Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TOS Review: Understanding Child Brain Development

What's one of the first things every mother does with a new baby?  She counts fingers and toes!  Every mom, every parent is looking for clues that their child is "perfect,"  well, at least normal.  So what happens when you start to realize that something is not quite right?   Where do you turn for help and hope?  Enter The  Family Hope Center.   Their DVD,  Understanding Child Brain Development  can provide a starting point.  I watched this by myself, it really is for parents not kids.

The Facts:
The 2 Hr. 10 Min. DVD is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian audios.  There are no subtitles for the hearing impaired.

The lecture is done in front of an audience in a classroom setting.  It's been divided into 15 chapters that can be selected directly.  The presentation on the screen behind the speaker is a little too light, but important graphics are shown directly on the video (cutting away from the speaker).   Sometimes the speak holds up visuals (like a cutaway of a brain) and they are a little harder to see.

The DVD is available for $19 from the Institute for Excellence in Writing online or by calling the Family Hope Center at 610-397-1737.

The Positives:

The Family Hope Center seems devoted to helping parents help their kids get the best that life has to offer.  They're not about labeling.  They treat kids, not diseases, syndromes, or handicaps.  Each child is evaluated as an individual and a team works with the parents to develop a treatment program to specifically meet that child's needs and help them achieve an optimum level of function.

The center doesn't treat symptoms but digs to the root of the problem.  Yes, Johnny doesn't sit still for long but that doesn't mean he needs Ritalin. That might make life simpler for the teacher but how does it help the child.  Maybe he's reacting to a food allergy.  Maybe he's hypersensitive to the noises and light levels around him.

The video gave me 7 simple (no cost) ideas to help my son today.  Simple, not easy:  like removing electromagnetic fields from our home -- the microwave, the TV, the video games, anything with a remote control.  We'll probably start with the easier ones like drinking more water (the brain is mostly water, after all).

The Negatives:

This 2 hour video is really just an introduction to the program.  There are many times Mr. Newell says "We'll get into that" but he can't cover it all in the time allotted.  If you truly wish to help you child you'll have to invest more -- the Thriving Child program with DVD, workbooks, nutrition guides, etc.  is at an introductory price now of $379 but will be $595.  Of course, if you have a special child you're probably willing to pay anything for answers and help.  There is also an opportunity to win a free program on the website.

The center also uses what would be described as "alternative" therapies.  I've heard of things like making older kids go back to crawling and "crossing the midline" behaviors.  Frankly, I'm open to trying nutrition and physical therapies to treat issues of the mind but some people won't be interested in anything but traditional therapies (read that as drugs).


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