Understanding Child Brain Development from the Family Hope Center {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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Understanding Child Brain Development is a seminar produced by the Family Hope Center. The Family Hope Center focuses on the whole child and holistic health, rather than on the diagnosis (such as ADHD, autism, and other disorders) and seeks to teach the family to be the first line in therapy and health.

The Family Hope Center believes that you can go to the root of these disorders, to the brain; understand it and treat it. They do not believe in the use of medication, but instead feel that with proper care, “the brain and body can heal itself.”

The first portion of Understanding Child Brain Development discusses the child’s brain and development. Each segment of the brain is responsible for different functions and you can see which areas of the brain are affected by watching how your child functions.

The brain also matures and functions at different times. A child’s brain can be functioning at different levels and there is an anticipated progression of cognitive function and motor skills. If the child is not following the expected progression, or is having a specific issue, that information can help you see where the brain is struggling.

The seminar then moves on to what you can do to help your child’s brain heal and be healthy. Some of these things you can do at home, and others would be done under the guidance of the Family Hope Center.

The Family Hope Center has many recommendations including:

“A high level of constant, properly directed sensory motor stimulation, otogenic motor opportunity, nutritional guidelines, detoxification programs and energy healing therapies” (Understanding Child Brain Development)

Some specific recommendations from Understanding Child Brain Development include:

  • Feeding your child whole, organic food
  • Avoiding microwaved food because “it explodes it. it destroys it.” Microwaving food “exploded and disintegrated all of its molecular structure. It’s of no value to the human system”
  • Avoiding EMF’s like TV, cell phones and microwaves because they are on “a different frequency than the brain” and can damage it
  • Avoiding EMFs and other pollutants that can damage “the crystals of water in your brain” as it applies to Dr. Emoto’s theories on water crystals
  • Eliminating heavy metals from the body
  • Allowing the brain to “breathe” and using Cerebrospinal therapy to manipulate the skull bones to allow the brain to expand and contract naturally

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A Note on the Video Quality

It is clear that this live seminar was filmed some time ago, and has been altered to fit a digital DVD format. The video is blurry and grainy, and I had a very difficult time hearing it. There was some feedback issues with the audio. I played it on my computer with the volume maxed out, and still struggled. I was able to follow along with the slides from the free ebook, but I would strongly recommend this company re-film this seminar for future releases.


What I Thought

I was very concerned with the second half of the video when they discussed how they treat and help children with cognitive dysfunction. As a nurse, I feel like it would be unethical for me to recommend some of the treatments they describe in the video. For example, they suggest parents take newborns born through Cesarean Sections to a Cerebrospinal Therapist because they didn’t receive the same beneficial squeeze from the birth canal. Cerebrospinal Therapy (a type of massage therapy where the practitioner “moves” the plates of the skull and face) is not medically proven, or even recommended. There is no scientific evidence of its effectiveness from any significant, controlled studies. There are however, more than one documented case of a newborn dying after being subjected to Cerebrospinal Therapy. I could not find a recommendation for this therapy from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The theory on “water crystals” didn’t sound accurate to me, so I did some research on the study and book (The Miracle of Water) where the Family Hope Center found their information. The doctor behind the study, Dr. Emoto, is not a medical doctor, but is a doctor of alternative medicine. His research has received huge amounts of criticism from the scientific community because it was not conducted correctly using the scientific method and was not peer reviewed. Other scientists have not found his theories to be supportable by scientific fact. His website discusses more than the effect of pollution or radio waves on water, but also discusses the effect of a person’s thoughts, prayers, written words, and spoken words on the water. He goes as far as to claim the water can “read” messages written on paper and will change accordingly. These “experiments” are not controlled, and his research is commonly acknowledged as pseudoscience.

I feel like a lot of parents would do anything for a child who is struggling, and this video does offer different ideas from what your family physician would recommend. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I didn’t find the recommendations in Understanding Child Brain Development to be scientifically supported or necessarily safe. This video is only a brief introduction and snippet of what the Family Hope Center has to offer, but in order to hear more about their methods and ideas, you would need to purchase their three day seminar, or bring your child to them to be evaluated.


In a Nutshell

While I found the information on the brain and the Family Hope Center’s theories to be intriguing, the lack of scientific support for the recommendations and information given in the video really concerns me. Simply put, I trust medical practitioners and scientific evidence, and wish that the Family Hope Center could back their claims with actual research and data (you can see what they offer for evidence here).

However, I know not everyone has the same background and beliefs I do, and many people believe in alternative therapies. Some parents may have tried all the traditional approaches to their child’s care and are ready to try something else in hopes of better health for their children. If this video intrigues you, you can read more crew reviews to see what my crew mates thought, or check it out on the Family Hope Center website.

Purchasing Information

To order the DVD, please call 610-397-1737 or you can order Understanding Child Brain Development from IEW for $19.00


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  1. Thanks for the information. I really appreciate a nurse looking into it. I keep getting emails from them and I was curious. Thanks again.

  2. This is the first review I’m reading where person did some checks on facts, Thank You! I went to a 3 day seminar and felt like I’ve been totally brain-washed.. Had to leave the audience for a break at one point as my brain was screaming ‘I can’t take it anymore! enough of selling!! where are the facts and promissed knowllege?!’ I do agree with lots of theories and advice Family Hope gives but I knew it all before.. Who doesn’t know that sugar is bad, kids should play on the floor more and spend less/non time infront of TV, sunshine and good food are vital for your health, child learns so much better during interactions with parents, the more you read/ play/ study with your kids the better they will do at school, love and hugs, good structure of the day gives your child sence of security etc. We know it all. And yes, if your kid never crawled – there is a link missing in his/her developement. Family Hope centre gives advice on how to be a good parent and reminds us the basics of a good family structure. I really wish they gave us more practical tools, less theories and biology lessons and much, much less of stories. My worry is that desparate parents will pay Anything to make their kids better and althou we’ve been told many times during this seminar ‘Family Hope isn’t trying to sell anything and can’t promiss you any results’ – the selling game was full on and huge part of the 3 day course was spent on telling sucsessfull srories and advertising products and Centre itself. I felt that this seminar (not a cheap privelege at all) gave me a minimum information in order to ‘hook me up’ to the next step – The Program. By the way, now I know ‘How to make Blind person to see!’ All you need is a small torch.. I felt really worried for parents with paralised kids, blind kids and kids with disabilities.. Mathew keep saying that he can’t promiss a result and Not tryind to sell but parents ARE the miracle and will do anything and everything to help their kids; you need to stay focused and keep going and hopefully you will get there.. In my oppinion – not worth the money (few books from the library will remind you basics of the healthy lifestile). Watch the DVD and get inspired – Mathew is great at giving motivational speach.

    You could fly straight to the Family Hope centre in Norristown, PA and get few treatments and nutritional advice (saves you some time and money).. I do believe Centre can help some people to sertain degree. I personally prefer to get advice and knowlege from local, recomended professionals, natural healers and simply..books. You can do so much with love and care and don’t need to remorgage your home. I wish you all the best, be wise.

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