Family Hope Center is unlike any doctor or therapy practice. The name is correct; they give hope. This organization, located northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focuses on children with developmental delays and special needs. Understanding how the brain functions, they provide parents the key to unlocking their child's full potential. I was given a DVD, Understanding Child Brain Development, to watch and review. Approximately two hours and 10 minutes long, it details the mission and objectives of Family Hope Center and provides an introduction to understanding the brain. It also begins to provide solutions. The DVD is $19.00 and can be ordered one of two ways: 1) Call 610-397-1737 or 2) order through IEW, Institute for Excellence in Writing.
The main speaker, Matthew Newell, is extremely knowledgeable. I was completely absorbed in his description of the brain and how dysfunctions within it relate to visible behaviors. I appreciated the care he took in making sure parents understood that their child's behavior did not relate to anything they, as the parent, did or did not do. He said that the parent is the expert. His job was to inform us. He repeated this a few times in different ways throughout the video.
The first 23 minutes or so was about the Center and their approach. Mr. Newell didn't start talking about the topic, the reason I wanted the DVD, until that point. The video quality was grainy, so the charts he displayed on the projection screen at his seminar, which were full screen on the video for the viewer, were very hard to read.
I was eager to see if this video would provide any recommendations for ways to improve my son's social skills or equip me with techniques to homeschool him more effectively as I'm fairly certain he has Asperger Syndrome despite not having a formal diagnosis. However, it was like reading a great book and not having the last few pages; I was left hanging. Mr. Newell would present a negative behavior of a disorder and tell us what part of the brain was the area of physiologic dysfunction. For instance, limbic system dysfunctions are seen in children who are on the autism spectrum. The limbic system is 90% water, so we need to be sure these kids are drinking plenty of water. He also talked about the limbic system being strongly related to smell and that the Center teaches parents how to stimulate their child's sense of smell by introducing different scents, from sweet to rancid, throughout the day. That was all that I learned about that. I would need to go to the Center to gain further instruction. There is a program they sell called, "Your Thriving Child." It sounds like there may be more equipping in this program than was on the video, but it is $379. It's on sale; the regular price is $595.
Since I live in Florida and won't be traveling to PA to attend any workshops or take my son to therapy and this video didn't really do much but whet my appetite for more instruction, I was left where I started. The video had some very interesting information, but I have no tools. I'm left wondering what the purpose of the video is except to make me aware of the services that Family Hope Center provides. I'm sure if I were reviewing that I would rave about it. The website has testimonials. I believe them. I am sure they are able to do remarkable things in the lives of these kids and their families. If you are close to them, give them a call. Use the $19, the cost of the DVD, to pay for a workshop or therapy at their office.