concrete vs. abstract thinking

arithmetic vs. math

dyslexia vs. dyscalculia

details vs. big picture

to pay attention or not

messiness: sin or salvation?

eye contact and connection

social norms vs. people skills

left vs. right brain



Left 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 extremely 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.

Susan's 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.