Today I had a short conversation with Dr. Robert Melillo, author of Disconnected Kids, Reconnected Kids, and Autism:The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders — and What Parents Can Do Now. I asked him how it all got started. A neurologist by profession, he had been working largely in rehab, and saw the benefits of applying a variety of interventions to help his patients. One obstacle to overcome in moving forward on his course of research was the fact that professionals from a variety of medical fields and therapeutic expertise are not generally inclined toward collaboration with others not of their stripe. But Dr. Melillo knew that to succeed, he needed a team of people to come together, from all different fields. He was uniquely prepared to meet the challenge, by virtue of his depth of understanding across numerous professional disciplines. He knew as much about nutrition as the nutritionists he recruited. Likewise he knew as much about psychology, and physical and occupational therapy as those therapists did. He possessed the vernacular and understanding needed to reach across professional lines, and inspired cooperation. He brought together a multi-disciplinary team together in one place, and created what became the first Brain Balance center.
From his website, here is a little more info:
One of the most respected specialists in childhood neurological disorders in America, Dr. Robert Melillo has been helping children overcome learning disabilities for over 20 years. His areas of expertise include: autism spectrum disorders, PDD/NOS, ADD/ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, bipolar disorder, and other attention, behavioral and learning disorders.
As a clinician for 25 years, a university professor, brain researcher and bestselling author, his cutting-edge research and success with over a thousand children in his private program are what led to the creation of Brain Balance Achievement Centers. Brain Balance Centers are cutting edge supplemental learning centers catering only to children with various learning disabilities. Brain Balance Centers use a multi-modal, hemispheric curriculum focused on addressing the primary issue in most learning disabilities and behavioral disorders which is known as a functional disconnection. Dr Melillo and his research partner Dr Gerry Leisman are considered two of the world’s leading experts and pioneers in the area of functional disconnection and its relationship to neurobehavioral disorders. Since they introduced this concept, functional disconnection has become one the leading theories in the world related to Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and more. Their work is leading the way toward understanding the underlying nature of these disorders and their causes. Their lab is focused on developing effective treatments for these and other disorders.
At this point we can’t foresee all of the positive effects that this experience at Brain Balance will have on have on the future functioning of our boys. But we have seen enough to feel a renewed hope for their lives moving forward. Both Dash and Big B had huge issues with ADHD three months ago, but I have seen their symptoms drastically diminish as they’ve participated in this program. I was just delighted to be able to meet this good man in person, and to hear about the trail he [and his research partner, Dr. Leisman have] blazed. I can only conclude that he was the right person, in the right place, and at the right time, to bring the professionals together to help him create this life-changing program.
Here are a few more pictures from the Grand Opening party on Thursday, October 17, 2013. All of our kids had a great time. Dash and Big B didn’t want to get off the rides, they were just too fun.