“She is so much more mature, and can complete a series of tasks with or without instruction.”
“My daughter, who was eleven years old when she began the program, but turned twelve midway through, was diagnosed with ADHD in the fifth grade, and was on a fairly low-dose medication. This medicine helped, but she was still terribly lacking in social skills (personal space, appropriate responses to others, etc.), fidgeted and played with objects at her desk while in class, and generally made a nuisance of herself both at home and in school. She required several reminders to complete even the smallest tasks, and if we tried to give her multiple instructions, she couldn’t even remember the first one.
We discovered Brain Balance thanks to my older (young adult) son, who heard about the program and felt it might be a great match for my daughter’s needs. My husband and I attended a Parent Talk session, and we were immediately interested- everything they said made sense, and the description of a ADHD children fit our daughter on a “T”. I do want to mention that my husband is never quick to jump on an idea, without much research and careful study and thought. Suffice it to say, it speaks volumes about the program in that he so readily wanted to sign our daughter up for it! Our daughter began the program in early winter, and due to the holidays, some weather problems, and other seasonal health issues, she finished about two weeks later than expected. However, we are so pleased with the results! She is so much more mature, and can complete a series of tasks with or without instruction. She initiates chores, and her grades have markedly improved. Her teachers have stopped sending home notes about distraction behaviors, and have also seen the improvements in her writing, mathematical abilities, and social skills. Even relatives who only see her on occasion have instantly noticed the change in her! Her grandparents specifically noted her increased maturity, and her creativity really comes out in more acceptable ways around others.
Although she always really enjoyed reading, she chooses more advanced books now- often non-fiction, too! Her physical carriage has also made a big leap in that she walks more adroitly, and seems less “slumped” as she moves. She appears to have so much more confidence and -not to belabor the world- maturity when she walks and moves her arms, etc. Aside from the improvements we’ve seen, especially in such a short time, I must also mention the wonderful, knowledgeable staff: from site owner to front staff to teachers to consulting personnel, they are absolutely fantastic. Each and everyone pays individual attention to each child, remembers his/her interests and hobbies, and tailors rewards, compliments, and encouragement around those interests. They are all highly skilled in working with a variety of children (and I’ve seen several ages and types come through the doors as I waited for my daughter!), with endless patience, humor and professionalism. Brain Balance is a class act, and my husband and I very highly recommend the program to any family whose child(ren) are experiencing difficulties in any of the areas along the ADHD- Autism Spectrum. It is well worth the fee, and the results are amazing!”
“Now he wanted to get a good grade, and when he did he could not wait to show it to the group at Brain Balance.”
“We have a beautiful, bright ten year old son who was diagnosed with ADD at age 6. At 6 he could not remember the alphabet. Although we hated to put him on medication we felt like we would be doing him a disservice to let him fall so far behind. The medication helped a little but we felt there was something else holding him back. There seemed to be a processing problem the medicine was slowing him down but not helping with the real problem. We came across a book called Disconnected Kids, read it, it made a lot of sense. We have read a lot of books and magazines on the subject but this was different. There was an AD in the paper for a Parent talk at Brain Balance, we went, again it made sense. A day after, my son’s reading teacher sent us an e-mail about Brain Balance. She knew my frustration with the medicine. Called my sister in-law who is a school psychologist and my sister who has taught elementary school for over 20 years, and they thought it could not hurt.
We started the program. We thought we would get resistant from our son, but he was OK with it. We think he wanted to do better; he just seemed to be stuck. Before long he made a friend there and really enjoyed going. He started doing his homework without the struggle, and would study for tests. Before he was OK with failing it just didn’t seem to matter. Now he wanted to get a good grade, and when he did he could not wait to show it to the group at Brain Balance. I know our son will still struggle with ADD, but it seems to us that a wall has been broken through and he is gaining confidence in himself and what he is able to achieve.
We look forward to seeing what the new school year will bring. But our experience with Brain Balance has been nothing but positive. The whole group there is caring and professional.”
“The changes we saw in his learning and skill ability were incredible.”
“I would like to personally thank you and your entire staff for the wonderful work you did with my grandson, D. The changes we saw in his learning and skill ability were incredible and I feel that your program combined with the wonderful staff you have made a dramatic difference. I would and will highly recommend that other parents and grandparents look at your program for their children and grandchildren. We certainly saw so many improvements with D.”
“Brain Balance has done wonderful things for our family life!”
“We brought our son, J. to Brain Balance to help decrease his hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity. We also were aiming to increase his social awareness. Brain Balance has done wonderful things for our family life! My son and daughter have a new found relationship; they are playing together, and actually enjoying being together. Justin is calmer and responds more calmly and appropriately when conflict and disappointment arise. He is now more responsive to the emotions of other family members.
We have seen many changes in J. due to Brain Balance, including: improved eye contact, less hyperactivity, improved social awareness and responsiveness, more appropriate and relevant conversations, he less impulsive verbally and physically, and he has improved coordination.”
“Seeing the light in her eyes is so wonderful!”
Thank you for opening a new world for our daughter. Your incredible dedication, your patience, your support, and your understanding were so greatly appreciated. Seeing the light in her eyes is so wonderful – an incredible journey!!! Thank You!”
Posted by CW Web Admin on October 13, 2011 in Education by Tori Hamby North Mecklenburg senior Austin Beasley with 4-year-old Cannon Cowles.
The aspiring dentist raised $6,000 to send Cannon to Brain Balance in Pineville. (Courtesy of Austin Beasley) Before the end of this summer, 4-year-old Cannon Cowles had trouble transitioning between activities without having a severe emotional meltdown. The autistic child could barely walk across a balance beam without assistance or hang from a monkey bar because his core muscles were underdeveloped. But thanks to some help from North Mecklenburg High School Senior Austin Beasley and Brain Balance, a neurobehavioral development center, Cannon has made significant strides. “We would go from sitting here doing something for three minutes and then get up and go do something else – he just wouldn’t have the attention span,” said Cannon’s mother, Leslie Cowles. “Now I can sit down with him and complete the task before he goes and does something else.” Austin met Leslie Cowles and her son through Austin’s mother, Robin. The two women work together at a Charlotte dentist office, and Cannon’s struggles and challenges with autism inspired the teen to focus her senior graduation project on the disorder, which affects one in every 110 children in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. However, Austin’s teacher told her that the project’s focus was too broad, and she needed to find a way to narrow down her thesis. Meanwhile, Cowles heard about Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a network of 47 nationwide achievement centers that work one-on-one with children who have neurobehavioral and learning disorders. The centers use an intensive 12-week, three-times-a-week program that hones both academic and language skills, while improving fine motor skills. While Leslie Cowles and her husband, Ronald, were happy to learn that one of the Brain Balance centers was located in Pineville, the program’s hefty price tag gave them a reason to pause. Because the work that Brain Balance does is considered non-medical, insurance companies don’t cover the cost and Cannon’s already expensive treatments left the family with little to work with. “I thought, ‘this sounds phenomenal, but it’s just not something we could afford right now,’” Cowles said. However, after Cowles told Austin’s mother about the program, the teen came up with the perfect way to narrow down the scope of her senior project. She decided that the purpose of her project would be to prove whether or not the program would improve Cannon’s neurobehavioral functions. The only thing left in the way was the $6,000 to send Cannon. Austin kicked-off her fundraising efforts in November 2010 by collecting gently used items for yard sales held during the spring of the following year. She also organized a Zumbathon at The Greens at Birkdale Village, led by instructor Annette Nicholini, who offered her personal training services for free, and sold tickets for a lake party at the home of family friends Dale and Melissa Shue. Between her efforts and individual donations, Austin was able to raise the money in time for Cannon to begin the program on June 3. Cannon completed the program a few weeks ago and Austin said he has seen remarkable improvements in the boy’s behavioral and cognitive abilities. “I saw changes and vast improvements each and every week,” Austin said. “His achievements included learning to ride a bike, balancing and walking the balance beam, doing sit-ups, strengthening his core, trying new foods, adding new words and even putting sentences together. Sylvia Moneti, executive director and owner of the Pineville Brain Balance location, said she and her staff developed activities to strengthen the right side of Cannon’s brain, the side typically underdeveloped in autistic children. “Because the brain is already rapidly developing in children that young, we just push that development,” Moneti said. “Then the two sides of the brain start to integrate.” The company also plans to open a Huntersville location in late spring. Although Beasley’s project isn’t due until November, she, her mother and Cowles have already been putting their heads together to figure out ways to raise money to send other local children to the center. “Raising a child with autism is very expensive,” Leslie Cowles said. “Insurance doesn’t cover a lot of treatments and things get tough. I would love to see other families have the same opportunities we have been lucky enough to have.”
“At the end of our twelve week journey through the Brain Balance program, I can say with confidence we are so happy with our choice to entrust Brain Balance with our son. There are so many positive changes that have occurred over the course of twelve weeks. Some of the best overall outcomes are that our son can socialize with less anxiety, enjoys going to school, and has more genuine friends. Last year our son could not tolerate the noise in the school cafeteria. This is despite having made some earlier gains through therapeutic listening. This year our son eats happily with his friends and is able to navigate the same situations his friends can. He is now considered a “leader” in his social skills group. We have been contacted be school staff who tells us that there is a “buzz” at school around our son’s improvements, with many teachers asking how he changed so much in such a short time. The answer is Brain Balance. This program was the developmental “fast forward” button that our son desperately needed.
Our son has greatly improved impulse control, which translates to positive behavioral improvements at home and school. Hyperactivity is greatly reduced, so that he is not constantly seeking a high amount of input from the environment. He is able to engage in pretend play with our daughter, and he demonstrates a much higher degree of interest in, as well as empathy for others. He no longer gets “stuck” emotionally. Overall, our son is much happier. That is something that cannot be quantified, but is apparent day after day. Just this piece alone made every bit of hard work and sacrifice worth it.
Brain Balance asks for a large sacrifice of time and resources from parents. I knew this going into the program. What I didn’t know is that in the process I would bond more deeply with our amazing son. I also didn’t realize how much energy was going into the pervasive worry and planning related to my son. Now that this has lifted because he no longer elicits this response, our family has energy to apply to enjoying life. So, in essence, Brain Balance has taken time, but has returned to us the quality of life that was consumed by our son’s difficulties prior to this program. I highly recommend this program to any family who has a child who struggles. Now there is more room for my son to shine as he was meant to.
~Kelly G mother of A., a 6 year old boy who struggled with behavior in school and at home
“Celebration of firsts!”
“First night of 2nd grade homework and first night we didn’t have frustration, tears, or anger. I realize it is early in the school year but any first is worth celebrating! We owe it all to the brain balance program!”
“He is the boy he is today, in no small part due to all of you.”
Michael will start kindergarten in just a couple days and turn 6 years old at the end of this month. Where he is in his life may seem as though he is just starting out, but he has already gone through so much…
Born on time, at a healthy weight, a good length, 10 fingers and 10 toes as well as with a full head of hair, Michael was born perfect. The concerns and fears that parents go through as their child is preparing to enter this world were all put to rest with us and we headed home from the hospital to start our new lives together.
As the first couple years progressed we dealt with more than our fair share of ear infections, breathing problems and digestive issues. After several trips to the doctor, it was determined that we needed to make a switch from a dairy based formula to a soy based formula. No real definitive reason to make the switch from dairy to soy, but a random recommendation from his Pediatrician which we followed and the results were much improved. Not resolved, but improved.
Then it was recommended that Michael’s tonsils and adenoids should be removed. This was going to resolve the reoccurring ear infections. Improvement again. Cool. Things seemed to be back on track, for the most part… his digestive system never really seemed as though it was completely right.
Allergy testing was next on our list. One allergist stated he was allergic to dairy, not soy. There were other items that were reported that he was allergic to… chemicals in fresh paint, cats, dogs, etc., etc. We had a house only a few years old (fresh paint?), a cat, two dogs and a horse. Well, as luck would have it, my job required us to move to South Carolina so we could get out of the house away from the paint and the complete contamination of animal hair, dander and the whatnot. We were also able to find good homes for all of the animals. We were going to start fresh in a new environment.
As Michael continued to grow, other issues began to present themselves. He began showing signs of aggression towards other day care children, his focus was limited to specific items and tasks, his inability to rationalize much of anything was challenging, his speech was not developing and the ear infections along with breathing issues were back… not that they ever left completely. Were there other environmental concerns leading to other allergies? We had just moved to South Carolina.
It was determined that Michael’s adenoids had returned and needed to be removed again. It helped. Then allergy testing again. This time he was diagnosed as being allergic to soy, not dairy. What? This is where our confusion on what was going on with our son elevated.
Doctor visits continued to assess and the best they could come up with at that point, was that perhaps Michael had a deeper issue… perhaps Autism. We weren’t really sure how Autism tied into his allergies and digestive issues, but we began a nearly year and a half long process of psychological evaluations to see what could be done about what we believed to be the primary issue… Autism.
After the first few months of this evaluation period as well as speech therapy, we asked the Psychologists what we were to do about Michael’s condition until diagnosed. To paraphrase, we were told that we would have to manage it. Manage it? What did that mean? We asked but got no definitive answers. Well, that was not acceptable to us. My wife took the lead on finding more information, another path to take, something, anything… this is where Brain Balance was discovered.
My wife talked with me about it and I was skeptical. If this was a potential solution then why was not everyone with children similar to ours there already taking care of the issues? I reluctantly agreed to have Michael evaluated. The cost was not covered by our medical insurance. I kept asking why. Was it because this was not a real potential solution? Was Brain Balance not a real place?
After the initial meeting at Brain Balance, putting Michael through the evaluations and then sitting down with them again, I was shocked by what was presented to us… a plan to help Michael. A plan? This was new to me. Pediatricians, Allergists, Psychologists telling us to manage Michael’s issues and see if he will grow out of them? Finally, someone gave us a plan of attack. I was still very skeptical and concerned because our insurance would not cover it, but I was willing to follow a plan, any plan, especially since after years of searching, one was finally presented to us.
Blood and urine testing was done. Guess what? Dairy AND Soy were identified as food sensitivities… as well as a host of other items anywhere from potatoes to blue berries, cinnamon to garlic… and beef. Gluten never showed up on the testing, but in my wife’s reading, there was studies linking gluten to Autism. It was our choice to remove this from Michael’s diet. We were challenged thinking we could not feed our child anything! Then we were pointed to Whole Foods and Earth Fare. What a Godsend.
So, in tandem, we continued the standard psychological evaluations and started the program that Brain Balance provided. There was home work in the form of exercise to address a multitude of issues. There were specific vitamins and supplements to boost Michael’s digestive system. There where were some very hard days and then the days started becoming easier.
Michael’s medical issues began to subside, his interests began to vary and his disposition became pleasant. He made friends and stopped being aggressive with other children. His inability to rationalize turned into understanding and the boy learned the art of negotiation. Well, we finished up the evaluations with the psychologists and in the end they determined that Michael did not even register on the scales for Autism or any Autism Spectrum disorder for that matter… no Asperger’s, no ADD, no ADHD. We were amazed. They were amazed. After the concluding meeting with the psychologists, we were approached by one of the psychologists… off the record, or course. She asked what he had done. It was expressed to us that had Michael been diagnosed when he first came to them, they would have labeled him as having Autism, but there was no way that could be done when the evaluations had concluded. We were told of her child who had concerns similar to Michael’s and we were happy to share
All that Brain Balance had provided us with. To this day, we do not know what she did with that information but we hope that she went.
Michael’s life changed. His speech improved drastically (we discontinued the speech therapy early on after starting Brain Balance). He started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. Not even complete with the program, Michael competed against other Tae Kwon Do students from other schools and medaled in both events. Shortly thereafter, he completed the program and achieved his black stripe belt in Little Tigers program.
The concern with Michael’s fine motor skills is gone. Legos are now a great love of the boy’s. His latest was 248 pieces and he did it by himself.
Michael is ready for kindergarten and he is excited to start his new adventure at the “big school”. We are excited as well, maybe even a little freaked out. Not because we are concerned (or freaked out) for Michael, but because we are just not ready to see our little boy grow up.
Articles have been read about the number of children that have been diagnosed with Autism or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Years ago, it was 1 in 170-something. More recently, 1 in 70-something. I don’t dare think that there is a cure for Autism, but I do have concerns about potential misdiagnoses. We were told, in essence, Michael has Autism. Brain Balance identified that he had something else wrong… a brain imbalance that they could help with… and they did.
This letter may be written to Brain Balance, but it is really for the parents that may come across it. It is for you. Read it, be skeptical if you want, but know that it an accurate account of events that at first provided us with concern, then fear and confusion, then exaltation for where we are today. Michael is happy and healthy and nothing is holding him back from anything.
Thank you, Brain Balance. Thank you to everyone that we ever met there and everyone who ever spent time with our son. He is the boy he is today, in no small part due to all of you.
With great appreciation and respect,
“This is an amazing program that has given me so much confidence in myself and the ability to do things I could not do before!”
I am a 16 year old that just recently finished the Brain Balance program. It has made such a difference in my life. I went through five years of educational therapy when I was in first through fifth grade. That program did not fix everything though, because I would still be very socially awkward and could not meet the physical requirements of teens my age during sports practices, when I came to Brain Balance.
In just the short time of four months I have become way more social and able to communicate how I feel to those around me and can now do my sports to the same level as the teens I play with. This is an amazing program that has given me so much confidence in myself and the ability to do things I could not do before! I recommend this program to anyone with struggling kids because it makes such big difference in the lives of your whole family and will change your child for the better.
“He is more expressive and aware.”
“After one month of Brain Balance my 9 year old son is not taking medication on the weekends and we notice no difference from when he is medicated except that he seems louder. He can sit still now instead of fidgeting and biting his fingernails. He seems to be controlling his impulses better, and his math grade has gone up 18 points. His teachers report that he sits quietly now and does not distract his class.
No world war three to get G. to wear his nice clothes for communion! He works independently on his homework where he used to have to have us hanging over him. He is more agreeable, pleasant and even-keeled (we have noticed that this is much better when he has protein in his system). He is more expressive and aware and fights much less with his brother now.”
“In our case, it has been worth it.”
“From one Mom to another (identity details have been changed, otherwise copied directly from an e-mail) about a recent Brain Balance of Charlotte graduate: I would be more than happy to talk to you in person if you would like, but here is a little synopsis of our experiences over e-mail: My son is 8 and also has ADHD (he was diagnosed at 5). He struggled a great deal with impulsivity and focus and has (in the past) had major problems with hyperactivity. He also was behind in fine motor skills. His emotional control was horrible – we dealt with huge fits almost on a daily basis. He was often very physically agressive when he got angry as well. We were not even really able to speak with him rationally about his behaviors even after he had calmed down (which could sometimes take over an hour).
He has tested with an IQ in the highly gifted range and he attends a local charter school for higly gifted kids. When assessed verbally, his teachers could tell that he had mastered the material, however, he was failing many of his assigments and had pretty much given up even trying. We have tried a number of therapies with him PRIOR to Brain Balance that have helped him a lot. He did OT for almost two years which almost completely eliminated his sensory problems and helped his fine motor skills. We have done a great deal of diet eliminations on our own which also helped him . (For example, when we eliminated soy from his diet, we were able to take him off of his stimulant meds and he was able to control his impulses and hyperactivity much more easily.) However, we were still having enough issues (particularly academic and emotional) that we decided to try Brain Balance. I have four children and the amount of time and emotional energy we were having to devote to my son was VERY difficult. In addition, some of his behaviors were so unacceptable and I could see that my older children were beginning to follow suit with disrespect, bad attitude, etc. We did not want this to continue.
We have definitely seen tremendous progress from the Brain Balance program. Here are some improvements that we have noticed:
1) My son could start his homework immediately, sit down and complete it easily, without throwing a fit. Before Brain Balance, he had major problems with task initiation and focus and he almost always threw a fit before finally completing his homework.
2) My son’s spelling improved. Before Brain Balance, he was struggling with his spelling and we would have to drill him on it over and over and he would still miss some on his test. He now studies much less and has been making 100% on his tests consistently.
3) My son had real problems with sensitivity to light. We have seen NO signs of this problem at all. He was even able to stand (facing the sun) and have his picture made at Easter with our family without a complaint.
4) My son’s emotional control has improved a great deal. We are not without issues, but his fits are more like once every two weeks or more instead of daily and we are not having problems with physical aggression anymore. He even came to me last night after he had gotten in trouble for being disrespectful in the way he was speaking to me and he apologized for his behavior. This was HUGE progress for us.
5) We can actually have rational discussions with him about his behavior and how it has consequences – both good and bad. He has started being more respectful to me – even saying “yes ma’am” at times when I ask him to do something. Although it does not happen all the time, we are seeing remorse from him at times when he has done something wrong – this did not ever happen before.
6) My son’s handwriting is much neater and smaller. He has been able to stay in the lines when writing. He makes fewer spelling, capitalization, and punctuation mistakes than he did before. He has not stopped making these mistakes, but they are less frequent.
7) He has made an A or A+ on every assignment this quarter except for one and that was in Chinese (which is very challenging for him). He seems to be able to flow out what he knows much better – and without so much effort. AND HE IS TRYING.
8) His’s self-esteem is beginning to come up and even he will tell you that Brain Balance has helped him a lot. I would recommend the program. Although he has not been totally cured by it, we have seen enough improvement to warrant the expenditure and life interruption. I have come to understand that much of my son’s emotional problem came from the fact that it took him so much effort to focus and behave at school. Even though your son is doing well, it may take him a lot of effort.
Once the work at school started coming easier, he was not so exhausted at home and could hold himself together more easily. Just the fact that he is more teachable is also worth the money. I have hope now that what we are modeling here in our home may actually be able to take root in him over time. It is a lot of money with no guarantee of anything, but we have been satisfied with our decision. We also know two other families personally who have completed the program with great improvements (although their children’s issues were very different than my son’s). After much prayer and talking to these families, we decided to take the risk. In our case, it has been worth it. Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk more.”
“Cameron has made a 180 degree turn in school and social settings.”
“Brain balance has changed my 8 year old son’s life. His ADHD and ODD diagnosis has been a roadblock for him. With the Brain Balance Program Cameron has made a 180 degree turn in school and social settings.
His ability to do his school work in class as well as at home has improved tremendously from last year’s class ability. The details from the testing were right on and the tools they gave us to work with at home made a huge difference with his focus. After having another child with the same disabilities and no options, God Bless you all!”