Saturday, August 17, 2013

Family Hope Center - Understanding Child Brain Development

A DVD talk that introduces brain science for parents, especially parents of young struggling children.

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Understanding Child Brain Development

The Essentials - What you need to know

The Review 

 photo CBD-DCover_zps23501872.gif I was a little disappointed by this DVD, but it still has good general information about child brain development.  I walked away from watching this DVD with more questions than answers.

The DVD is about two and a half hours long.  It is a recording of a talk that Matthew Newell of the Family Hope Center gave to a live group of people. Matthew starts with a commercial for the Family Hope Center, talking about his credentials and the services of the Family Hope Center, for a half an hour.  Then he goes on to talk about the brain generally, highlighting a few specific areas.  He goes from before birth through about 8 months old, talking about how the brain develops, and some signs of illness. Matthew is an advocate of the wellness approach. He wants to achieve wellness by helping the brain mend itself from injury.  The way I understood it is like this: health professionals want to treat the symptoms.  A child with crossed eyes needs strong glasses to pull the eyes straight.  Matthew's wellness approach says let us treat the portion of the brain that is injured causing the crossed eyes and the eyes will go straight on their own.

Matthew was very careful to give general advice to parents. He said that the purpose of the video is to assure parents that they are not at fault for their children's issues, that there is hope.  This is merely an introduction.   He talked extensively about infants and babies in the womb, the impact a Cesarean section, and the importance of crawling the creeping.  How each of those activities affect brain development and function.  He did share one really interesting story about colic and the brain.  The end of the video included some general things that parents can do to help their children, like providing a diet of wholesome, not processed foods.

I liked that Matthew really stressed that parents are the best therapists for their children.  After all parents know their children the best.  Matthew talked about the importance of fathers.  How Mom and Dad working as a team make for a strong dynamic in which healing is served the best.

I wanted to watch this video because I love brain science and I have a distracted middle school child.  One of my favorite classes in teacher school was child development, where we talked about how the brain develops and works specifically in relation to learning.  This DVD is not that, so I was a little disappointed.  I am looking for things to help my twelve year old, ADHD child, and while I understand that early brain development is huge, I think I'm past the point where it might be helpful.  I found the last twenty minutes of the video helpful with the suggestions about environment, diet and so forth. Just when it was getting interesting, it ended, leaving me with more questions than answers.

On a completely personal note, Matthew talked briefly about the pituitary gland.  This gland nestles right under the brain above the optic nerves.  The Little Dude had his removed when he was four months old, so I always perk up when I hear anything about the pituitary gland.  Matthew had some interesting insights on the roll of pituitary gland none of which applied to the Little Dude because he does not have one.  It gave me pause to think about some of his sleeping habits, and gave me more questions.

Overall I would recommend this DVD to expecting parents or parents of infants.


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