Family Hope Center send us a DVD to review called Understanding Child Brain Development. At their center, they don't merely treat the symptoms of childhood behavior but go to the source, the brain, and treat it. As a former Special Ed teacher, I was very interested to watch this. This is a 2+ hour live, recorded seminar, where husband and wife team, Matthew and Carol Newell, teamed up with Andrew Pudewa to help parents understand how their child's brain develops and how that development effects every aspect of their lives now. That seems like a "duh" (and a really long sentence!)- the brain controls the body, but they do such a great job of explaining why kids (and adults) act the way they do and how it relates to brain development. Before watching the DVD, I downloaded their handout for free off their site so I could follow along.
So much more is going on when babies and children are developing than the physical areas we see. Damage to any of these natural phases can cause problems in the brain that might not be evident until later on. They stress throughout the seminar how the brain is a magnificent organ that can restore itself with help. They want to offer that help, and hope, to parents of children with different abilities. At their center, they don't address disabilities, but work with abilities to minimize the gap between the neurological age and the chronological age. I love that they don't label people as autistic or ADD anything, but just work to bring their neurological age up to "normal."
They have some great ideas on how to help children be successful and close the gap. That's exciting stuff! So much of the video was spent explaining the brain and how they work with them in the center. I would have loved to have more details on how to help our kids at home. Mr. Newell sprinkled in advice along the way, but really just the last 10-15 minutes were spent talking about how we can help our kids at home. If you live close to them in PA, you could go get help there, but for those of us that don't live close, we were sort of left with a teaser - lol. Some basic things we can do at home to help, without getting professional help, are to drink more water and eat REAL foods. I think we would all see a big difference if we would change our eating habits. He also talked about eliminating electronics and spending more time outside - a man after my own heart.
I was very interested when he was talking about the way our eyes work. Princess P was just diagnosed with convergence insufficiency last week, which means her eyes aren't working together properly. This is causing a big struggle in reading because her eyes jump around and skip words, repeat lines, reverse things and it is so frustrating for her (and her momma!). I watched this video again this week after learning this, and Mr. Newell says this is linked back to crawling on the belly when she was a baby...and a lack of opportunities to move when she was a baby. I was so into it and wanting to know what to do now to make up for anything (which I really can't see how she had any less opportunities to creep and crawl than the other two - for crying out loud, she didn't walk until 18 months!) but he doesn't really go into it other than to say she needs to go back to creeping and crawling. We are doing eye therapy but I would love more info on this too. He does say that the more you stimulate the brain, the more it grows toward wellness, so I'm hoping our eye exercises will fall into that category. If not, I'll look into making her crawl on her belly - hey, it's worth a shot.
The Family Hope Center sounds like such a fantastic place for kids. Unfortunately it is in PA...and we aren't. This DVD almost felt like a 2 hour infomercial for their center. They do a great job of telling of the need for their center, and I 100% agree with them. It was fascinating to watch (and not just because he looks like a long lost Baldwin brother). But what about all of us that can't go to the center? I would love if there was more info on how we can help our kids ourselves at home. Just a little more detail on how to make them creep and crawl (Are we being literal here?) and how long? They are vague on that - basically you do it until they progress??
They do give about 7 key ways to help all our kids, but again, they are pretty vague. They range from eating better (nothing from a package, which I agree with and wish we were more consistent with) to finding a local doctor to do craniosacral therapy to get the brain "breathing" again. There is one about an hour from here, but that's it for our area...I looked.
Check out this video from Andrew Pudewa that explains these DVDs better than I can.
To order the DVD for $19, you can call 610-397-1737 or you can order Understanding Child Brain Development online from IEW.
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