"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Healing Journey

WOW! What a day! I spent the morning putting the finishing touches on a Letter to the Editor of the Georgia Music Magazine. They wrote a great article in their last issue about Zac Brown, and I wanted to share with their readers how Zac (along with the other members of ZBB) has positively impacted our family. We learned about the Brain Balance Program at a Zac Brown Band concert, and thus began our amazing journey of healing for Aidan!

A few minutes after I sent the email, I got an email saying that my Parent Testimonial Video for Brain Balance was ready to view and share. Here it is, Our Story! Please feel free to comment, share, or repost. I want the whole world to know how the Brain Balance Program has truly changed Aidan's life!!

And here is the letter that I sent to the Georgia Music Magazine editor. I'm afraid I waited WAY too long to write and send it, but I've got my fingers crossed that somehow it gets printed in the magazine! I'll keep you posted!

To: Lisa Love
Editor, Georgia Music Magazine
Re: A Letter to the Editor

Dear Lisa,

I just finished re-reading (for about the zillionth time) the wonderful article about Zac Brown from your last edition. It is amazing the impact that Zac has had on the Atlanta music scene and the incredibly talented artists on his record label. Zac, along with the rest of the Zac Brown Band, has also had a direct and tremendous impact on my family, and I felt compelled to share that with you.

On August 21, 2010, I attended my very first Zac Brown Band concert in Charlotte, NC. For over 2 ½ hours, they blew my mind – with their awesome musical talents, their infectious energy, their deep appreciation for their fans, and finally, for their promotion of a non-medical program called Brain Balance. Zac spoke to the crowd very passionately about how the Brain Balance Program was helping to recover children with neurological and behavioral disorders (such as Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etc.) WITHOUT drugs. I was paying close attention, as this program sounded like something that could help my then-5-year old son, Aidan.

Less than three weeks later, after a VERY rough start to Kindergarten, we were on our way to a Brain Balance Center in Atlanta for Aidan’s evaluation. We worked with the Brain Balance Program from home for the next nine months, and we were so encouraged by Aidan’s progress, that we decided we MUST move heaven and earth to have him complete the program at a Brain Balance Center. My three boys and I relocated to Atlanta from June-October 2011 so that Aidan could attend Brain Balance, and the results of the program have been absolutely life changing for Aidan. My impulsive, aggressive and easily over-stimulated boy who struggled making friends now has much-improved self control, is well liked by his teachers and peers, and recently made the Honor Roll for the first time ever! AMAZING!

We celebrated Aidan’s Brain Balance Graduation at a ZBB concert in Jacksonville, FL last October. It was a truly unforgettable night! We attended a legendary Eat and Greet before the show, where I got to introduce Aidan to each member of Zac Brown Band. Aidan was THRILLED to meet them, and he got lots of high-fives and congratulations from Zac, Jimmy, Coy, Chris, Clay, Hop, and Wyatt. We got to hang with Sonia Leigh and her awesome band, we got to tour “Cookie” with Chef Rusty Hamlin, we got to “Z-Team” before the show, passing out koozies and “working for the band” – an AMAZING night for Aidan that he will NEVER forget, and a perfect way to celebrate his Graduation from Brain Balance!

The musical talent on the Zac’s Southern Ground Record label is absolutely amazing, but each artist shares another quality that seems to be lacking in world today – HEART. ZBB, Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan, Levi Lowrey – these artists ALL have a deep love and appreciation for their fans, and a desire to really connect with them. Hang out with ZBB before the show at an Eat and Greet, or catch the other artists taking photos and signing autographs after their set at the merchandise booth. The Southern Ground Artists are also committed to giving back. ZBB’s “Letters for Lyrics” campaign has sent hundreds of thousands of letters and CD’s to soldiers serving our country overseas. Coy Bowles has written a beautiful children’s book, “Amy Giggles: Laugh Out Loud,” with a strong anti-bullying message. And Zac is building a camp, right here in Georgia, for both special needs children and their typical peers. Zac has called Camp Southern Ground his “life’s work,” and my family cannot WAIT to be a part of it. (Please check out www.campsouthernground.org to donate and get involved.) HEART

My family will be eternally grateful to Zac Brown Band for spreading the word about the Brain Balance Program. EVERYONE that we have met that is in any way connected to ZBB or Southern Ground Records (artists, band members, fan club or “Zamily” members, crew) has been SO kind and supportive of Aidan. We are very proud supporters of all things Southern Ground, and fortunate to be part of such an amazing Zamily!


Allie Pence

P.S. You can read all about Aidan’s Journey through the Brain Balance Program and beyond at www.brainbalanceaidan.blogspot.com


  1. Great job, Allison! I'm so very proud of you for your refusal to accept the typical answers from you pediatrician and your determination to fight to recover your precious child. Our entire family is blessed to have you in our midst!
    The Brain Balance program has been a gift to us all, especially Aidan. I love watching his progress and enjoying typical activities with him that we could only dream about just a year ago! I'm going to keep sharing this story and bring some hope to other families like yours.
    You didn't know it in the beginning, you were just a Mom fighting for your son, but you've been leading this Revolution for quite a while. Viva La Revolution!

    1. Thanks Mom! It really means a lot. I LOVE all of the things that we get to do with Aidan, and as a family now. Time to "Enjoy the Ride" right?? Please keep sharing Aidan's story - helping other families learn about Brain Balance is such an important thing to do, I think. Love, love, LOVE you!!

  2. Wow! You and Andy are terrific parents to your three boys. I am so proud of you for not accepting the standard medical route of drugs and more drugs and insisting on recovery for Aidan. I'll never forget seeing medicated Aidan trying to participate in a t-ball game. I knew this was not the correct path for him. As a father and grandfather, I am extremely proud of your determination to find a solution for Aidan's many issues and for your dedication to the solution you found, Brain Balance. Your family has been blessed to have so many people willing to help you make this program possible. I will be forever indebted to Jackie & Buddy Pence and to MeMa & MePa for the amazing support they have shown to all of our family. Their willingness to provide the financial assistance needed is what made Brain Balance a reality for Aidan. I don't know how we could have done it without them.

    1. Aww, shucks Daddy - you're making me cry! As for being terrific parents, Andy and I both agree that we learned from the best...;) And I had forgotten all about T-Ball - when I think of the couple of times that we briefly tried meds for Aidan, the Easter Sunday Zombie comes to mind. Man, that was AWFUL, and NO way for a child to live, much less to thrive. Isn't it awesome to see Aidan thriving now?? It just amazes me, even on the rough days (and we still have those - he is, after all, a seven year old BOY!)
      They say it "takes a village" to raise a child - that is most certainly true in our case. We never forget how fortunate we are to have so many people loving us and supporting our efforts. We would NOT have been able to have put Aidan through Brain Balance without Buddy & Jackie, MeMa & MePa, and you & Mom too! Aidan's amazing progress is an accomplishment that we ALL get to share credit for, and a beautiful tribute to his Maw.
      Love you, Daddy!


The Brain Balance Motto

We Believe that Within Every Child Resides...

The Body of an Olympic Athelete...
The Brain of a Scientist...
The Mind of a Poet...
The Hands of an Artist...
The Ear of a Composer...
The Heart of a Saint...

NEVER Stop Believing That Your Child Has Unlimited Potential!