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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Do You Know a Child Who Is Suffering?

Dr. Robert Melillo believes balancing the brain hemispheres is the key to breakthrough for kids suffering with developmental and learning disorders. So convinced is Melillo that he is launching Brain Balance Centers across the country.

"When I started witnessing the rampant increase in children taking Ritalin in the early 1990s, I decided to find out what the problem was," says Melillo, who first began exploring the hemispheric concept in 1990. Melillo admits his first instinct was to blame the rise in ADHD cases on pharmaceutical companies peddling prescription medicines to beef up their bottom lines. So he launched an investigation.

He talked with pediatricians, but none could tell him what was going on in the brains of these Ritalin-taking kids. He talked with educators. Schoolteachers confirmed the problem of hyperactivity, but couldn't offer him any insights as to the cause of the problems. "I realized nobody knew what was really happening—that was the problem," Melillo, whose three children were under 6 years old at the time, recalls. "I dove into researching this, and it has become my obsession for 15 years now." Obsession is an accurate word. Melillo has already written four textbooks on the topic.

His research uncovered a hemispheric relationship between conditions like ADHD, dyslexia, autism, Asperger syndrome, Tourette's syndrome and various learning disabilities and processing disorders. "There isn't much difference between ADHD, autism, Asperger's and Tourette's. The exact same areas of the brain are involved," Melillo says, explaining that he has grouped these disorders into what is referred to as Functional Disconnection Syndrome. "The only difference is between ADHD and dyslexia; one involves the right side of the brain and the other involves the left side of the brain."

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