As Published in The Citizen Newspaper:
Matthew Breedlove at the beach with his family, before coming to Brain Balance. Photo/Special.
(Editor’s Note: The Breedlove family moved to Peachtree City temporarily so that their son could receive therapeutic services at Brain Balance. Following is an account of their experience written by Leslie Breedlove, mother of Matthew.)
By LESLIE BREEDLOVE; Special to The Citizen
It’s hard to believe that it was only about nine months ago that we got a call from one of my husband’s aunts tell- ing us about Brain Balance. She had attended one of the center’s monthly information sessions and was impressed by what she heard. After several conversations with the staff at Brain Balance we decided to have Matthew evaluated. The only problem was the center was outside of Atlanta and we lived in Leawood, Kansas. However, we were intrigued by the new hemispheric brain theories that Brain Balance talked about. We knew this was going to work for Matthew and decided to begin our first session of “Pre-Brain Balance” in June 2008 in Peachtree City. The decision to relocate, temporarily, for this program was not as difficult as you might think. Let me give you some background on why.
Matthew, our oldest son who is now seven years old, was diagnosed with moderate Autism at the age of two and a half. Like so many parents with children like ours, we began the process of hours/days/weeks of social skills classes, speech and occupational therapy and intensive ABA sessions. All of these treatments helped Matthew cope academically and socially, but we still felt that he was somehow trapped inside this robotic presence. When we learned about Brain Balance, the simplicity of the concept was comforting to us. We were encouraged by their philosophy to “re-sync” the brain to alleviate the imbalance that exacerbated Matthew’s autistic behaviors and not just treat the symptoms of Autism. Don’t be misled. Moving to Peachtree City was difficult. Trading our big , lovely home for a small apartment, being separated from dear family and friends in Kansas City, and adjusting to life in a new place was not an easy decision. However, it was something we felt compelled to do for Matthew. We packed up enough supplies to last us six months as we headed south. Luckily, I have a home-based business that is flexible and can move with me. My husband, on the other hand, is a high school teacher who loves his job. We made the decision that he would be with us as much as possible in the summer and then return to Kansas in August to resume teaching. Throughout this time, we balanced the sessions at Brain Balance with lots of outdoor activities. We bonded during our long walks around the lakes in town and spent countless hours at “Jumping Jelly Beans” where they have inflatables for kids to release energy and a mom’s room for me to read, make lists, meet other moms or work on my computer. We enrolled Matthew and his younger brother, Ethan, in the local elementary school where they both made fast friends.
The first three months we saw lots of regressive behaviors, just like Mandy, the director of Brain Balance had warned. However, at the three month mark, our little man who rarely ventured out of his inner “conversations” began asking questions. Simple phrases like, “What are YOU having for dinner? Where are we going? What day is today?” were music to our ears. We had never experienced a Matthew fully participatory in the world around him. Along with the questions, Matthew began showing much more interest in playing with his little brother and other kids at the play-ground. In fact, just tonight we came inside from our day and Matthew immediately turned to me when he heard the kids from downstairs playing ball outside, “Mommy…can I go play with my friends?” This is huge! Yesterday I took him for the first time to the local gym and put him in the kids’ room with his brother. We brought several of his books to help him stay busy. While I was signing them in, Matthew walked up to a little girl about his age in the room and said, “Can you read this to me?” I said, “Matthew, introduce yourself.” “What’s your name?” he asked. I was grinning wildly as Matthew said, to his new friend, “I’m Matthew!” This type of simple interaction would never have occurred before Brain Balance. We have seen such enormous changes in Matthew since we began the program. Even his diet has changed as Matthew has become more willing to accept new tastes and flavors.
Matthew Breedlove, alert and aware of his surroundings, with his father and brother, after receiving services at Brain Balance. Photo/Special.
Brain Balance has made a world of difference to our son. Jeff and I feel like we are throwing a life preserver to our little man who was drowning in the diagnosis and cloud of Autism. With the protocol at Brain Balance, in concert with the dietary and nutritional interventions, we feel like our move to Peachtree City has been a minor sacrifice that is paying off huge dividends. We have ended our six month stay in Peachtree City but will return for summer programming. What a journey this has been. It has not been easy, but with the support of our family and friends back home and our new Brain Balance family in Georgia, we feel like we would make this choice all over again because of the tremendous response we are seeing in our son. Brain Balance was the right choice for our family and for Matthew.
About Brain Balance
Brain Balance Achievement Center, 357 Hwy. 74 N, Peachtree City, uses a unique Hemispheric Integration Program to resolve or improve ADD, AD/HD, dyslexia, learning disabilities, autism, Asperger’s, Tourette’s syndrome, and other neuro-behavioral disorders. The Brain Balance program has helped children with neuro-behavioral deficits improve their academic, social and behavioral functions using a proprietary, non-medical approach. For information, call 770-631-3033 or visit BrainBalanceGA.com