Raising a very active, and often impulsive 6-year-old boy, Marnie would often find herself wondering if her son Landon’s behavior was ‘normal.’ Her husband had struggled with ADHD throughout his life and extending into his adult years, and she questioned if Landon would face similar challenges.
When his reading level began to slide backward, Marnie decided to take action and considered hiring a tutor. Grabbing a sandwich one Sunday afternoon, she saw a pamphlet for Brain Balance Centers next door and picked it up. As she read through the pamphlet in the car, she recognized her son in the descriptions.
“I really felt like someone or something placed me in front of that Brain Balance at the right time,” said Marnie, who scheduled an assessment for Landon that Monday. “What really blew our minds with the assessment were some of the outcomes. Like, because his eye movement is not where it should be, you will see him skip words, which was exactly what we were experiencing. Getting those results was when I knew we had found the right solution or program for us.”
The Brain Balance Program is a whole-child approach – incorporating everything from nutrition, to sensory-motor training, to confidence-building exercises. The program aims to strengthen brain connectivity and executive functioning through physical, sensory, and cognitive activities.
Once they started the program, both mom and son described the Brain Balance environment as one that provided connection, calm, warmth, and support – and the thrice-weekly visits never felt like a chore.
“Brain Balance was really good for me because whenever I had school, it always felt good to go somewhere I could calm down and talk about anything that I needed to talk about,” Landon said. “I knew that I could really talk to them and tell them if I had a bad day.”
And the impact of the program on Landon was immediate. Thirty days after he started the program, he was again assessed. His reading was now two levels ahead of his grade – where just 30 days before, he had been behind, Marnie said. While the program has its ups and downs and challenges, the family took this as proof of the value of the journey.
“Reading before Brain Balance was hard for me,” Landon said. “I couldn’t really pay attention to it. I’d maybe read a couple of lines and then I’d just get bored and zone off a bit. Sometimes I’d skip a sentence. I couldn’t pay attention in class and I’d always talk to my friends. And then after Brain Balance, I definitely learned to pay attention. I can pay attention more in anything now, really.”
Landon’s behavior issues also settled – he was no longer blowing up, or getting poor behavior reports from school. Marnie observed him walking away or pausing to think, instead of taking action or shoving someone. His teachers even took notice.
“Now that I look back on it, I definitely feel different,” he said. “Before Brain Balance, I couldn’t really control my anger and I’d always react. Even two weeks in, I learned how to control myself more, I wasn’t getting mad as much. Or I’d still get mad, but I learned how to not react to it. Once we got to the end, I felt like when I got angry, I could calm down and think about what I was going to do.”
The Brain Balance program also changed the whole family. They wholeheartedly embraced the nutrition elements of the program – something they continue to follow five years later. They also learned how to interact with Landon when there’s a challenging situation, or when he feels overwhelmed at school. They understand each other better, and as a result, they interact in a more positive way.
Now, 5 years later, Landon is 11 years old and thriving. His ADHD is controlled without medication, he’s doing well in school and socially, and has a mature understanding of his challenges and how to manage them.
“When I look back on our experience with Brain Balance, I feel so much gratitude,” Marnie said. “I look at where Landon is today and I'm so proud of him and proud of what he accomplished. I feel as though we have really tackled his challenges, but also given him the resources to be so successful in life. If I were to give advice to anyone interested in the Brain Balance program, I would tell them – without a doubt and without hesitation – that if I had to do it all over again, I would.”
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