vs. Right Brain: Which Side is the Problem?
Conventional wisdom in the neuropsychological and neurological
fields says that the messy, clumsy, spatially and numerically
challenged among us–those diagnosed with NLD (Nonverbal
Learning Disorder), or what we call GPS–have a “right” brain problem. But the evidence to support this claim is
weak, to put it mildly.
Could it be that conventional wisdom has it backwards?
Susan’s brain images and neurological exams show
that, at least in her case, the LEFT HEMISPHERE is the
PROBLEM and the Right Hemisphere is her strength.
Tensor Morphometry Scans (Apr 2007)
Susan's Functional MRI Scans (2005)
And there is reason to believe that others with similar
symptoms may be, like Susan, RIGHT brain people that are
being “treated” as if the RIGHT side were their
weakness and the left side their strength. Interventions
that start with so wrong-headed a premise cannot possibly
be the most effective, and might do much harm. Put simply,
teaching to people’s weaknesses, and ignoring their
strengths, is not a winning strategy.
What makes us think others with NLD/GPS-like symptoms
might be RIGHT brained thinkers, like Susan, when the “professionals” dispute
this? First, we have reviewed the evidence upon which the
conventional view is based. We are, for the most part,
lawyers, not doctors or neuro-scientists, so others may
discount what we say. But one thing is true: We are trained
to review the strength of evidence and it is our view that
the evidence of right-brain impairment is woefully thin.