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“Momtrepreneur Gives Hope to Children Battling Learning Disorders”

Momtrepreneur Kristel Thomas is the owner of Brain Balance Achievement Centers of Canton, Ohio. The experience of seeking a drug-free solution for her son’s developmental delay, language and communication disorder led her to a whole new career path. She bought her franchise in 2011 and has joined the revolution of Brain Balance franchise owners who have helped thousands of children between the ages of 4 and 17 reach their academic, social and behavioral potential through a drug free approach. The individualized and customized program utilizes sensory motor exercises, cognitive work and nutritional guidance to address the root cause of many neurobehavioral issues. Today, there are over 50 Brain Balance Achievement Centers nationwide.

MO: What influenced your decision to open a Brain Balance Achievement Center of your own?

Kristel: My son Louie was born with a language and communication disorder causing developmental delay, and neurologists told me that he might never be able to talk or even ride a bike. Louie was put in a special education program at school where he experienced frequent meltdowns and could not communicate his needs. I did not want my son to live a life on medication, which is when I began seeking out alternative options and came across a Brain Balance Achievement Center in Peachtree City, Georgia. Louie and I had no choice but to move away from my two other children and husband. Upon seeing remarkable improvements after just three months of being enrolled in Brain Balance, I knew I had to open a center closer to our home in Canton, Ohio.

MO: Can you explain the basics behind the unique approach behind the Brain Balance Achievement program?

Kristel: The Brain Balance Program takes an individualized and comprehensive approach to help children with behavioral and learning difficulties surmount their unique challenges. This proprietary, drug-free approach has been successful in helping thousands of children reach their physical, social/behavioral health and academic potential. The tailored program utilizes sensory motor, cognitive exercises and nutritional guidance to address the root cause of most neurobehavioral issues. The achievement program offered at Brain Balance provides a customized series of exercises for the child which stimulates and brings up to speed the delayed or under-developed areas of the brain which create the symptoms and onset of ADHD, dyslexia, OCD, Tics, learning disabilities and processing disorders. Brain Balance uses standardized academic tests, behavior tests, physical, sensory and motorized tests to quantify function based on age and grade level. By targeting the areas of the brain that are delayed and under-developed, Brain Balance can create a program that is specific and individualized to each child’s needs.

MO: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced when launching your business and how did you overcome it?

Kristel: Being a good mother has always been, and will always be, my number one priority and the most important part of who I am, and I try to carry that in everything I do. Therefore, finding a balance between being a mother and running a business has been, without a doubt, the single greatest challenge I’ve ever faced. I was a mother first and an entrepreneur second, and realizing I had a desire to do both has taught me a great deal about myself and what I want out of life.

MO: What advice would you give to a parent who has recently discovered that their child has a learning disability? What resources or support systems have been helpful to you and your journey so far?

Kristel: Finding a program that tailors to your child’s needs and offers an encouraging environment where they can develop and grow in is the first and most important step for a parent to take after discovering that their child has a learning disability. Brain Balance Achievement Centers recognizes that many childhood disorders are actually manifestations of a single underlying condition, which is responsible for a host of behavioral, academic and social difficulties. Rather than trying to improve your child’s function through medication, a comprehensive assessment is conducted to gain a full understanding of their difficulties to correct the underlying imbalance, improve function and reduce/eliminate negative behaviors to help them achieve optimum body and brain function.

MO: What insights would you pass onto someone contemplating buying to a franchise model?

Kristel: Buying a franchise model is the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs to invest in a business model that provides you with the blueprint to build a successful and dynamic business. When investing in a franchise, you want to feel like you are an asset to the brand. The Brain Balance corporate office has been phenomenal to work with. They are not only committed to helping franchisees succeed on every level but there is a sense of family and togetherness that transcends just a business relationship.

Also, you want to find a concept that is always thinking. The research and development aspect of Brain Balance is top notch as they are always investigating new and innovative ways to promote our message of helping children and doing it by keeping up with the latest technology, which allows continued profitability in the current climate. Finally, it is important to invest in a concept that provides you with training and ongoing support. Brain Balance offers training to implement the program from inquiry to assessment to daily sessions including sensory motor, academic, nutrition, sales, marketing and parent conferences.

MO: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?

Kristel: My love and commitment to my son’s health is what gave me an entrepreneurial spirit. Having a job I love shows my children that they can aspire for their dream jobs too. For mothers who strive to start their own businesses, I recommend doing something that you’ll feel great about at the end of the day, and understand that nothing comes without sacrifice and hard work. Through achieving my dream of being an entrepreneur in my desired field, I can be a mother and a role model.

MO: How do you plan to keep the momentum going?

Kristel: I plan to keep the momentum going by continuing to reach out into the community where I can educate parents about the Brain Balance Program. Everyday, more and more children are being diagnosed with learning and developmental problems. I know I can be a part of the solution for these families so I am driven to make people aware of what we do. The momentum is also cultivated every day in the center as we bear witness to children reaching their potential. The joy and pride on the faces of our parents is an amazing motivator.

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