The unevenness of skills that is the hallmark of a child with Functional Disconnection Syndrome is most obvious when it comes to learning, homework, and grades. A majority of children with learning disabilities, most notably those with ADHD, autism, and dyslexia, are quite bright and have a great memory. They suffer from a knowledge gap, however, because their brain imbalance causes them to process information more slowly than normal. It’s estimated that a child with ADHD is only paying attention in school 25 percent of the time. That’s a lot of missed knowledge! I am not the only person to recognize this unevenness of skills.
For years, educators, psychologists, neuroscientists, and other professionals have noted that children in the spectrum of neurobehavioral and neu-roacademic disorders struggle academically. The fact that a child can perform well, or even excel, at certain subjects and do poorly, or even fail, at others, has always been a conundrum. How can this be? The answer has always eluded them.No one until now has recognized this as a problem caused by a brain imbalance.
Children struggle academically because specific key functions in their brains that are used to perform specific academic tasks are underdeveloped. For example, a child can be a superior reader but struggle in class because their auditory system is out of balance. They can have perfect hearing but still not be able to process all of what a teacher is saying. Book learning is not a problem specifically, but learning in general is because they are not processing verbal instructions. What we see is that academic strengths and weaknesses in different subjects can be broken down into left brain versus right brain ability. When you isolate the specific deficiency, you can find the cause, and then you can fix it. I know many, many teachers and have these conversations with them all the time. I really admire what they do, and they have played a key role in my investigation to find an answer to the unevenness of skills that is so apparent in the academic realm.
The general tendency among educators when they are confronted with a child who excels at one thing and struggles at another is to encourage the child to build on the strength. When I explain to teachers why this is the worst thing they can do because it only makes an imbalance worse, it is like flipping the light switch. They totally get it. If this is happening to your child in school, have it stopped. Take my book, Disconnected Kids, or this article to your child’s teacher and explain what you now know. Share the knowledge you’re gaining. I do not know a teacher who would not appreciate this.