End the overwhelm.

Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.

End the overwhelm.

Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization

Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization-D. Peter Scire

A quick Google search on the term ‘brain lateralization’ defines it as “the functional specialization of the brain whereas a bodily function, such as language or movement, occurs in the left side of the brain and perception of visual and spatial relationships, occurs primarily in the right side”. There is so much more to brain lateralization than that simplified explanation which is why this week’s episode of the podcast with Dr. Peter Scire is all about Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization.

In this episode, Dr. Scire and I started a conversation about the role of brain lateralization and the importance of understanding the maturation process of the brain so that we can identify where and why the development may go off course. This topic is one that requires more time and attention so not only will you get to today’s episode but we continue the conversation in Part Two in a couple of weeks so be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss it!

If you are ready to even further unlock the mystery of brain lateralization and understand its crucial role in neurodevelopmental, Dr. Scire and I are going to host a Knowledge Vault™ Expert Masterclass on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 at 12 pm ET/9 am PST to do a deep dive on this topic.

Join us for this free event where we will dive even deeper into the subject and help you discover new insights that will transform your understanding of brain lateralization and its influences on your child. During this Masterclass, Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization: Understanding its Role in Neurodevelopment, you will learn valuable information about this crucial part of neurodevelopment and how it can be applied to your child.

    • Discover the key factors that impact the development of the brain in the critical first 36-48 months of life, which side of the brain develops first and why this sequencing is vital.
    • Obtain practical insights into the basic anatomy of the brain and how you can use this knowledge to better understand the symptoms your child experiences.
    • Gain an understanding of the critical role of sensory inputs such as sound, light, olfactory, vestibular, and proprioceptive inputs on brain development.
    • Learn how to identify the symptoms and the impact of functional disconnection syndrome.
    • Gather valuable insights on how brain lateralization impacts development and behaviour.
    • Explore the research and findings related to brain lateralization and natural brain development
    • And much more…

Sign up here to join us live and 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 functional disconnection syndrome plays in your child’s symptoms.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this podcast episode with Dr. Scire, you can listen in or read the transcript below.

Things You Will Learn
  • What is Brain Lateralization or “brain asymmetry” and why is it important to consider?
  • What are some of the biggest myths about brain lateralization?
  • The importance of brain lateralization in early development. 
  • How does brain lateralization play a role in neurodevelopmental challenges?
  • Functional Disconnection Syndrome: What it is and why it is essential to address.
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • Our brain is composed of two different hemispheres; the left and the right. For many years it was believed that the left hemisphere is the dominant hemisphere, but more recent research has suggested that the right hemisphere is the driver of how our mind works (07:51)
    • From the womb until around three years old, the right hemisphere is the dominant hemisphere (9:56)
    • Functional Disconnection Syndrome (21:18) 
    • The newer generation of parents and links to the rates of autism in children (30:29)
    • Parents’ dominant hemispheres and how it could affect their offspring’s development (38:09)

If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to learn more join us for the FREE Knowledge Vault™ Expert Masterclass with Dr. Scire and you will also receive a limited access replay of the class too!

Resources and Links


The Development of the Unconscious Mind (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) (2019)

The Master and His Emissary (2019)

Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders (The Disconnected Kids Series) (2015) 

Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders–and What Parents Can Do (2012)


Articles Related to Unlocking the Mystery of Brain Lateralization

What You Need To Know About The CDC Changes To Developmental Milestones

How Retained Primitive Reflexes Impact Your Child’s Brain Development

How Functional Neurology Can Help Your Child


More about Dr. Peter Scire

Peter Scire DC is the owner and clinical Director of Scire Integrative Health Center/Scire Functional Neurology Center and Co-Owner of Brain Balance Centers of Atlanta.  

As a child, Dr.Scire was diagnosed with a learning disability and Dyslexia. Frustrated with traditional treatment results, his parents brought him to a chiropractor specializing in neurological therapies and functional nutrition.  The combination of traditional academic remediation and these neurological approaches has led to his recovery. Although the process was slow and costly, Dr. Scire went from a struggling student to graduating at the top of his high school class and becoming an award-winning collegiate scholar. Through his personal struggles and recovery, he discovered that helping people was his calling and so made this his vocation. 

While in graduate school he took a special interest in functional neurology which led him to study under Dr. Robert Melillo who developed recovery protocols for children suffering from ADHD, Dyslexia, Learning Disorders, Tourette’s, and autism spectrum disorders. This collaboration has led to Dr. Scire establishing the first three Brain Balance Centers ever built in 2007-2008. Since 2010, Dr. Scire has been a co-instructor with Dr. Melillo in his Childhood & Adult Neurodevelopmental Disorder program. Dr. Scire has over 18 plus years of clinical experience working with children and adults utilizing the developmental neurology applications created by Dr. Melillo.

Ever the learner, Dr. Scire has completed post-graduate studies in the areas of Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion Rehabilitation, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Neuroimmunology, Low-Level Laser Therapy and Functional Endocrinology. Currently, he is enrolled in the three-year Clinical Mastership Program at the Kharrazian Institute while simultaneously completing the Functional Immunology program through Cogence.

Dr.Scire has a private practice in Newnan, Georgia where he attends to patients of all ages with complex medical histories. His goal is to provide a personalized integrative clinical approach that incorporates the latest evidence-based transitional science.

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.

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.

01:25 Tara Hunkin
Hi everyone, welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I'm Tara Hunkin and I am thrilled to have once again with us today, Dr. Peter Scire. Dr. For those of you who haven't heard one of my many interviews with Dr. Scire before, I'm gonna give you the rundown on on who he is and what, why it's great to have him here with us again.

Dr. Scire is the owner and clinical director of Scire Integrative Health Center, Scire Functional Neurology Center and co-owner of the Brain Balance Centers of Atlanta. As a child, Dr. Scire was diagnosed with the learning disability and dyslexia, frustrated with traditional treatment results. His parents brought him to a chiropractor specializing in neurological therapies. The combination of traditional academic mediation and these neurological approaches have led to his recovery.

Although the process was slow and costly, Dr. Scire went from a struggling student to graduating at the top of his high school class and became an an award-winning collegiate scholar. Through this, his personal struggles and recovery, he discovered that helping people was his calling. So he made it his vocation. While in graduate school, he took a special interest in functional neurology,

which led him to study under Dr. Robert Melillo, which whom many of you will know is the author of this book, Disconnected Kids. I'm just holding it up if you're listening at home, who developed recovery protocols for children suffering from ADHD, dyslexia learning disorders, Tourettes and Autism Spectrum disorders. This collaboration has led Dr. Scire to establish the first three Brain Balance Centers ever built in 2007 and 2008.

And since 2010, Dr. Scire has been a co-instructor with Dr.Melillo in his Childhood & Adult Neurodevelopmental Disorder program. Dr. Scire has over 18 plus years of clinical experience working with children and adults utilizing neurology applications created by Dr. Melillo. Ever the learner, Dr. Scire has completed postgraduate studies in areas of Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion Rehab, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Neuroimmunology, Low Level Laser Therapy, and Functional Endocrinology. He is currently enrolled in

three-year clinical mastership program at The Kharrazian Institute, while simultaneously completing the Functional Immunology program through Cogence. I don't know if I pronounce that correctly, but Dr. Scire has a private practice, if you're looking for him in Newnan, Georgia, where he attends to patients of all ages with complex medical histories.

His goal is to provide a personalized integrative clinical approach that incorporates the latest evidence-based transitional science. So it's a mouthful 'cause I think it's important to understand that Dr. Scire not only has the education, the experience, the personal experience, and has worked with many, many, many children over a lot of years, including my own family, which is why I love having him here with us to walk us through all the,

the things we need to understand about neurodevelopment and really how the brain functions are supposed to function and why addressing things like brain imbalances is so important. Which, before I say welcome, leads me today, what we're gonna talk about today is what is brain lateralization and why it's an important piece of the neurodevelopmental puzzle. So Dr. Scire and I have been talking for quite a while about all the things we wanna talk about here on the podcast,

and we decided to bring it again back to some of the, the, the basics so that everybody has the fundamentals that we can build on more as we continue to have conversations here. So thank you for joining us again today and welcome.

05:18 Dr. Peter Scire
It's great to be here. I was definitely a mouthful.

05:23 Tara Hunkin
Well, it, you know, when you, you have a very long career as you have and you've done lots of things, that bio just keeps getting longer and longer. And really it was just, I wanted to refresh people to really understand why I came to you as a trusted resource, aside from my personal experience working with you, there aren't that many people in the industry that have actually done, don't have the body of work that you have in terms of your clinical experiences. So thank you for taking the time to share that knowledge with us here today.

05:58 Dr. Peter Scire
No, I'm happy to, to do so. I mean, I've realized that, you know, I can't believe I'm entering my, you know, 18 plus year clinical practice this year, and you've been blessed by having some of the, the best minds as instructors, you know,

originally and now become friends and, and, and really close mentors. And, and so obviously the likes of Dr. Robert Melillo, Datis Kharrazian, Sam Yanuck, Dan Murphy, and people that are really made huge clinical contributions over their careers. You know, Dr. Melillo's been in practice almost 35 somewhat plus years, Sam Yanuck, 30 plus years,

Datis, I think going on almost 25 years now. And so, you know, you try to emulate the best, you know, and that's, and I, and so what I've been able to do over these, you know, I think 18 years is be able to take kind of a little bit of everybody and, and then kind of bring it all together in, in what I do in my practice, day-to-day.

06:53 Dr Peter Scire
'Cause I consider myself, you know, someone who's doing the, The Melillo Method protocols, you know, very way he would design has always designed them to be done, whether working with a family in office or working with them remotely. And then also incorporating the two major parts of, of Dr. Kharrazian's work in the functional endocrinology,

neuroimmunology space. But then adding that with Dr. Yanuck's advanced work in immunology now. And, and my hope is that in the next year or two, I'm gonna break ground on my own PhD in neuroimmunology and, and start, you know, trying to publish my own papers and concepts that are, you know, a culmination of a lot of their work, but taking it to, you know, new levels of information.

07:39 Tara Hunkin
So, so today we're gonna talk about Brain Lateralization. So why don't you start by just letting, giving people a, an understanding of what that is to, to start with.

07:51 Dr. Peter Scire
Sure. Well, well brain a lateralization or brain asymmetry is the idea that, you know, we have these two different hemispheres and we have this left hemisphere and we have this right hemisphere.

And for the longest time, most of the research was heavily believed to, to think that the left brain was really the dominant hemisphere. And, and that was perceived for, you know, decades if not even maybe hundreds of years where we, we taught that because language was more on the left side of the brain, that it was the hemisphere that really made humans,

humans. But the more recent research that's evolved over the last say 20, 30 years, isn't really showing how much the right brain really is truly the, the driver of, of humanity and, and how our mind truly works. And it's really comes down to the integration of those two hemispheres. And what happens is that there's actually a very, very serial or very descriptive way that the two hemispheres actually develop from the womb all the way into our early twenties.

And we have to go through this very specific developmental course. And if it doesn't happen, what it can lead to is one hemisphere actually outgrowing the other hemisphere. And, and if it does, then it can lead into, you know, series of symptomatology that eventually gets diagnosed in the developmental arena as, you know, autism or Asperger's or ADHD or learning disability or dyslexia or the other comorbidities that you may see like Tourette's or tics or OCD or, or anxiety disorders or even mood disorders.

09:35 Dr. Peter Scire
So ultimately when we're talking about brain lateralization, we wanna have the conversation about the importance of the brain as it matures going through this normal stepping relationship that happens between the hemispheres. In early development, the primary hemisphere that develops is the right hemisphere.

So when we look at children that might be showing signs of developmental delays in those first 36 months of life, it could be a very good indication that there's underdevelopment in the right-hand side of their brain. And if that goes on and continues to go on, then as they get older, you're going to probably see more deficits in, in, in the realm of cognition or,

or socialization or pragmatic language that could be developmental, delayed, or you could have immunological issues or gastrointestinal issues. So really it starts by understanding that, number one, we, we have to have this, this sequential aspect of brain lateralization where in the first 0 to 36 months of life, the right brain turns on then towards about maybe two and a half the,

the, or 2, 2, 2 and a half, the left brain starts growing. This is why we begin to see a language begin to come upon and develop. And then every several, three to four years, the hemisphere are actually switching back and forth and one hemisphere actually begins to develop. This has been well established in the literature.

11:11 Dr. Peter Scire
I mean, a lot of researchers have, have established this, this timeline. Dr. Melillo has written a, a textbook on the maturation of the frontal lobe that was published about 10 years ago, really showing where, how the hemisphere switched back and forth. Other people, Louis Cozolino, Dan Siegel, Iain McGilchrist, have written about this. So this is not something that's a controversial topic. This is a well accepted topic in neuroscience and neuropsychology that,

you know, we start out, I mean, there's a book right here called The Development of the Unconscious Mind by Allan Schore. Allan Schore is one of the top neuropsychiatrists of the last 50 somewhat years at UCLA. And he is written that whole book is all about the early development of the right hemisphere. And so, I mean, these are concepts that are,

are mainstream. The importance of what we're doing diagnostically is being able to evaluate the development of these hemispheres and, and trying to determine if the child is actually having delays in this brain maturation.

12:17 Tara Hunkin
So when you talk about that and, and the, the, that these, these, these things have been known within the community, but is it reflected in the type of developmental testing that's being done and typically in your GP or pediatrician's office when someone comes in and is concerned about their child's development? Or is this something that still hasn't made it to the typical well checks?

12:43 Dr. Peter Scire
Well, it's definitely a complicated process. I think that one of the things that we may be seeing more than ever in, in healthcare in general is the fact that you're not, most clinicians don't have the time anymore to really do an overall good evaluation, whether it's a, a child or an adult.

Okay? And so when we get in, let's talk about children for a moment, and we get into, you know, the, the average pediatrician out there, probably not going to really get into running, doing all these milestone, you know, texts, you know, checks that we looked at, we talked about in previous, you know, podcasts where, I mean, that's even become such a moving target now.

13:25 Dr. Peter Scire
Okay, so looking at these milestone relationships and being able to assess the milestones in the, in certain domains, okay? And these domains being sensory, motor development being first, the next domain being a cognitive domain, then social and emotional domains. And then you can maybe take it one step further and look at behavior.

Now in the area of physical therapy, in the area of occupational therapy, speech language pathology, this has actually been very well established. I mean, OTs and PTs and SLPs have been been doing this type of evaluation for years. So it really just starts out probably with what's happening in the, the immediate discussion with the, the pediatrician. This pediatrician is gonna sit there and listen to the parent and say,

hey, I have these, these concerns. I, I feel like my child is falling behind these milestone aspects. And then, are they listening to them to say, you know what, I really don't get into that type of testing, but let me get you to the appropriate, you know, specialist, let me get you to an OT that specializes in,

in looking at developmental delays and what. And, but then you get into a framework there where you have some OTs that are really good at doing developmental assessments and then some that really haven't learned about primitive reflexes or done a primitive reflex check since they were in grad school. Okay? So there's a big moving target there. There's a big relationship in what a physical therapist may do on their evaluation aspects.

So, for us, in the functional neurology community, and what Dr. Melillo, myself and our community has tried to do for the last 20 plus years is really change that, that standard of care, okay. People that are, are getting, that are getting taught by Dr. Melillo and I in his 150-hour postdoc course is open to any provider. We've had parents even sit the program and,

and the parents are trying to sit the program because they're trying to change how their clinicians are looking at this in their community. We're in Dallas right now. We've been in Dallas for the last past year plus we have we have SLPs sitting in the program, we have OTs in the program, we have physical therapists in the program, we have a medical doctor in the program.

So we've had medical doctors from Europe come over and wanna learn this. So there is a movement, I think go to try to get back to doing that really good developmental neurological examination, okay. If we looked at videos or if we went back and looked at textbooks of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, there was a well-defined pediatric neurological exam that could be done at one month or a day old to three months old, six months and so on. And most of our cumulative milestone work came out of all that work over 40, 50 years.

16:29 Dr. Peter Scire
Now, the CDC decided that they were gonna throw a wrench in it and try to change some of those milestones, but at the end of the day, we have 30, 40, 50 years of reliable assessment tools in the occupational therapy arena, the physical therapy arena, the speech language pathology community.

Okay. And I really like to clump those groups now into like people that are really truly specializing in functional neuroscience because they're actually looking at the functionality of the central nervous system. Now they may each own, have their own ways of looking at it, but at the end of the day, I've had enough conversations with enough OTs,

PTs, SLPs over my course, my career, where they're gonna go in and they're gonna try to measure the child's development, use these different tools and determine that yes, this child is five years old, but they're on a brain maturation of a two-year-old in their motor development or their language development or their emotional-behavioral.

17:35 Dr. Peter Scire
So they're really gonna come down to that, that parent really pushing their primary care provider, their pediatrician or whoever they, their family doctor to say, listen, I need a referral and I need to get a referral to somebody in the, in our in within the community that really specializes in childhood development disorders. So, so what, what do you think the biggest myths are about the concept of brain lateralization in terms of how the two sides of the brain work?

Well, I think the biggest myths of it is, is basically the, the myths that everybody gets from social media that it says that, you know, left brain, right brain, and these are things, because a lot of that stuff out there is actually some of it's wrong. I mean, unless it comes from, from a, a really good source like Dr.

Melillo and others, even even Iain McGilchrist, you know, talks about it in his book the, The Master and His Emissary, okay. He talks about the idea that, you know, an early in introduction to the book about, you know, he and he and he realized that it was actually an article that he, that he wrote about it years ago.

18:35 Dr. Peter Scire
But we, I think what happened was where the idea of brain lateralization starts from is from the Split Brain research that was done in the 1960s with Roger Sperry and his career, Roger Sperry went on to win the Nobel Prize for brain Split Brain research. Okay? And so we had a big movement in, in, in neurology and neuropsychology at the time.

And then unfortunately it came out of vogue about the late 70s, early 80s, when psychology moved more into a, a pharmaceutical-based model. Okay. And, and a more of a all about the neurotransmitters, neuro, brain, neurochemistry. But there was some still labs and researchers that were still trying to understand the, the functionality of the hemispheres. And then, you know,

once, once the internet got invented and everything, you began to see all these little pop up quizzes and everything. And, and so it became this thing where it— everybody made it too simple, 'cause it is a very complex aspect. There is a very complexity, I mean, this is McGilchrist's book, and this is the first one he wrote.

19:40 Dr. Peter Scire
Okay. The second one that he just wrote, this is only volume one, okay. Volume two is on my desk and you're talking about 1800 pages written about brain laterality. Okay? So it's not a very, it's, we try to simplify, make it simple in the concept of trying to educate, but in the reality of it, it's a very complex situation.

So I think sometimes, we've made the mistake of maybe oversimplifying it to the point where the typical, let's say GP or pediatrician said, oh, that's just hogwash. It's too simple. It doesn't work that way. Well, we simplified it for the idea of getting the concept across, but the reality of what's happening in terms of the neuroscience behind it is, is very, you know, we're very rooted in, in, in academic science and, and research papers, so.

20:32 Tara Hunkin
Yeah, no, it is amazing when you start digging around just how much research there is out there on the concept itself, but yet it isn't talked about except for in those generalities and those images that we see out there as right brain is all about

the creative and left brain being about you know, and there's there those do sort of run rampant, which like you said, have some truth to them, but it's not the whole story. How do you, how does brain lateralization end up really playing a role in neurodevelopmental challenges that you see in your clinical practice? Can you tell us a bit more about that and, and what Dr. Melillo's coined as Functional Disconnection Syndrome and how that, that relates to that?

21:18 Dr. Peter Scire
So how it relates is the, the idea that basically one of these hemispheres developmentally start lagging behind early on. And, and in the case of autism or in the case of ADHD or you know, a child that may have some autism spectrum types of traits or let's say early on that they have low muscle tone or they have delays in motor function,

whether they had an abnormal crawl or they were late to walk. And then once they came upright, a lot of their movements look disorganized or what we refer to as dysmetric, not smooth. And these are, these are the children that really will probably have more of the underdevelopment in their right side of their brain. And what I mean by that is that literally different parts of the right side,

we have lobes of our brain. And, and for the most part, we've always looked at the lobes of our brain being our primary lobes being our frontal lobe, our parietal lobe, our temporal lobe, and our occipital lobe. And for a lot of, for a long time in neuroscience, we looked at quote unquote delay "developmental delays" or pathology in a very,

what we refer to as a lobular way, meaning that, oh, this lobe is causing that dysfunction. Okay? And that, that kind of prevailing thought pattern came from the 1960s Split Brain research all the way up to maybe their, their early '80s, maybe mid 80s. And then, then what happened was we started having the very awesome type of neuro brain imaging,

like PET scans and SPECT scans and MRIs and, and other types of technology. And so then we started looking at this and saying, okay, well wait a second. These, these lobes are really not working in isolation of each other. They're actually connected to each other in, in different ways. And, and so then we started realizing that there's all these associated association areas where the lobes will kind of migrate together and then they'll link up.

23:29 Dr. Peter Scire
And the really big breakthrough came in the last like say decade when we started really understanding that the brain is really this series of neuro networks and we have these different networks that are, that are doing different things at different moments, but they require those different lobes, okay? And not only do they require different lobes of, of the, the cortex, the higher part of the brain,

but they really require what we call subcortical structures. And those subcortical structures are the structures that are in the, the middle. If I was to drill a hole straight to my, my, my nose right here, I would hit the subcortical networks of my brain to a certain extent. And they would be like our, our brain where our thalamus is and our basal ganglia and our limbic circuitry,

the, the circuitry that oversees our emotions, those are, are our subcortical networks, which are also built on areas of the brain, like the cerebellum and the brainstem. And the brainstem has three different layers to it, okay? And we've, we've referred to the cerebellum for better part of 30 years now as the little brain, we have a right cerebellum,

we have a left cerebellum, and we now know that our cerebellum has on, on each side has the same surface area as a whole entire cortex of that, of one hemisphere. So that's how important our cerebellum is. So two of the primary inputs to human brain that begins to set up the genomic expression of our genes coding for our connectivity to form at the, at higher levels is input coming in from our muscles and input coming in from our vestibular system.

25:17 Dr. Peter Scire
So two of the primary areas that are com— that are notoriously underdeveloped in kids with a variety of different developmental disorders is input from their muscles, i.e. hypotonia and aberrancies in their vestibular calibrations. So their children may have problems with balance or motion, okay, you could put 'em in a chair and you may be able to spin them and they don't get dizzy or you put 'em in a chair or you take 'em to the park and you put 'em on a little spin to ride or whatever,

and they get really nauseous so there's an aberrancy in their vestibular output. Well, these upper parts of the brain, these lobes of the brain receive input from the lower structures of the brain, and that's actually how they grow. That's how they actually differentiate. So the way the brain actually grows, it grows from a bottom up relationship, it then grows from a posterior interior relationship and then ultimately it then creates this, this integration mechanism that happens between the two hemispheres.

26:28 Tara Hunkin
Yeah, no, I think, I think that really interesting thing for me was when I first started to learn about these things was some of the, you know, the, the things that you're told as a parent of a young child in terms of, you know, physical activity being important for them,

you just assume that's, because that's what we're told about everybody. But you don't realize how important it is for a growing and developing child from a brain function standpoint because that input is essential to that development. So what, what, what would you say in term like, I mean, I think you mean possibly why we're seeing such a, an onslaught of kids and just one of the many reasons that are having challenges of this,

this nature is that the way that they often are, well the environment that they're in these days is a lot more sedentary than it, it was when we, you and I were growing up even in terms of what we would do. What do you see in your practice in terms of, and what do you think about that in terms of just from a very simple level, the importance of that activity and input to that brain development?

27:42 Dr. Peter Scire
Well, we can take it one step further and we can even actually talk about the idea that is the physical activity of the parent. Okay? And both mom and dad, you know, when conception happens, if they're not physically more active and they're, and let's say they're, they're having a,

a lifestyle that's more, that traditional western diet that's filled with a lot of inflammatory-based foods and they have an inflammatory-based lifestyle, they could actually just, from a conceptual standpoint create an inflammatory storm in the early development of the brain that could begin to alter the expression of development. One of the leading risk factors right now, and again, this, this may seem controversial,

but it's, but it's actually the truth that, you know, obesity or increase adipose tissue in both mom and dad are probably the single highest risk factor for having a child with a developmental disorder because you create this inflammatory, pro-inflammatory storm. And I think, I would hope that our, a lot of our listeners have, over the last couple years, been paying attention to some of the immunology terms that have been been thrown around in the media worldwide.

29:12 Dr. Peter Scire
And, and one of the, the, the terms that I, I hope that everybody's more familiar with is the idea of what we call cytokines. Okay? And cytokines are these chemical messengers that the immune system uses to talk and it's talking to the different cells of the immune system through these cytokines. Now you have cytokines that are anti-inflammatory and promote positive functionality of the human body,

but then you have cytokines that are anti, that are, that are pro-inflammatory. And at some moments you need a pro-inflammatory response from the immune system. However, you don't want a chronicity of the pro-inflammatory response. And unfortunately, because of the conditions that mom and dad are now quote unquote "growing up", because again, I would actually even step back and say it's probably the generation after us,

okay? I mean, we, we probably all, I know you and I are in similar in age and we probably have younger cousins that we could probably remember that were 10 years or, or younger than us, when really that first true generation of major gamers, okay? I mean, I remember getting an Nintendo and I was, you know, maybe 10 or 11 years old or remember getting a TV in my room, but I was such an athlete that I didn't really care about it, okay?

30:29 Dr. Peter Scire
And I didn't really play games, but my cousins that were maybe five or seven years younger than me, I remember them as kids, that's all they did was gaming. Okay? So that generation of parents came up and did we begin to do that? And then, and you start looking at, you know, you start looking at rates of autism and you start looking at rates of developmental disorders and there's other perspectives that are there on that.

But you start merging that with the, the uptake of, of diabetes and obesity in let's say men and women that are under the age of 40 now and even maybe under the age of 35 and they're having offspring.

31:12 Dr. Peter Scire
I mean, I just did a presentation on this in, in Dallas in our neuroimmunology portion of our class and really talking about this, talking about how all these inflammatory mechanisms that are literally changing the way the brain is coding for these genes to produce connectivity in the brain. Okay? And so that's probably right out the gate is that then you, you look at the idea that how much cesarean births have gone up in this country and worldwide,

okay? So these certain developmental steps that are sequential start in the womb and they happen over a very, very specific timeframe over those nine months of, of gestation. And then there's certain things that are supposed to happen as a child is, is going through the birth canal and now all of a sudden a child doesn't go through the birth canal and they're born cesarean.

You just change the trajectory of the brain already again. Okay? So now if we have a child that's in the womb that they're turning off or turning down the genes that code for the expression of the right brain in the womb, then they don't go through the birth canal, which also helps start developing some of these specific primitive reflexes that start the development of the brain in the first three to six months of life.

32:37 Dr. Peter Scire
If that goes uninterrupted, now we got, we got this little, you know, perfect storm, okay? And then that's not even talking about what's the enrichment of the environment that the child's born in, you know, after, after that. So these are the mechanisms that that can change the expression of the genes that code for the wiring of the brain.

But we're talking about the expression. So we now notice this is an epigenetic phenomenon, okay? That this is not a hardwired gene that might wire wire for the code of your eyes, color of your eyes, the color of your skin, or the color of your hair. There are certain genes that are, are, that are less environmentally affected, but the genome that codes for the brain is extremely affected by environmental states in the womb and preconception.

So these are factors, you know, looking at the factors, the risk factors of, of a parent who is having a child 35 and older, okay? The risk factors extraordinarily go up okay for that, for especially if the male is 35 and older. Okay? We're talking about the oxidative problems that have gone on to the sperm and the egg. You get into a lot of the infertility course.

I just did a great infertility training with Datis Kharrazian last year and he really went into this great depth about how, you know, now looking at infertility, not just looking at mom. Really doing and digging a very thorough investigation in the dad and looking at their ability to not only make the quantity of sperm, but the quality of the sperm. Okay?

34:30 Dr. Peter Scire
So these are things that are, that we're finding out now that are, are, are really increasing the risk factors of how the brain may express itself in the womb, which then leads to the expression once the child arrives. And why now, probably within, I mean, if they have a low Apgar score early on, you can begin to say,

hey, we, we have a, we have a problem with probably brain maturation, but let's say they're, there's a normal Apgar score, well, upon leaving the hospital, but then within first 30 days or 60 days or 90 days, mom or grandma, whomever starts noticing, just less eye contact from the child or less motor tone from the child. Okay?

Less, you know, mother ease where the child is actually mirror imaging the, the caregivers. If those things are going off and those red flags are going off, we automatically know that there is is a lag in development and probably more likely it'll be a lag in that right-hand side of the brain. And the Israeli researchers have, have studied this. They've been able to show through non-invasive qEEGs on children as early as two months old that they can pick up lateral lateralization problems.

35:45 Tara Hunkin
Yeah, no, it is, it is actually amazing how much we're learning about all those things. And as you, as you explain, you can start to connect the dots and how it's— becomes this perfect storm of environmental factors that that lead to and can be explained through all the different steps of the development of the bla brain that,

that you talked about in the, in the, in the lateralization of it. To wrap up today, let's, let's just circle back to, so Functional Disconnection Syndrome is defined as what?

36:15 Dr. Peter Scire
That really there's a functional difference between the two sides of the brain, okay? That there is literally one side of the brain lagging behind developmentally, okay? And the reason why it's functional is that we can't see when we do imaging of the brain that there's no hard pathology.

Okay? Now, that doesn't mean that there are children that suffer brain injuries at birth or, or maybe have like a, a, a stroke or, or maybe children that have really suppressed development of their hemispheres that we might think of having like a global delay where we see problems in both hemispheres, but the majority of children that we've worked with over the years to really have this difference in development where one hemisphere is lagging behind and as the he,

as the one hemisphere becomes more dominant, it will further inhibit the other hemisphere that's not growing as fast. And the reason for that is that the majority of, of fibers that are coming across to corpus callosum from one hemisphere to the other are actually inhibitory pathways. Okay? So if one hemisphere begins to accelerate and develop, now there's also thought in the literature that,

and not just Dr. Melillo, but others have talked about this, Simon Baron-Cohen, Uta Frith, other researchers, Norm Gershwin have talked about this as the idea that has our modern world begin probably since the late, maybe the late '70s and the advent of a lot more computerized technology and even the utilization of computer science or the advancement of our science fields, did we begin to start creating greater lateralization of our left side of our brain?

38:09 Dr. Peter Scire
And then if mom is left brain dominant, women by nature tend to be a little bit more left brain dominant, and dad is left brain dominant, that they're gonna give off offspring that are more left brain dominant. And if you even take it back one generation further and look at the grandparents, you can begin.

And so there's this idea of like actually giving off hemispheric traits. Okay? It looks, it looks genetic because you're like, oh, you know, dad may have these like left brain traits or they're traits. They're, they're, you know, they're, and they're really traits along maybe one family line, okay? Usually they're very dominantly expressive.

Mom's family is left brain dominant, okay? Mom's dad is an engineer or, and people like Uta Frith and Simon Baron-Cohen and have gone on to call it like the "geek syndrome", okay? That there is a left brain dominancy, right? And now we live in a world where what's most of our interface now is with left brain world.

39:15 Dr. Peter Scire
So, and that's what's really fascinating about some of the work of Iain McGilchrist that I'm alluding to over here, is he and Jordan Peterson and others are talking about how maybe some of the conflicts that we're actually having in politics and in in political discourse and other things that is because we've moved so far into our cerebral left hemisphere that we can't be empathetic and we can't use our right brain to actually relate to how somebody else may feel that we we're gonna get so concrete and so evident about our,

our facts and our, and our, you know, hey, how many things can we say in 120, you know, alphabet kind of thing. Okay? But we, but we're not taking in the account how that's gonna make somebody feel. Okay? So their thought is that we're moving further and further away from the function of the right brain, which is really truly the,

the master of the brain. Okay? So that's what, if you start reading all listening to Iain McGilchrist, you're gonna find out that his point of view is that the right brain is the, is really the hemisphere that makes us humans and that, but unfortunately we're moving that. So that's an element too. And, and this is really, really well discussed and elaborated in Dr. Melillo's third book that he wrote on autism, probably about four or five years ago, where he really gets into all the different risk factors at the time.

40:41 Dr. Peter Scire
There's a lot more now. And, and we even expanded upon those risk factors that he spoke about. But really he gets into the idea that is it possible that we might be giving off these traits from one generation to the next or maybe the last three generations?

And that's what's driving the asymmetry from a trait perspective. And then you have all these different environmental risk factors that are there and there's a, there's a whole multitude of them. I, you know, some of them are more, you know, research than others. Some of them are out there on the fringe saying, hey, this might be, but it's just, it's not, there's not a silver bullet.

41:16 Dr. Peter Scire
There's not one thing that we're gonna figure out is a root cause of autism. There's not one gene that's the root cause of autism or ADHD that's, you know, basically been disproven. Okay? But what we can say, and what I think we can say with a lot of authority is the idea that epigenetics,

the relationship of the environment, preconceptionally, maybe a decade before mom and dad even get pregnant, gestationally. And then within the first, let's say three, six months, that could definitely be all these different triggers that ultimately lead to a functional disconnection. Now what we need to do, and what I'm so passionate about and and why I can go as hard as I go at almost 19 plus years of practice now 18,

19 years, is the idea that we have to educate everyone on how to identify this functional disconnection as soon as possible. Because the fact that we know it's epigenetic and the fact that we know it's not a hardwired trait, the sooner we intervene, the sooner we have a chance of quote unquote, maybe even "curing" in certain instances the asymmetry if not being able to dramatically change the functionality of the child.

42:35 Dr. Peter Scire
And for someone who has two to three brain balance centers that have seen anywhere from our initial year in '07 200 kids to now in 2017 where we're seeing anywhere from four to 500 kids per year, developmentally change. And then my own private practice where I have the chance to really work with more profound children that are more, have more developmental delays than what our brain balance centers work with.

But more than anything, one of the greatest joys of my life has been able to work with families like you and others that have been able to stay with me all these years and tell me years later how their child is doing. And you know, being 18 years into this now, I get emotional about this because like every, like every week or two, or I get an email or a call like,

we're not here without you, we're not here without Dr. Melillo's Brain Balance methodology or or The Melillo Method. We saw you. Yeah. The email always usually, do you remember me? They're like, do you remember our child? Like, and for some odd reasons, I remember every one of these kids I work with. And so I remember what it was like when that child was three and then where they were at five and now watching them walk across.

43:52 Dr. Peter Scire
We got a wonderful note from a family back in December where their child who was diagnosed with autism and he had maybe some PANDAS relationships, he got a full ride scholarship to a private college. Amazing. And so you can't tell me that we can't change your kid's brains. We're better at it than we've ever been. And all we have to do now is,

is get society worldwide to understand how to recognize these children earlier. And if we do that, we're gonna be so much more successful and we're only continually to get better and better Brain Balance is, is publishing research all the time. We published like, I think three or four papers last year, our Brain Balance corporate team did with our research team there,

44:39 Dr. Peter Scire
Dr. Melillo's publishing research. And so, I mean we have this collaborative effort that's happening and now we have all these individual practitioners that have been doing The Melillo Method in private practice now, worldwide. And I get to work with them and I get to help train them and to see the results they're getting. It just, it gets the su it gets, I know me and him fired up that we just, we just wanna keep telling the message and, and helping families.

45:05 Tara Hunkin
Yeah. Well that it is why I like having you back again and again to, you know, continue to educate parents and to learn about what's no, what, what, what's why things happen. 'Cause we like to understand why things have, but it also informs how we address them.
But just that change is possible and that per that, as you and I have had these, this conversation, many times progress is possible with pretty much everybody.

What that progress looks like in terms of how much recovery and how much function you can be restored is different from everybody, but any progress when you have a child that's struggling can make a big change in terms of the quality of life and the outcomes long-term.

So it's, there's always something that can be done in most every case. So I wanna thank you again for taking the time to be with us today. We are going to be following up, there's gonna be a part two of this podcast, so I wanna make sure everybody tunes in for that. And then we'll be announcing something else that Dr. Scire's gonna be doing with us very soon,

another masterclass. So please stay tuned to listen to that. We're also go, I will link to all the books that Dr. Scire referenced here today, just in case you didn't catch the names and titles of them. So if you like to pile up the books on your bookshelf and, and dig through them yourselves too, just like I do have,

my daughter actually said to me recently, she's like, do you actually read all those books? Amazon's constantly delivering something new to me or are they just for decoration? They're, they're, they're for reading. So again, thank you for joining us. I look forward to continuing this conversation and continuing to spread the work that you and others like Dr. Melillo and beyond are doing for our kids.
46:52 Dr. Peter Scire
Thank you. It was a pleasure being here today.

46:54 Tara Hunkin
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.


Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on your preferred platform

Apple Podcasts

iHeart Radio




Google Podcasts