The Brain Balance Achievement Center in Oldsmar - Changing Children’s Lives

Published on 4 October 2013 in Business
Julie Kanehl (author)

Julie Kanehl


Location(s): Brain Balance - Oldsmar
Susan, a Sensory-Motor Coach at Brain Balance in Oldsmar works with student Autumn McGinnis

Susan, a Sensory-Motor Coach at Brain Balance in Oldsmar works with student Autumn McGinnis

Let’s be honest, being a parent is the hardest, most wonderful thing you’ve ever done. But hard gets harder when your child is diagnosed with a learning disability or disorder. The label in itself can be hard to swallow, even when you know that a label doesn’t make a child and even when you know that a label doesn’t make any difference in who your child really is, what they can become or what they can achieve. That said, it can still be hard to know what to do next with regard to your child’s individual success at home, in school and in life in general.

When your child is diagnosed or given a label of ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, autism, Tourette’s, an Asperger’s Spectrum disorder, a learning disability or a processing disorder, it’s hard to know what to do. For parents and families this can be a scary and overwhelming time, and while these issues have become almost commonplace over the last two decades, the answer to the root of the problem has not been agreed upon. The popular although controversial approach to “fixing” it, however, is to use modern medicine. There is another option. Brain Balance Achievement Centers offer a medicine-free, education-based Brain Balance Program that comprehensively helps each child reach their fullest academic, social, and physical potential.

The Brain Balance Center of Oldsmar, located at 4022 Tampa Road, is one of more than 50 Brain Balance Centers in the nation. Steadily growing because of their proven success with children diagnosed with issues like these, parents and families are embracing the individualized programs available for their entire family. Using personalized and comprehensive assessment tools, the educated and certified teachers, nutritionists, coaches and professionals at Brain Balance assess your child’s difficulties, and then work with your child, your entire family and even his or her teachers to facilitate growth.

Brain Balance Center of Oldsmar is owned by Director Larry Polnicky, whose own son, Ben, made incredible advances in the program that they attended out of state. Larry was so impressed with the program that he opened the Oldsmar location so that other children like Ben would be able to make progress without medication.

How? The Brain Balance program believes that your brain can change. That’s a bold statement, but when your child begins to speak, after being told that they would not be able to do so, or when your child’s grades improve dramatically despite being told that they wouldn’t be able to succeed, the reality kicks in. There is another option, indeed, and thousands of children’s lives have been improved based on this program.

Program Director, Heather Lascano, takes the time to find out what the world looks like from your child’s perspective. She comes to Brain Balance of Oldsmar after years in pharmaceutical drug development as well as years of patent, business, and contract law, and has used tools like yoga in her own small business to aid many people with a variety of ailments. Her experience, her “out of the box” approach and her dedication to truly helping people make Heather a unique fit.

Is your Child Disconnected?

This “brain-based, not drugbased” program is based on Dr. Robert J. Melillo’s research on neurobehavioral disorders. Dr. Melillo, who is a world-renowned neurologist, professor and author, believes that all of these conditions, which were previously thought to be unrelated, are in fact related, and can be grouped into what is called Functional Disconnection Syndrome. Brain Balance is not a medical facility, and so it does not employ doctors, write prescriptions for medications, or accept insurance. What it does do is offer hope, options, proven techniques and a personalized approach.


(top row, L-R) Heather Lascano (Program Director), Andrea Bartelloni (Academic Evaluator and School Liaison), Henri Lasane (Sensory Motor Evaluator), Bonita van Dorseer (Teacher and Parent Group Leader) (bottom row, L-R) Anne Sweeny (Teacher), Maria Mogol

(top row, L-R) Heather Lascano (Program Director), Andrea Bartelloni (Academic Evaluator and School Liaison), Henri Lasane (Sensory Motor Evaluator), Bonita van Dorseer (Teacher and Parent Group Leader) (bottom row, L-R) Anne Sweeny (Teacher), Maria Mogol


In his book, Disconnected Kids, he explains how these conditions all find a commonality in the way that the brain works, and while if you were to take a child with any of these conditions and give them an MRI Scan, or any other number of medical tests, there would be nothing to find. The brain is not damaged. These issues are all connection issues, and research has proven that the left hemisphere of the brain and the right hemisphere of the brain have distinct responsibilities, abilities and functions. Most of us can easily be labeled “left-brained” or “right-brained” but research has found that when one-half of the brain has a deficiency, it leads to these connectivity issues, which can result in a “disconnect” between a child and their ability to learn, communicate and succeed. The goal is to challenge the hemisphere of the brain that is showing a deficiency and to stimulate it so that it will learn to function.

One parent said, “We drive 2-1/2 hours one way and our son is worth every minute and mile spent on the road. Just 20 sessions and my son’s reading fluency and word reading has markedly improved. We are so proud of him! He loves coming to Brain Balance. His confidence has improved greatly too. Thank you to such an awesome team of professionals who understand and care about children with learning challenges. It’s also a soft place to land as a parent.”

Another parent writes, “”I am so proud of Jalon. I’m also so thankful to Brain Balance for all that they have done and are continuing to do for him. I have been telling everyone about Brain Balance and I will keep trying to spread the word because I believe in this program. Unlike any other therapy, Brain Balance treats the whole child. They were the first to run blood tests and do other extensive testing to test every level from Jalon’s primitive reflexes to food sensitivities and identify the weaker hemisphere of Jalon’s brain. Once they received these results they were able to come up with a program that addresses his sensory, academic and dietary needs. The result is that in just a couple months Jalon has made amazing strides and is now meeting or surpassing his peers in many areas.”

The Brain Balance program is tailor-made for each individual child and generally works with children from kindergarten age to ninth grade. Each program generally consists of one or two 12-week after-school programs, where each child participates in a range of activities that help them to improve the connections between both hemispheres of their brains.



One of the best parts of the Brain Balance Program is that the educated and experienced staff realizes that when a child is effected, the entire family is effected, and as a team, they gather around to give the child the support that he or she needs from every angle. The program itself gives the child a physical and cognitive activity program that will, in time, change the way the brain reacts. Combined with the right nutrition, and armed with the role that nutrition plays in your child’s behavior, certain behaviors can be changed right away. While we’re all comfortable with traditional allergies, there are foods that may affect the way your child learns, or reacts. It may be strawberries that are the trigger, or the ingredient that holds their favorite candy together, but with an understanding of all of these things, progress can be made.

Focusing on areas such as academic performance, social abilities, cognitive function, sensory and motor skills, visual- spatial organizational skills and nutrition, your child will be given every opportunity to make advances that you might not have thought possible.

Polnicky says, “In a study where 60 of the students had ADHD, 82% of those students were shown to no longer exhibit any signs of ADHD after one 12-week program.” He adds, “Two-thirds of the students improved by two grade levels, and one-third of the students actually improved by four grade levels; 100% had some improvement, and 0% had no improvement, so even if I didn’t know from personal experience that this program worked, we have the research to back us up.”

One parent wrote a testimonial saying, “Brain Balance truly made our home more peaceful. He is a completely different child than when he started the program. What you offer to kids and their families is priceless!”

Is this Program for your Child?

The Brain Balance Mission Statement is “to make the Brain Balance Program available to as many children as possible, that each child may reach their greatest physical, mental, social and academic potential.”

If your child has been diagnosed with a neurobehavioral disorder like ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s, or any number of learning disorders, don’t lose hope. There are answers beyond the drug store.

The best way to find out more about Brain Balance is to come to one of their free information events. The Brain Balance Center of Oldsmar holds parent lectures where parents and professionals alike can gain a unique window into a child’s brain function. Their lectures offer insight into how the brain normally develops and what may interfere with the stages of typical development.

Parents can also come in for a free tour, sit down one-on-one with the Center Director and see for themselves what all of the buzz is about.

The truth is that people come from all around the world, and cross state lines to come to Brain Balance Centers. Their innovative, holistic approach to children and families has changed the lives of thousands of people. We are lucky to have a Brain Balance Center right here in Oldsmar.

The Brain Balance Achievement Center of Oldsmar is located at 4022 Tampa Rd., Suite 6. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 813-475-6977. You can also email them directly at, or visit

Article Gallery

  • Susan, a Sensory-Motor Coach at Brain Balance in Oldsmar works with student Autumn McGinnis
  • (top row, L-R) Heather Lascano (Program Director), Andrea Bartelloni (Academic Evaluator and School Liaison), Henri Lasane (Sensory Motor Evaluator), Bonita van Dorseer (Teacher and Parent Group Leader) (bottom row, L-R) Anne Sweeny (Teacher), Maria Mogol
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