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Learning Center celebrates grand opening

By Aline Weiller

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Dr. Mark Goldenberg celebrates the Grand Opening of his Brain Balance Achievement Center at 15 Cross Street, Norwalk, which helps children with learning disabilities. From left, Dr. Robert Melillo, Mayor Robert A. Moccia, Dr. Mark Goldenberg, Kathy Cappiello, Sandy Kramer, and Rita Kramer. PHOTO CREDIT: Madeleine E. Sievert
Norwalk’s Mayor Richard A. Moccia lent a helping hand at the Brain Balance Achievement Center’s Grand Opening on April 14th. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the 15 Cross Street facility which offers programming for those with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Tourette Syndrome, Asperger’s, learning disabilities and spectrum disorders. Chiropractic Neurologist and Westonite, Dr. Mark Goldenberg, serves as the Center’s Executive Director.

The event took on personal meaning for Mayor Moccia, who has an autistic grandchild and understands the daily challenges families face. “I’m here to help get the word out and am happy citizens can use this Center as a resource,” said Mr. Moccia. The Mayor was accompanied by Ed Mustante, Jr., from the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, who toured the facility and discussed its programming at length with Dr. Goldenberg. Also in attendance, was Dr. Robert Melillo, founder of these Achievement Centers nationwide and father of the Brain Balance Program they employ.

In his conversation with the Mayor, Dr. Melillo cited the Center for Disease Control’s 2006 statistics regarding autism -- that approximately 1 out of every 100 children are autistic versus 1 in 10,000 fifteen years ago. Melillo attributed the significant increase to possible diet and environmental factors. “Brain disorders, such as Autism, may be on the rise, but the good news is, we can help. There’s no damage to the brain, no bad genes. We need to raise awareness,” said Dr. Melillo.

A world-renown expert on neurological disorders, Dr. Mellilo, has published widely on this topic, including the teacher and parent-friendly book, Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and other Neurological Disorders (Perigee, 2009). The book asserts that an imbalance between the right and left sides of the brain creates a communication breakdown and is the underlying cause of learning challenges. Melillo’s Brain Balance Program -- physical and cognitive activities combined with nutritional changes -- aims to restore harmony among the brain’s atmospheres and to remediate the child’s issues. Twenty-four Brain Balance Achievement Centers currently operate across America and Dr. Melillo hopes to bring the total to 400-500 worldwide over the next five years. The Norwalk-based location is Connecticut’s first and only Brain Balance Achievement Center to date.

Dr. Goldenberg’s interest in brain disorders was sparked for personal reasons at the same time Dr. Melillo began his “Hemispheric Integration” studies, the basis for the Brain Balance program. “Although I had been in the field for twelve years, my passion to help those with learning challenges soared after learning of Dr. Melillo’s findings,” Goldenberg said. “His work inspired me to devote my life to helping children affected by these disorders.” In his efforts to increase awareness, Dr. Goldenberg holds bi-monthly informational events, where he speaks to parents, professionals, and teachers about this innovative method.

When discussing how he approaches each case, Goldenberg said, “I see the child as a whole, and want to know what’s happening in their brain and consequently, their lives. Our program is drug-free and not designed to simply treat symptoms; it’s geared to establish balance and unlock a child’s true potential,” said Dr. Goldenberg.

Dr. Goldenberg’s Brain Balance Achievement Center has year-round enrollment and children ages 6-17 are eligible. Many students complete the thirty-six session program during the summer months so as to prepare for the coming year. For additional details, visit www.brainbalancecenters.com. To register your child, or to reserve seating for the next information session, call the Norwalk facility at 203.847.3000. Dr. Goldenberg is also available to speak to teacher and parent organizations. He resides in Weston with his wife, Deby, and their two sons.

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