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Focus Stories

Brain Balance Center

by Hedy Bass

Featured Photo from Brain Balance Center

How can you help a child with learning, behavioral, and social problems? The answer is closer than you might think.

Brain Balance Center of Lake Mary opened its doors earlier this year, offering unique programs to address those concerns through individualized interaction that focuses on sensory motor training and stimulation, academic activities, and dietary guidelines.

Brain Balance Achievement Centers, founded by Dr. Robert Melillo, one of the country’s most respected specialists in childhood neurological disorders, have helped thousands of families, offering a drug-free approach to a wide range of conditions including learning disabilities, processing disorders, and ADHD.

“I’ve been a clinician for 30 years,” says Dr. Melillo, “and my interests were always in the area of neurology and rehabilitation. During the 1990s, often called the Decade of the Brain, I got involved in its research.”

Dr. Melillo’s interest in ADHD and its root causes began when a neighbor and friend approached him for help.

“It was 1995, and I had been doing clinical research on nutrition,” Dr. Melillo explains. “She wanted to know if I could help her son. I didn’t know much about ADHD at the time, so I began researching and was shocked by the statistics. The use of Ritalin, which was commonly used for years, had increased by 250 percent by the ‘90s. I was taken aback and needed to understand why. What further got me involved was when my son’s first-grade teacher told my wife and me that he was hyperactive, impulsive, and having attention issues. That’s when it became personal.”

Dr. Melillo’s research was the foundation of his theory that symptoms associated with brain disorders were the result of Functional Disconnection Syndrome – meaning that the halves of the brain were not electrically balanced and not communicating with each other properly.

“Once I understood the problem, I spent years developing techniques and approaches until I found what was getting results that nobody else was achieving,” says Dr. Melillo. “It helped my own children, so you can say I developed Brain Balance for them. Brain Balance is unique from other programs in that we’ve put together a comprehensive program, meaning we work on sensory motor, cognitive/academic, sensory processing, diet, and nutrition. We work on the root issues that often cause children to struggle socially, emotionally, and academically.”

For parents beginning to research treatment for a child who is struggling, Dr. Melillo suggests:
• Pay attention to milestones, such as rolling over, crawling, walking. Delays in meeting such milestones can be indicative of problems.
• Restrict use of screens including iPads, phones, and TV that can lead to developmental imbalances, especially in children under age six.
• Get an assessment at Brain Balance. Learn the root issue of what’s happening in your child’s brain.

Brain Balance Center of Lake Mary is co-owned by Katharyn Richt and Amanda Gunter, the center’s executive director. The two met several years ago when Amanda was the director for Brain Balance in Peachtree City, Georgia. Katharyn and husband Mark spent many years seeking help for their son, who struggled with learning and behavioral issues. Eventually, unable to care for his needs at home, they placed him in a therapeutic academy for teens. It was there that the school’s administrator urged them to seek help from Brain Balance. Katharyn was so impressed with the results she saw in her son over the years that she partnered with Amanda to open their own Brain Balance Center in Lake Mary.

“If you’re looking for a program that gets results, something that doesn’t rely on medication, then this is a great option,” says Katharyn. “Come in. Get your child assessed. You’ll realize just how much the staff here understands what you and your child are going through. They helped our family, and I believe they can help yours, too.”

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