Ok. We all know there is good behavior and bad behavior. We all probably know about left brain and right brain. So how do we know when a behavior is normal or when we should be concerned by a behavior? What side of the brain is the behavior originating from and how can I tell if this is a normal behavior or something that I should be concerned with? Behavior is such a tricky subject and it is studied extensively but, we’ll break it down for you just a bit.
So the brain goes through developmental cycles and it is normal to see behaviors that are characteristic of both sides of the brain during these cycles. (We’ll talk about what behaviors are characteristic of Right and Left Brain in just a bit.) So here is an example: the terrible twos; it is developmentally normal, and important, for 2 year olds to have “bad” behaviors. Its when the behaviors continue past the expected end of the cycle that we start to suspect an imbalance between the hemispheres. For someone who is untrained, like most parents are, it is difficult to tell when a bad behavior is a good thing and vice versa… especially for parents of children with FDS (Functional Disconnection Syndrome ex. ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism and other learning disabilities).
Displaying positive and negative behaviors is critical to normal brain development. Balanced behavior is defined as the ability to respond and act appropriately in a given situation. The brain must be able to jump back and forth between positive and negative behaviors and the child must be able to understand what behavior is appropriate in order to behave properly. For our kids with FDS this is extremely difficult. When the brain is imbalanced the child’s behavior will be out of balance too. Making sense yet? When a behavior presents itself and doesn’t leave, it means there is an imbalance between the hemispheres, one hemisphere is electrically understimulated.
Ok so what behaviors are indicative of Right or Left Brain Imbalance?
- Right Brain Deficient Behaviors: temper tantrums, meltdowns, obstinacy, and disobedience
- Left Brain Deficient Behaviors: withdrawal, shyness, compulsivity, and oppressiveness
If any of these sound familiar, don’t freak out! All of these are normal!…if they are occurring at the appropriate time in brain development. Behaviors only become abnormal when they hang around too long and present at the wrong age. (Sound like your child who might have one of the Functional Disconnection Syndromes?)
The brain flips back and forth between right and left as it develops based on environmental and sensory stimuli at a specific time in a child’s growth. The brain controls all areas of development on a set clock: Physical, Emotional/ Social, and Cognitive. These areas of development must be in exact rhythm with the brain’s timing, we call them milestones. If the brain doesn’t get the correct stimuli at the correct time then the brain slows down the development of that side of the brain resulting in a missed milestone. On the flip side, one side of the brain can be overstimulated and milestones can be reached early, which if the opposite side is not then properly stimulated, will also result in an imbalance. The earliest sign of a potential developmental disability is when a child is late reaching or never reaches a certain milestone. The sooner a potential problem is identified, the sooner corrective action of the spine and sensory system can be taken and the better the long-term outcome will be. So, keep in mind that some behavioral and physical regression is likely when the brain goes through growth spurts (could be language skills, handwriting, or bed wetting). Don’t sweat the regression, it will pass unless there is an imbalance. But take heed, behavior changes are both good and bad. They are almost always a sign of positive change in the brain.
We’re no stranger to behaviors so we’d love to talk with you about your child’s (mis)behaviors. We have resources, books, therapists, and assessments that may help clarify so much for your family. If you have questions please message, call or post on our facebook page immediately. We’re always here to help!