I saw this article in today's paper: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14886346

Interesting. One of the children it discusses has ADD and Asperger's and is getting stimulation for the right side of his brain. I always thought (from Silverman) that people with ADD tend to be right brain learners, and that therefore it would be the left side that might have weaknesses. Aside from the fact that obviously my thinking was too simplistic, and that any individual, even one who is primarily a right-brain learner, could still have right brain weaknesses, it surprises me that in the article the doctors blame a focus on left-brain activities:

Originally Posted By:
Researchers debate just how much of that increase is due to better diagnosis and how much is an alarming jump in brain disorders. Some doctors blame more stress and environmental toxins for pregnant women and children, as well as technology — TV, video games and iPods — that keep kids sedentary and focused on fine-motor skills, functions controlled by the left side of the brain.

In Ricky's case, the right side of his brain is delayed, say his Brain Balance coaches — he misses the big picture and is obsessed with details, he tends to freak out when his routine is interrupted and he doesn't get the concept of personal space, affecting his ability to make friends.

I had been under the impression that weaknesses tend to be in the left brain because that develops later than the right. I've never heard anyone complain about too much focus on fine motor skills, but I suppose that a lack of gross motor movement could lead to all sorts of SPD issues. It sounds as though someone, maybe the reporter, got the causation backwards? (as an aside, I recall that when my dd9 was an infant, she spent more time doing fine motor stuff because she had gross motor problems - delay, hypononia, etc.; she didn't have gross motor problems because she focused on fine motor! Alas, years later, handwriting is still hard for her, as is slow processing speed when it comes to motor output.) I'm more inclined to believe that lack of gross motor activities, whatever the reason, will lead to poorer fine motor skills, which I think is what an OT would say. (Where are all these kids with the fabulous fine motor skills?) At the end of the article they do acknowledge the following:

Originally Posted By:
Some therapies for sale aren't necessarily based on widely accepted science, Gibson said. For example, she said, autistic children don't necessarily have a right-brain delay.

"We know it's a neurological disorder, but we don't know a specific brain site that has been identified," she said. "That hasn't been done yet."

Another tidbit that intrigues me:

Originally Posted By:
Founder Ken Gibson, a former pediatric optometrist, said kids with autism-spectrum disorder often have trouble blending sounds, which makes reading difficult. His therapy focuses on lengthening attention span, short-term memory and speed.

Hmmmm... If they could improve that sound-blending problem, that would be huge (two of my kids had issues with that, one of them majorly, and also I think it's a frequent feature of dyslexia)

Anyone have thoughts or comments? I know some of you out there have some more detailed theories on these issues smile


Edited by snowgirl (04/15/10 10:11 AM)