Why this Could be the Cause of All Your Child’s Difficulties: Functional Disconnection Syndrome


When people try to convince me that nothing can be done for dyslexia or ADHD or even autism because brain imaging scans have shown these kids have different brain structures, I want to climb a ladder to the top of my house and scream from the roof top, “Yes! And decades of research have shown the brain is plastic! The brain and brain structures can change! You are not stuck with the brain you have!”

Why We Have It All Wrong

When a child has a hard time reading, we call it dyslexia. When they have a hard time focusing, we call it ADHD. If there is defiance or obsessions, we might call it ODD or OCD. If there is poor communication, social skills or learning ability we might call it autism.

If it’s a combination of difficulties mentioned above, a child will have multiple diagnoses (which is actually the norm – not the exception).

This is because in conventional medicine and education, we are looking at the brain and body in parts as if they don’t share and have overlapping functions.

It’s been known for decades that we tend to have a brain hemisphere dominance, but what is not known by many people and even educators and doctors is that if that dominance goes too far because of poor connectivity then imbalance can occur.

What is Functional Disconnection Syndrome?

The reason many children have learning or behavioural difficulties and are also gifted in certain areas is due to brain imbalance or what is called in medical circles ‘Functional Disconnection Syndrome.’ 

One hemisphere is highly developed while the other half can be years behind in development. After a while, the overdeveloped side doesn’t even bother sending signals to the weaker side.

In the 1990’s, Dr. Robert Melillo discovered that kids with learning and behaviour issues struggled because of a disconnection that was related to immature development of one side of the brain. It was determined that the two brain hemispheres were not balanced electrically or were not synchronized.

When One Side of the Brain is Weak and the Other is Strong

Dr. Melillo found that overdevelopment could occur on the side that was compensating for the underdeveloped side that was not growing as quickly. Over time this resulted in the overdeveloped side taking over which contributed to what he called ‘developmental asynchrony’ or brain imbalance.

What Dr. Melillo found was that there was a disconnect between the two brain hemispheres and thus less electrical activity on one side of the brain.

Functional Disconnection Syndrome occurs when one side of the brain was not functioning as well because of underactivity due to less connections and neurons that are not as well developed and that brain imaging scans showed this reduced electrical activity, but it was not the result of injury, brain damage, genetic mutation or a chemical imbalance.

Why Struggling Kids Can Have Incredible Areas of Genius

Dr. Melillo discovered that depending on which brain hemisphere was under and over-developed determined different symptoms and diagnoses.

The result was that the child would have poor skills in the area of the brain connected to the underdeveloped area and yet incredible talents and areas of genius in the area of the brain that was overdeveloped.

It is for this reason why dyslexics are known to think in pictures, have superb 3D vision and big picture thinking (all right brain skills) while their language is poor (the language centre is on the left side of the brain). This is because dyslexics have an overdeveloped right brain and an underdeveloped left brain.

Overdeveloped and underdeveloped brain hemispheres occur because one side of the brain matures at a faster rate than the other side. The imbalance can become more pronounced as a child develops and thus the learning or behaviour further exasperated.

Brain Hemisphere Imbalance Affects the Whole Body

Dr. Melillo also found that brain imbalance created symptoms in the body as well and were not just related to cognition but to immune, motor, digestion, inflammation, sensory processing and more.

This is why depending on which side of the brain is weak, it is not uncommon for these kids to have over or underactive:

  • Immune systems (always sick or never sick)
  • Sensory processing issues (overly sensitive to touch or too rough)
  • Digestive issues (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Picky eaters or loves to eat everything
  • Poor gross or fine motor skills
  • Overly emotional or overly non-emotional


Task Take Over

When there is poor communication between the hemispheres, or one side of the brain is overdeveloped and the other side underdeveloped then the result is one side of the brain ends up doing the work of the weaker side – which it was not designed to do.

While each side has specialised areas, it is never just one side that does a ‘job’. They work together the way two pedals on a bicycle move the wheel.

If you think of group work where one child does all the work because they are the stronger student, and the others simply learn to ride on that child’s coat tails then you will understand how brain imbalance can occur.

One side of the brain continues to develop and become overdeveloped and the other side lags behind more and more knowing the other side will pick up the slack.

After a while the weaker side becomes lazy because it knows it can rely on the overdeveloped side. It’s common for the weaker side to be 2-3 years behind in development.

Why One Side Keeps Getting Stronger

Just like group work gone wrong, where one student becomes stronger because they are doing all the work – even when they try to get others to pitch in, the job is not done well because the others are weaker and so the overdeveloped side ends up taking over everything.

Unfortunately, the left and right brain hemispheres have very specialised functions which is why when one side of the brain does everything, it doesn’t mean it is actually doing it well or efficiently and this is where learning and behaviour breakdown occurs.

This is why dyslexics may be able to read but the reading is poor, slow and laborious and there is often poor reading comprehension. The reason is that the child is reading on manual when they read from the side of the brain rather than automatic on the left side of the brain where the language centre is located.

The Incredible Promise of Functional Disconnection Syndrome

The most exciting aspect about the discovery of Functional Disconnection Syndrome is that Dr. Melillo found this imbalance or disconnect could be corrected.

The key is to stimulate and strengthen the weak hemisphere, so the brain can be brought back into balance and the symptoms and even diagnoses can disappear. Most importantly, this intervention is safe.

My 6 month program, The Full Potential Formula, screens kids for brain imbalance and uses therapies that stimulate the weak hemisphere (not to mention it addresses all the other aspects why kids struggle like nutritional deficiencies, poor gut health and detoxification, retained primitive reflexes and so much more).

This helps kids go from struggling to thriving by addressing the root cause(s) of learning and behaviour struggles and implementing corrective therapies so that your child is not soldiering it out for years – and their self-esteem is no longer compromised!

Are you ready to try an approach that actually goes beyond the conventional approach of band-aid solutions?

If so, book a free Clarity Call to learn more about my program and how it can help your child rise to their full potential – and how you can finally have peace of mind (and time to yourself!).