough that allows them to generate the motricity of language, okay. As opposed to to thinking of language. Okay. I can, I, I think of what I wanna say, I potentially might be able to type what I want to say, but the parts of the brain that are, that are developed that are not,

not developed, that contribute to the generation of language. Okay. And so that's a big thing. And, and then there is, you know, some elements of where in a certain magnitude of the delay are there's some more global developmental asymmetry that, or global delays that are happening in the brain where, you know, both sides of the brain are actually pretty developed or underdeveloped in that instance.

Okay. So there is a mechanism there that, that plays into that. But, but definitely are, when we've seen children where that are non-verbal, non-speaking, that even when you contest them cognitively, that they can actually show where they're actually pretty good with, with certain letter letter recognition and number recognition and, and do have actually the ability to do some basic math calculations and maybe able to actually spell even in the absence of not, of not speaking.

10:22 Tara Hunkin
It's very interesting when you look at it that way in terms of, in particular, like you said, the children that are non-verbal by, by the fact that they aren't, but, but they, but they are, they're able to read, they're able to write and they're able to communicate through devices like the rapid, prompt or typing ultimately or other things.

So, I mean obviously that makes sense that it's, it really isn't about, it's just about the output from a speech perspective, not actually being able to process that information and actually the out it's just the output really for them.

10:57 Dr. Peter Scire
Yeah. And, and I think we're, and we've talked about this before in different podcasts, but one of the areas that I would say is probably a major player in that is the cerebellum.

Okay. The cerebellum, there are very specific neuro networks that are tied, 'cause if you think of it in terms of what the cerebellum does, is that the cerebellum initiates electricity, it terminates motricity, but it also makes sure that motricity is smooth. Okay. And what I mean by that is that if I wanna move my finger outward, my cerebellum is gonna create that ability to initiate that movement.

It's also they're gonna control how smooth it is and then how, where do I terminate that movement, exactly. Okay. So when you look at it from, I think from that perspective, and you're looking at the pathways in the motor system and specifically the, the ability of the cerebellum to functionally develop. And when you take it one step further and go, okay, what develops the cerebellum is movement.

And, and then where do we see the discrepancies in aberrancies of movement early on developmentally, whether we step back and look at, you know, the, the aberrancies that we may see in primitive reflexes necessarily not going through their normal, 'cause we're I think one of the things we've talked about, about the primitive reflexes is the, of the existence of them beyond a certain period of time as a, a sign of brain immaturity or a lack of brain differentiation or lack of brain asymmetry.

One of the things that we also may not realize in is that, is there the lag in the asymmetry, the primitive reflex is developing on time, okay? That you have these primitive reflexes that are there in the development of the baby, the assistance of the, the, the, the baby through the birth canal and then all of a sudden we have this zero to three month aspect of primitive reflexes, three to six eventually eating the partial muscle, partial reflexes.

But if those perimeter reflexes don't go through that normal order of time of development, we don't create the complexity of the motor systems. Okay? So by not creating the complexity of the motor system, therefore we don't create the complexity of the differentiation of certain parts of the brain, i.e. being the cerebellum. Okay. Cerebellum going through these different zones of functionality that then help us set up the next layer of functionality within the, the motor system, the basal ganglia, which then is firing to other higher centers of the brain and creating that differentiation.

So it's really about, that's ultimately when we're talking about the brain asymmetry, is the, the lack of differentiation, the lack of functional differences between the, the hemispheres. So the question becomes where did the problem start? And the problem probably started in terms of the, the lack of ideal sensory and motor stimulation that then turns on genes in the brain that then codes for the, the specialization of the, of the hemispheres.

14:04 Tara Hunkin
It is fascinating when you break it down like that and just how everything is so connected and you can see, you know, the miracle of brain development and how if you have an interruption in that, in that development process, how we can start to see symptomology that we do in terms of that functional disconnection.

14:26 Dr. Peter Scire
Yeah, exactly. And, and, and as I, as I communicate, I, I always try to give our patients and our families some generalities and then no generalities are, are not always exact. But I think in this case, one of the things that's important is that when you look at the brain developmentally, it, it develops from a bottom up mechanism, a top down mechanism.

But then also if you look at, at the brain anatomically there is kind of like a, a zone relationship where there, there are what we refer to in neurology as midline structures of the central nervous system, more intermediate structures of the central nervous system and more lateral structures of the central nervous system and the more lateral structures of the central, central nervous systems are what neuroanatomists or really refer to as the new structures of the brain.

15:15 Dr. Peter Scire
And these are the, the structures that most people would say are what makes us human, okay. That the, you know, biologically we share a lot of similarity in in relationship or anatomy and the midline and intermediate with, with animals and, and even fish to that matter. But what makes us unique is the, the lateral component of our, of our aspects. Now, where that disruption can happen in, in lateral relationships.

And what is these lateral relationships, these lateral functions are really our executive functions, our higher thinking functions of both our right and left side of our frontal, our frontal cortex. Okay? And so when we hear in, in neurology a term called, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, it's, it's, it's the most lateralized part of or out outward part of the brain and in terms of that. And so, but those more lateral areas of brain are dependent on midline structures developing appropriately than intermediate structures, developing appropriately and then driving the expression of these lateral zones.

16:20 Dr. Peter Scire
And then one of the other things that we know that's unique about the human brain is that if you think of it at that the brain is growing from a bottom up relationship, meaning from the muscles through this, the spinal go to the nerves that didn't come into the spine and then up the spine and up to the brainstem, and then the brain kind of makes this little hard right turn to where now it comes and goes this way.

17:20 Dr. Peter Scire
And now we get our limbic circuitry, we get our, our, our motoristic circuitry of our basal ganglia and our thalamus, and then we get the cerebral cortex that comes around it. What happens at the cerebral cortex level and what I mean by that is the lobes of the brain, the occipital lobe, the back portion of the brain, the temporal lobe, the parietal lobe, and then the frontal lobe is that it grows posterior structures forward that are growing post from a posterior mechanism going forward then they're growing out.

And what happens is if we have disruption in, again, those midline structures, those intermediate levels, we don't get that development from back to front and then outward. And then that outward expression of development is now becomes more of the differentiation or the specialization of the hemispheres from right to left. And then ultimately we then get this big bridge effect between the two hemispheres of corpus callosum that allow us now to create what we refer to as integration.

And that's really what we're ultimately saying when we talk about a brain asymmetry, our brain imbalance is that we don't get the differentiation on one side. We don't get the, the higher degree of of development on one side. And then that leads to the lack of integration that happens between the two hemispheres. You know?

And an example of that that you would see, let's say in a, in a child developmentally is let's say the child that's struggling with reading that they may be good with being a word reader. They may be good with their phonics, they may be good with their grammar rules, but they can't use their right brain that allows them to understand reading comprehension. They, they, they don't have the ability to understand the main idea or inferencing or drawing conclusions. That would be an example of that, that asymmetry.

18:44 Tara Hunkin
It really, I, so it's incredibly fascinating once you start to see this connection as we I was saying before, which is why assessing a child is going to be essential to finding out where the work needs to be done, I'm assuming, and from my experience as well, and having that assessment done. So we've talked in the past about primitive reflexes obviously needing to be assessed and from that explanation that's clearly important. How do you assess right brain and left brain functionality to determine what needs to be worked on and how?

19:18 Dr. Peter Scire
Well, since we've talked about the idea that we have to look at it from a bottom up and then top down mechanism, you literally go four by four. Okay? So you look at, you know, we know for example, like obviously the, the primitive reflexes are housed in different parts of the brainstem. So we're not exactly a hundred percent sure anatomically, but there's a good relationship of where we think they are, are coming from. So that in itself gives us a, a relationship there. Okay?

We also know off the brainstem comes the cerebellum and, and one of the other parts of the brainstem is the vestibular system. So looking at vestibular function, okay? Looking at right to left-sided vestibular function. Because when we're looking at the higher centers of the brain, cerebral cortex is the, the right hemisphere and left hemisphere, they're dependent on output from the opposing brainstem and the opposing cerebellum.

Okay? So for example, my right cerebellum and my right brainstem is going to have enormous amount of firing to the opposing left hemisphere. Okay? So when you're looking at, for a brain asymmetry, you wanna start out with looking at primitive reflexes, you wanna look for dominancy profile because if a child doesn't develop a, a dominancy profile, that's also a great example of brain asymmetry.

So what I mean by a dominancy profile is relationship of, you know, if I'm right-handed. Am I right foot dominant? Am I right eye dominant? Am I right ear dominant? I want my profile to all exist on one side. Oftentimes many of these kids actually have mixed, you know, profiles. Okay? Or they haven't selected a hand dominancy, okay?

When it can't, when it comes to writing. So again, that's an idea that in that early two to three years of life, those first 36 months of life, that there is a relationship of immaturity. So the primitive reflexes, the lack of, of a dominancy profile and then are we looking at low muscle tone hypotonia? And especially are we looking at hypotonia in the larger muscles of the spine, the larger muscles of the trunk, okay?

21:37 Dr. Peter Scire
Or the muscles, again of midline, midline, postural muscles. If those muscles tend to be weak, those are gonna be muscles that are really more controlled by the right side of the brain as opposed to distal muscles. Muscles that require more exact movements, okay?

Very finite movements are really, you know, under the control of the left hemisphere. Okay? So just looking at the difference between gross muscle function versus fine muscle function can be an indication of brain asymmetry. So looking at that and then just literally working up the, from the brainstem going to the relationship, is the vestibular system more active or underactive on one side? Okay, typically, in a lot of kids you'll see underactivity of the vestibular system.

These are the children that when you, you put 'em in a, a, a spin chair, or even if you go to the park and you put 'em on some type of spin device at a, at a park, you can spin them and spin them and spin them and they don't get dizzy. Okay?

22:40 Dr. Peter Scire
So there's that hypo vestibular response and some kids you may actually have a hyper vestibular response, but the reason for that is that there's, there should be symmetry between the two sides of the vestibular system to where one side is not over firing and maybe producing the hyper vestibular functionality where the other side is hypo firing. Okay? So that's an example where, you know, we may spin a child in one direction and see hypo vestibular function and then spin 'em in another direction and see hyper vestibular relationships.

Okay? The idea that you may see like sensory system issues where maybe a child I, and you know, depending on the age, maybe you write a number in their hand, you close their eyes and they, and you write a number in their left hand and they can't discern what that number is, but you write the number in their right hand and they can completely discern it.

Again, the idea of what we say, you know, parietal awareness where, where's your body in space and time, so your parietal lobes allow you to know that or if I put something, an object in your hand and I close your eyes and I, and you can feel it and you can tell the object, okay, then that's in it, but you can't do it in the other hand. Okay?

Is that a relationship there of, of some some sensory output? Okay? Perception of touch, you know, can I touch a child and then tell them with your eyes closed touch where I touched, they perceive one side of the body versus the other. Okay? So that's an example of that.

So you literally go through all the difference from a sensory motor assessment. You can go through the differences of right to left side of the brain longitudinally. You're literally working up from the, the lower parts of the brain, the, the, what I like to say the, the floor of the house, the foundation of the house, the cerebellum and the,

and the vestibular system and the muscles, okay? Then going into the brainstem and looking at brainstem, primitive reflexes, but all cranial nerves, we have 12 cranial nerves that three cranial nerves are involved with eye movement. So we can literally look at the integrity of eye movements and begin to see what the cranial nerves are doing. Three, four, and six.

24:51 Dr. Peter Scire
Okay? So we can look at basic eye relationships, the ability to converge your eyes towards a target with divergence at a, at something in a distance. Slow eye movements such as what we call pursuits. Being able to slowly track an object. If I ask you to move your eyes from one target to the next, those are psychotic movements. All those eye movements are generated by very specific parts of the brain.

Okay? So we can do that bedside if we have more advanced technology, we can actually look at visual processing and look at the difference between the left side of the brain's visual processing skills for detail versus the right side of the brain visual processing for global spatial orientation. Okay? You can do that with the auditory system as well. You can do. And so that's how we can really do this from a standpoint of just a, a bedside diagnostic relationship.

25:45 Tara Hunkin
So what happens when you've done all that, and I've been through that. So we, we've we've done that more than one occasion with you, with our child. So what happens? You go through all that process and what would you say typically? So someone, so if their child tends to be there, there's weaknesses and dominance, right?

In terms of sometimes I know that in, in Disconnected Kids, Dr. Melillo talks about a right brain weakness and a left brain weakness. What happens when there's a bit of both going on? What is, what does that look like and and how do you manage through that?

26:25 Dr. Peter Scire
Well I think, you know, when we look at maybe a little bit of both sides being weak, that's where we're getting more of some of the children that might have more of a global delay. Okay? Or they, or it might be in some instances too, where this is, well, in ADHD you're probably not going to see that, okay? And a child with ADHD or a child with, with with Tourette's or tics the children that we would say on, on the continuum of the brain asymmetry have more evolved functionalities. You're gonna really, truly see the brain asymmetry.

You're gonna see the difference in one side being more dominant functionally and, and one side being, you know, underdeveloped. Now, when we get into the population of children that would probably be classically diagnosed in the autism community or, or maybe dealing with persuasive developmental delay, or there are children that are being been diagnosed with more of a global developmental delay, then there's a more chance that you may see suppression on both sides 'cause they didn't get the benefit of the increased lateralization, okay?

They didn't get the, the benefit of probably the hemisphere traits that, that are really, because ultimately what drives this brain asymmetry is, is in our opinion, is the dominant traits that are passed down within the families. Okay?

You know, if, if fam if there's a lot of history of left brain dominant traits and what are those left brain dominant traits would be like, you know, a family that has a lot of engineers in them, you know, maybe scientists, you know, people that are really good with numbers, okay, or accountants or, you know, those are gonna be the people that are probably gonna be more with very left brain dominant traits, okay?

28:12 Dr. Peter Scire
And if both mom and dad have those left brain dominant traits, the odds are bet they're probably gonna pass off these, these, these traits, and again, these, and this has been well defined by Simon Baron Cohen's work and Uta Frith's work that they, that, that they are really these, these traits and that's why it looks like genetics, but it's really not these really these epigenetic traits that are being passed down, but in a child that where we see a kind of both and there's kind of a mixture, then they didn't get the bias of those traits.

And then you really have to, to, to really do even probably a bigger evaluation to say, okay, is this truly more a left brain delay or a right brain delay? And, and for example, that might be that child that might have persuasive developmental delay symptoms, but they don't have enough symptoms where they can classify them as autism, okay? That they know that they necessarily have a language delay.

But is that language delay really a language delay of the left brain language centers? Because when you actually examine them, they may actually be very gifted with their, or they may show good signs of nonverbal language. Okay? So if a child shows very good signs of non-verbal language and they are not speaking, I'd be more inclined to say that child may have a left hemisphere deficit that's producing the lack of verbal language because they're showing signs where they make good eye contact.

They, they are good at reacting to nonverbal gestures. Okay? Maybe they have decent motor tone, okay? But the reverse side of that would be what we started talking about earlier was the child that doesn't speak has good left brain verbal skills in terms of, or, or the left brain skill in terms of maths and, and writing and, and or maybe, you know, letter recognition.

You know, for example, a child that would be probably considered in the autism realm where they, they don't have the nonverbal language community communication skills, they, that would be an example of that.

30:23 Tara Hunkin
So what, what are generally speaking, if you have a right brain weakness versus a left brain weakness for each of the those, what are the typical symptomology and the diagnoses that typically, I know it's not always you have to about every kid, kid is different, but typically go with the two different types of deficiencies.

30:45 Dr. Peter Scire
So when we get into like, let's say start out with ADHD. ADHD sometimes can be a little bit confusing because it's important to differentiate between the three types of ADHD, and actually the four type as well. But so a child that is ADHD, we need to look at number one, is it just an attentive, okay. If it's an attentive, they can either go either way. Okay? And the reason for that is that attention networks are distributed between the two hemispheres.

There are certain intentional networks on the right, there's certain intentional networks on the left, okay? Again, the left brain is gonna be more biased towards detailed attention. Okay? Focal attention where the right brain is gonna be more, you know, sustained attention or global attention. Okay? Spatial attention. All right? So when we get into the quote unquote symptom of attention, we need to break it down to that greater degree.

I would say that over probably 50{4537a52abafa24f75931b694e3f6d1d9b0beb5896e18e49b3141987b78b41d96} of the children that have been seen in our Brain Balance Centers, you know, nationwide when they come in with an ADHD diagnosis, it's 50{4537a52abafa24f75931b694e3f6d1d9b0beb5896e18e49b3141987b78b41d96} go to the right hemisphere and 50{4537a52abafa24f75931b694e3f6d1d9b0beb5896e18e49b3141987b78b41d96} go to the left hemisphere when we're dealing with a, inattention. Okay? Now if it's more of a type two diagnosis of ADHD, and this is where the, the, the H component of the hyperactivity or the impulsivity come into it.

If we're seeing more impulsiveness or more hyperactive, which are often then seen with some type of motor tic, okay? That there may be an element of a a, a tic or a a stem behavior or stereotyped behavior that's seen, you may also see some obsessive or compulsive type of symptomatology or even some anxiety to, you know, types of comorbidities. Okay?

And this could be also age dependent, you know, it may originally start out with just more of the impulsivity, hyperactivity when they're younger. But as they get older you may begin to see more of the continuum begins because the asymmetry actually gets further apart. Okay? Those are, are, are more typical of your true right brain hemispheric deficient children, okay? That they, they have more of this impulsive hyperactive.

And the reason for that is that there's actually a very specific pathway that comes down from the right side of the brain to modulate a very specific part of the motor centers, motor pathways of the brain called the basal ganglia. And what happens, we don't, we don't have this hyper direct pathway that fires down and modulates the basal ganglia.

So we get this overactivation in the motor system and the overactivation in the cognitive system. So in the motor system it's gonna come out in the forms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, or some type of compulsion, okay? The compulsion to do something that has a motor action to it, okay? Now if it's happening in the cognitive realm, then what we're gonna see is more obsessions.

Okay? Or perseverations, meaning that I get stuck on something, okay? I can't, I can't change my, you know, tune on the, on the radio. It's like this song on my head. I got it stuck in my head, okay? But then it's also gonna come out in the form of an anxiety, okay? Gonna come out in the form of something that bothers me and I can't, I'm worrying about it on in all that.

So again, those are gonna be more your typical right hemispheric delayed or right hemispheric deficit children or or adults. Okay? And then when we get into really the, the autism spectrum, you know, whether we are diagnosing or underdiagnosing Asperger's or what we would also refer to as a non nonverbal learning disability, okay?

'Cause there is actually a code for that nonverbal learning disability. And then the spectrum of autism is really cl going to be classic autism is going to be in indication of a right hemispheric delay. And now when we get into more of the left brain, the left brain could be that child that is type one diagnosed inattention, but their inattention really has to do with their inability to actually pick up details and facts.

Okay? So memorization, you know, of factual information from a detailed component, okay? They may be able to get the big idea but they don't get the details. Okay? And so that could be that type one ADHD child that really may have a left brain delay. And my experience is that no one has done enough of a workup to really pick up with the fact that they actually have an underlying learning disability, okay?

And it's not been classified as a learning disability yet they haven't picked up the fact that they have a language disability or a math disability or a written expression disability 'cause when you get into learning disabilities, you can, there's multiple categories of them. And so your classic learning disability is really gonna be more of your left hemispheric delay.

And that's gonna come out in the form of probably a reading disability, especially for, you know, vocabulary if a child has poor vocabulary or poor phonics ability or they're poor speller, which for the most part when you get into especially high-functioning autism, it's the complete opposite. I've seen high-functioning autism kids in the third grade have the vocabulary that of a 10 of a 10th grader or a college student, that little professor type of aspect.

So that little professor type of presentation is definitely not gonna be seen in a left hemisphere deficit. And when you really talk to families and you talk, especially, I was doing a, a kind of a training with a doctor this morning and we were talking about the difference between his, his sons. He's got a, a son that is more this classic right brain presentation, probably borderline, you know, Asperger's/OCD type of anxiety case that we've been working on for about a year now.

And now he's starting to learn the Melillo Method and then he is going, okay, well my son, my younger son is the opposite and has his like left brain. So we got talking about it and I asked him and his son's like in I think middle school now, the youngest one. And he's like, yeah, but now that we've talked about it, it's like the fact that he said that, hey, he was a poor speller early on in school and really had to work with extra hard to learn the vocabulary words, really struggle with basic phonics rules. Okay? You know, learning phenoms, math operations were really tough for them.

That's more that classic left brain deficit and a lot of times they, they kind of fly under the radar and the reason why they fly under the radar is that they typically don't have a lot of behavioral problems. The only time they're probably gonna have behavioral problems is when they're asked to do a, a preferred task or non-preferred task in, in academics, okay?

That they're, they're gonna try to have these task avoidance tasks, they're gonna have good non-verbal ability, they're gonna have good social engagement. Their social emotional levels will probably be more appropriate for their age. They're gonna probably make friends, establish friendships, maintain friendships pretty easily. They're probably gonna have interest more in the arts of, of creative art or, or, or, or more the aspects of sports. So that's gonna be more that left hemispheric delayed child.

38:22 Tara Hunkin
Yeah, it's fascinating when you, you get into all those pieces and you can start, and I'm sure parents that are listening or are identifying aspects of their children in all those descriptions there. So once the weakness or dominance has been determined, then I think one thing that everybody should understand is then there's a way to rebalance the brain.

So can you just give us a high level sort of introduction to, to how, how is that done? Like how does it, how do you begin to craft a neurorehab plan based on the findings that you get from assessment of these children?

39:00 Dr. Peter Scire
Well it really, it goes back to this bottom up, top down relationship, okay? So starting at the bottom of the nervous system, starting out with, if a child has retained primitive reflexes, they're gonna be instructed to do reflex integration therapy. That's done with more of a laterality aspect to it. Okay?

That there are certain reflexes that may give us an indication of laterality. There's a lot of people out there doing a lot of, you know, primitive reflex work, but I'll be honest that the majority of their primitive reflex protocols are not enough to eliminate the primitive reflexes because the primitive reflexes are, are also a reflection of the asymmetry in brain.

Okay? So if, if they're superimposed. And so if you're not, if you're not, if you're only trying to eliminate primitive reflexes, if you've gone to some primitive reflex training and there's lots of people out there, and I, and I really say that with, with kindness, but at the same time I think there's a lot of misinformation regarding it.

I know Dr. Melillo's work has brought a lot of awareness, primitive reflexes, but the problem is, is that people are just focusing only on a primitive reflexes and not realizing that, that if you don't go up and start stimulating other parts of the brain to, to improve the higher centers of the brain to come and develop, you won't get the inhibition of the primitive reflexes by solely doing a primitive reflex exercises. If all you're gonna do is identify the 18-hour reflex and, and all you're gonna do is try to do an 18-hour exercise and all. And there's all kinds of ways that if people are coming up with different novel ways in their mind to, to eliminate it, but you're not gonna eliminate it.

I can assure you I've seen people that have brought their kids and, and done a year or two or three years of, of, of primitive reflex training by itself with no emphasis on trying to activate the weaker hemisphere and not eliminate these primitive reflexes. So it's gonna come down to doing the primitive reflexes in a hemispheric progression.

Also then doing, like for example, if we determine that a child has weak core muscles, how are we activating those core muscles and stimulating those core muscles at the same times we are stimulating this sensorium the major senses in a very hemispheric way. Each sensory system has a bias to what, to each hemisphere. So there are visual relationships that come into the right brain versus the left brain. There are auditory pathways that are gonna go towards the right brain versus the left brain.

There are smell pathways that are gonna lateralize more to, to the right brain or left brain. Okay, somatosensory movements, if I do somatosensory stimulation on the left side of the body, I'm going to fire more of the, the right hemisphere and have a consequence on it. So that's the biggest thing is really sitting there and going, okay, I'm going to do these very specific hemispheric therapies.

42:00 Dr. Peter Scire
For example, back to the vestibular system really saying, okay, if we're gonna emphasize stimulating the right side of the brain, we're probably gonna concentrate on left vestibular system types of stimulation and left brain sense type types of stimulations to stimulate the right hemisphere.

So it really comes down to that, it really comes down to doing the, the stimulation that's very directed towards the weaker hemisphere. And not only doing it in a sensory motor or ability, but also doing it in a, in a cognitive level, in doing specific type of cognitive-based therapies that will fire the right side of the brain versus the left side of the brain.

Also doing academics. If a child presents into one of this, into one of our brain balance centers or or someone doing them a little method protocols, they're, they need to do some academic, you know, work that's going to fire that right side of the brain.

42:55 Tara Hunkin
It's interesting and fa like, it's fascinating to see how important it is to really identify specifically for your child. I mean it's, it there, there are lots of resources out there to Dr. Melillo's book being one of them to help you identify these things at home, but understanding how they all tie together is always the challenge for parents at home. What advice do you give them in terms of if they can't get to someone that has your level of experience with kids?

There's only one of you in one place, and I know there's other practitioners that you and Dr. Melillo are training, but what, what can they do at home with some comfort level to get started if they can't get to a practitioner they can work with right away?

43:30 Dr. Peter Scire
Yeah. If they don't have the ability to be able to get to one of the Brain Balance Centers or they can't get to, you know, a little certified practitioner or, you know, obviously Dr. Melillo and I work with people remotely and we, we do quite a bit of that work and others do that as well. But if they, but even if they, that's not a, a feasible option then, you know, for them to really start with the Disconnected Kids book, the book is gonna be actually coming out in its third edition at some point this year, which is for a big publishing company like Penguin as you know, that's, that's a huge honor.

There's only a handful of people that have actually had a, a third edition of a book ever be done by Penguin. So that's how successful that book is. I actually think the government said they sold more copies than they've ever sold last year 'cause more and more people are becoming more aware of his work.

So the starting point of that is really start with the book and I, I tell the parents that, that the first couple chapters of the book is really getting the concepts of what, this idea of brain asymetry. And I'll be honest, I've never had a family that, especially in our skeptical dads that come in and, and I remember sitting in my Brain Balance Centers for years and dads would walk into a, a meeting and their wife had brought the child through the evaluation and everything and then they'd sit in the, the report of findings with their arms crossed and everything.

And the first thing I had asked 'em, I said, did you do your homework? And they're like, yeah, we did the homework. And I said, so you read the, the one chapter I asked you, 'cause I only asked dads to read about 12 pages in the book, okay. And I said, but did you read the chapter that was really about the left brain and the right brain? It's like, yes. So what'd you think? He said, I gotta admit it made sense. I'm like, all right, good. And so if then we can start the conversation of right, what's the problem?

Okay. Or what's the, the degree of the, of the problem in terms of laterality. Okay, so, so yeah, I tell parents to start with the book, read the first couple chapters of the book, and then when they get to the chapter on the master hemisphere checklist, they literally go down the master checklist and then they can begin to see the, how the, the brain asymmetry is happening from a symptom-based standpoint.

And then in another chapter of the book, Dr. Melillo literally explains a basic sensory motor exam that parents can do. And I know that we did a little bit of that through one of our, our masterclasses and we're gonna get into some of how to do that more further this year.

But that's a good starting point too, is just to go through the basic relationship of, I mean he talks about the basic perimeter reflexes that you can check, talks about how to look at a basic hemispheric postural exam that you can begin to look at that. And then also too, he, he talks about the cognitive component of the asymmetry and getting into how the, the the wide, the wide, what's her, an individual achievement test is a great tool.

And so for parents that may have had some academic assessment tools, once you learn the right brain and left brain cognitive dynamics and academic dynamics, you can actually probably go back to a, a port that you've had, if you've had a neuropsych psycho eval done by a school psychologist or a private practice psychologist, you may have a Wyatt or Woodcock Johnson sitting there and then you're like, oh wow, I can actually look at this and see the difference in my, my child's brain asymmetry.

So I think once you actually get the understanding of the brain asymmetry, the, the the sensory exam, the motor exam becomes, you know, I think something that, okay, if my child clearly has low muscle tone and can't do these core stabilization exercises, can't do pushups, can't do sit-ups, can't hang from a flex hanging monkey bar and they struggle with that then and then they have nonverbal learning, you know, issues, they have more behavior issues, then this is probably gonna be more of that right brain problem. And then Dr. Melillo does give some basic right brain types of stimulation.

He does a great job, I think in the book of explaining the, the, the neuroanatomy and neurology behind the sensory system. And then you can understand, okay, well why I might want to do a certain color frequency to stimulate one hemisphere versus the other, or why I might want to use certain music frequencies or to stimulate one hemisphere versus the other.

Why I may want to use vibration sense only on one side of the body or do brushing techniques on one side of the body or only spin. I mean that's the nuances of of of what we do. And then how do we make it multimodal or, or what we refer to as coactivating where we're layering these, these modalities on top of each other, which is really different than the traditional occupational therapy arena in the physical therapy arena.

They're probably not gonna look at it from an asymmetrical level unless they've been trained by us now, which we have more people than ever wanting to train from that rela relationship. They're gonna probably also do things in a very singular modality model. They're not gonna stack their modalities per se. So that's why I think you don't get the results that you would expect.

48:49 Tara Hunkin
Yeah, so we'll definitely put the link to Dr. Melillo's book in the show notes for today. We are going to be doing a masterclass together, diving even deeper. I mean you've given so much information even today, but I'm gonna let Dr. Scire completely take the reigns again and teach on the topic of Brain Lateralization. We're gonna be doing that on March 28th.

And you can sign up for that mychildwillthrive.com/masterclass so that way you'll be able to, to join us live and ask your questions as well after we work through all this. I wanna thank you once again for joining us today on the podcast. I look forward to this next masterclass 'cause I know how much everybody benefited from the last one that we did back last fall and last September, so I can't wait to do that with you at the end of March.

49:46 Dr. Peter Scire
No, I'm looking forward to it, it's gonna be really exciting and I, we're gonna, really big date, 'cause I, what I ultimately want people to come away was realize this is, this is neuroscience. Neuroscience and, and there this is not just Dr. Melillo's theory. This is where all the research that's coming out on the brain is,is all related to brain asymmetry and, and so that people can understand this is, this is cutting edge, this is what exactly what the researchers and are are saying. And we've just created a, a clinical model and a learning-based model with the centers and, and then the clinical model with Dr. Melillo's work for, for parents to get help.

50:27 Tara Hunkin
No, it's, it is very exciting to see all the research sort of coming together now to support what the, the clinical model that you've been doing. And then obviously you've, through the centers, Dr. Melillo and the Brain Balance has collected a lot of data over the years as well. So I look forward to hearing more about all those things at the masterclass and—

50:48 Dr. Peter Scire
Yeah, Brain Balance Centers have the largest probably at this point now probably one of the largest levels of, of data on, I think from what I last heard we're at over 50,000 plus students and of data, you know, no, I don't think anybody, you know, maybe the only person that I comes to mind that may have that kind of data, Daneman on his PET scans,

but other than that, nobody I think in the childhood developmental arena, you know, has that kind of data. I mean even the Harvard study that, that Harvard just completed, they only had 23 subjects in the, in the study, you know, and so, you know, it's very hard when people, you know, do research to actually find research subjects.

And so the research is a very small database. So the fact that our centers now can produce the volume of research on years and years and years of, of kids is only gonna show that you know, what we're doing actually does work.

51:43 Tara Hunkin
It's pretty exciting. Thank you again for joining us here today on the podcast and I look forward to see talking to you again really soon at the masterclass and I hope everyone here will sign up and join us so you can ask your questions live as well. Bye for now.

Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing and giving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next episode of the podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com, where you can find articles and the free My Child Will Thrive toolkit too.

Make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to join Dr. Scire and I for his latest complimentary masterclass where he'll be doing a deep dive into Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization. You can sign up to be notified to join us at mychildwillthrive.com/masterclass. See you then.


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