Friday, August 16, 2013

Understanding Child Brain Development {Schoolhouse Review}

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The Family Hope Center is an international center for the development of children that specializes in helping families with children of special needs.  Their desire is to empower parents with the tools to heal their children and help their child reach their fullest potential.  They do not want children to be limited by the labels that the medical community puts on them.  The Family Hope Center has developed a DVD called Understanding Child Brain Development that I was interested in viewing.  While The Family Hope Center does focus on helping children with autism, down syndrome, ADHD, brain injury and other special needs, and my own family does not fall into this category, I was still interested to see how it might apply to the "average" child.

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The directors of Family Hope Center, Matthew and Carol Newell, are child brain development specialists and give a very interesting presentation.  Understanding Child Brain Development is essentially a seminar that explains how the brain develops from birth, and how Family Hope Center utilizes this information to work with families and teach them how to help their children.  They give very technical information in very easy to understand terminology, to help parents see how specific parts of the brain control various behaviors, actions and development.

I was very intrigued with the information about infants, and how humans are the only mammals who put newborns on their back immediately after birth, and how we do not allow our children enough time on their stomachs.  Being on the stomach helps aid in sleep, digestion and neurological development.  I found that interesting, because we are told Back To Sleep for infants, but my middle child did not sleep well at all until he learned to roll, and then he started sleeping much more peacefully on his stomach.  He went on to discuss how tummy time leads to creeping and crawling, which a baby's brain needs to develop properly, but when we move our child from playpen, to swing to bouncy seat to other baby gear, they aren't getting that important time on their stomachs, sometimes skipping the crawling stage altogether, and this could lead to other issues down the road.  I was interesting to hear how The Family Hope Center uses creeping and crawling in their therapy even for for sensory issues, dyslexia or coordination issues.  This is definitely something I haven't heard much about, but could merit more research on my part.

The presentation is not going to diagnose anything in your child, and it's not meant to teach you how to "fix" a so-called problem.  It's meant to help you understand your child and recognize that your child is not just a list of symptoms.  The purpose is to help you recognize that your child has potential beyond a diagnosis, and there are ways you can improve their wellness.  You can take small steps at home, and of course, you can look further into Family Hope Center if it is something of interest to you.  The presentation is not flashy or modern, but it is straightforward.  I think the information presented is thorough, interesting and valuable to parents and caregivers.  The topics discussed are relevant to many people, and I also think the seminar would be appropriate for teenagers or college students interested in education or medicine.

The DVD runs approximately 2 hours and is $19.00.  To order, you can call 610-397-1737 or you may order Understanding Child Brain Development from IEW.

Be sure to check out the rest of the schoolhouse review crews on Understanding Child Brain Development.

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