Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Family Hope Center

Because Gess has Down syndrome I am always searching for ways to improve her cognitive skills and learning capability so when I had the chance to review the Understanding Child Brain Development DVD from The Family Hope Center I was all over it!

The Family Hope Center is run by  Matt and Carol Newell who appear very knowledgeable in child brain development and hold certifications in development and teaching methods as well as Craniosacral and Myofascial Release therapy.  While their knowledge is impressive I do not believe that they are physicians themselves but they do have some on their staff.  I noted that they all seemed to prefer a homeopathic approach and one is even specialized in hypnosis.  Their mission is to help families who have a child with developmental delays and special needs by coming up with a specialized treatment plan to help your family's specific needs.

The Understanding Child Brain Development DVD is not only for parents who have a child with special needs. The knowledge that it gives in how a brain develops and functions properly is important for everyone to know.  It is also helpful to know what causes certain problems and in this video they share how and why some of these things occur which is important to know for preventative purposes as well as therapeutic ones.

The Family Hope Center looks at a child's ability, not the "disability."  They look at the problem a child has with learning as a symptom of neurological disorganization instead of a disease.  They look at what is happening in the brain that is not allowing the ability to be expressed as functionality.  Instead of trying to help a child in the state they are in, they try to go back and see where brain development is lacking and then train that area so that it can catch up.

The DVD itself is very technical. While I took lots of notes this video is over 2 hours long and I am not about to begin to try and explain the intricacies of brain development that they go into.   What they basically do is go through several areas of brain function and the developmental age at which certain skills should be developing. As you hear the milestones your child should be reaching at certain stages it can be begin to make sense why certain struggles may start to occur at those levels.  For instance they explain what may cause some kids to switch their words when reading which is what we call Dyslexia, why some children may have certain texture and/or sound issues, or why some children become aggressive.

While there is a ton of information in this DVD it is only an introduction to how to actually use the information and assist your child in a full developmental program.  To proceed further you will need to purchase the three day seminar to try to form your own program or visit the clinic for an evaluation for your child.  With that said, the last 20 minutes of the DVD does focus on specific things that you can do right away for your child "to make a significant change in their neurological picture."  There were definitely some tools I plan to use but there are some I probably won't try.  There were also some I already implement which was certainly good to know.

I will tell you that when I turned the video off I was ready to go full speed ahead.  I wanted to know how to get my child into this program and what to do next.  It is expensive, so I looked into some of the things he recommended.  In doing my research I found that there is no solid evidence that some of these therapies work. I do think the information that they presented was very valuable and will help me in teaching Gess. It has also helped me in considering how I play with my grandchildren who have no special needs because I want to make sure they benefit from proper brain development at the appropriate time so they don't develop issues later.

Gess herself has seemed to flourish so far with what we have been doing.  I think that is due in part to the fact that while we have not had this particular program we have been active in making sure she has been stimulated in many areas.  My plan is take what I have learned with this video and enact some of the advice given.  Unless we hit a road block in the future I think we are on the right track so I probably won't look into this further.  I am, however, certainly grateful for having the opportunity to view this product.  It was definitely worth watching.

To learn more you will want to visit the The Family Hope Center website.  You can purchase the Understanding Child Brain Development DVD for $19.00 by calling 610-397-1737 or purchase it online from the EIW website.  You may also want to read the other Schoolhouse Crew Reviews by clicking on the banner below.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honest review! I enjoyed hearing your specific view on this video. Thanks!!


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