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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Brain Balance Center of Mechanicsburg

Sep 26, 2012 12:49PM ● By Beth Davis

Tara and John Novosat

The Brain Balance Center of Mechanicsburg takes a different approach to helping children overcome academic, behavior and social issues commonly associated with learning disabilities, processing disorders and neurobehavioral disorders. The Center operates on the premise that children struggling with learning disabilities, processing disorders, ADHD, high-functioning autism and Tourrette syndrome suffer from a brain imbalance referred to as Functional Disconnection Syndrome, and that if reconnected, can improve their ability to learn, communicate and better understand the world around them.

Since opening more than a year ago, Brain Balance has enrolled dozens of children in its 36-session program, which utilizes sensory and academic exercises, along with a drug free, nutritional component to meet each child’s need.

The Center’s owner, Dr. Chris Turnpaugh, says that when looking at the brains of children with these disorders, a similar problem exists: one of the two hemispheres of the brain has become stronger and faster and the other one has become weaker and slower. When this happens, the two hemispheres become functionally disconnected and are unable to communicate effectively. This imbalance translates into the academic, social and behavioral problems these children exhibit.

The program looks to correct this lack of balance by testing more than 1,200 sensory motor, cognitive and nutritional markers to assess which hemisphere is stronger and which one is weaker. With that information, Turnpaugh and his staff of professionals work together to customize a program that will bring both hemispheres back into balance.

“Once we understand the uniqueness and severity of the child’s challenges, we design physical and cognitive activity plans and guidelines to establish proper connections and improve rhythm and timing,” he says. “This approach helps kids achieve optimum body and brain function so that they may reach their greatest physical, mental, social and academic potential.”

Tara Novosat says that the program is the best thing she and her husband have done for their 7-year-old son John since he was diagnosed with autism at age 2. “We did everything you’re supposed to do: early intervention, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietary changes, but we weren’t seeing significant results,” she says. “When we heard about Brain Balance, we knew it was the next logical step.”

Center Director Jennifer Ainscough says its not unusual for kids to jump years academically and socially in a matter of 12 weeks. She recalls that when John first came to the Center, he was introverted, shy and lacked eye contact and focus. He has since gone through the program twice, with significant results. He is now laughing, joking, interacting with others and exceling in school—a result that Ainscough never tires of seeing. “It is so exciting and uplifting to meet the person behind the eyes and see the difference we are making,” she says.

Novosat notes that prior to the program, John had sound sensitivity—so much so that at birthday parties he would cry because of the loud singing. That problem is essentially gone. He has gotten physically stronger and his balance has improved. He is braver, more self-confident and most importantly, he is present.

“He is such a sweet boy and he has started to let others in,” states Novosat. “Brain Balance has been a tremendous part of that and we are so grateful.”

Location: 5521 Carlisle Pike, Ste. A, Mechanicsburg. For more information, call 717-697-5340 or visit

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