A couple of Wichitans who didn’t know each other but who had each looked into opening a Brain Balance franchise here are now going to do it together.
“Corporate matched us,” says Michelle Robertson. “We just really hit it off.”
She says she and Amy Downing have complementary skills that will each benefit the business.
“Brain Balance is a nonmedical, drug-free approach to helping kids with challenges,” Robertson says.
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That could be children with autism or issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or certain kinds of processing disorders or social issues.
“It integrates physical and sensory motor exercises with academic skill training and healthy nutrition,” Robertson says.
She’s a full-time faculty member at Friends University who teaches marriage and family therapy and also has a marriage and family therapy practice.
Downing previously worked in IT and project management before taking off to devote time to family.
Each of the women has had a family member who has been through the Brain Balance program and had great success.
“It’s just been amazing to see that change,” Robertson says.
She says results include things such as more eye contact from the children and more sociability and ease with speaking to others.
Robertson says other Wichita families have driven far distances several times a week to get their children in Brain Balance programs.
“We’ve had people driving with their kids to Oklahoma City (and) Kansas City for their Brain Balance centers.”
The Brain Balance Achievement Center of Wichita will be in the 3,000 square feet at the Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock Road where Dean & Deluca used to be.
“We shopped and shopped and shopped,” Robertson says of the search for a location.
She says the center is easy to get to and has a great mix of tenants.
Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.
Robertson says Brain Balance generally has only one site in a market of this size but that she and Downing would consider a west-side one as well at some point.
“We would love that.”
They explained to Brain Balance how divided Wichita is on the east and west sides.
“You don’t understand how unusual Wichita is,” Robertson says they told the company.
If only the one site works out, Robertson says that’s OK because it’s better than having to drive to another city.
“The idea of needing to just drive to one side of town is probably OK.”
Brain Balance will open sometime in May. Robertson says she and Downing are targeting getting open by the time school is out and then having a grand opening in June.