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Family Hope Center review

The Family Hope Center: My Review Journey


NOTE: I received Your Thriving Child and a scholarship to Family Hope Center’s special needs seminar in exchange for my honest review. They are not paying me any advertisement fees or any compensation for my blog posts. All opinions in this review series are my own, and Family Hope Center knows that I am obligated to present both pros and cons to my readers.

One of the things I love most about my job with HEDUA is bringing special needs to a mainstream company. Because of that, I have been given a great opportunity. The Family Hope Center has asked me to attend their special needs seminar in two weeks. They’ve also sent me their home program Your Thriving Child. The Your Thriving Child program contains 7 DVDs with 16 hours of instruction and a large notebook containing accompanying notes and their special brain development chart. As with all HEDUA reviews, I will be sharing pros and cons.

The Family Hope Center’s programs can be used by any family for any child, challenged or not. However, since I’m a special needs mom, and many special needs parents come to them for help, I’ll be reviewing these programs from that perspective.

Let me share my thoughts so far.

Click here for a review of Family Hope Center

This butterfly represents the growth and change the Family Hope Center says is possible.

1. The Family Hope Center challenges your thinking.

Matthew Newell says point blank, “We will challenge your belief system about the brain’s development.” The Newells and their staff have experience teaching parents and other caregivers how to help their children strengthen their brains, thus improving deficits. I’d say most of us grew up in typical 20th century experience with medicine and not a whole lot of knowledge of alternative therapies until we looked into it as an option for our children. I venture to guess most of us react a bit skeptically when we hear Matthew say his wife Carol has helped blind children see. But these children she was able to help had no neurological problems. The connections were there, the brain just didn’t function properly yet. Did it happen overnight? No. It took time and patience. However, that challenges your thinking, doesn’t it (By the way, I have yet to hear the Newells say “cure”. I’ve heard “progress” and “improvement”, but not cure.)?

2. The Family Hope Center is pro-parent.

Many, if not most, professionals that special needs parents meet in their journey have a superior attitude. The other night as I was watching the training, Mr. Newell said (paraphrasing), “You know your child better than anyone else, not the professional. We answer to you, not the other way around. We spend a lot of time listening first.”

3. The Family Hope Center’s foundation is fascinating.

All of the Family Hope Center’s programs build upon the foundation of the way the brain works. As I watch the DVDs, I am amazed at how God created our brain and body to work together. Listening to all of the different things each part of the brain affects, I am intrigued and fascinated. Matthew Newell will say, “So, if this part of your child’s brain didn’t get fully organized, then you’ll probably see they can’t concentrate, or they…” and my jaw practically drops.

4. The Family Hope Center is positive.

“We chart abilities, not disabilities.” That’s what Matthew Newell says about their program. “We help you find where your child is developmentally and then show you how to help them improve. We want to help special needs parents feel like they’re in the driver’s seat, not the passenger seat or the back seat, or even not in the car.” Those are empowering words, since most special needs parents DO feel like they’re not in the driver’s seat.

I am still at the beginning of the Your Thriving Child program. At this point I have come across only two cons–finding time to watch the DVDs when I’ve got two busy little boys and my husband is working extra hours, and the cost. I now understand why the Newells encourage people to come to the seminar if possible, so they have concentrated time to get through the training. As for cost, when you compare it to the price many special needs families pay out of pocket for doctors visits and therapies, it ends up more reasonable over time.

I am looking forward to meeting the Newells and their staff at the seminar in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be writing about things more on here as I work through the program, and you can also follow the hashtag #FHCreview if you’re on Twitter or Instagram. I’ve already tweeted some quotes and thoughts. I’ll also be writing about it over at HEDUA’s blog once a month.

So, here it is. What would you like to know about the Family Hope Center? You can go to their site and watch a video (top right corner) about two boys with autism who visited the center. Your questions will help me and also help the FHC know what information people want. Can’t wait for you to join me on this journey!

Author: Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman is not anyone special or a hero. She's just a working special needs homeschool mom who uses the Power of One to "just keep swimming". Visit her blog to learn more.

9 thoughts on “The Family Hope Center: My Review Journey

  1. Hi, Thank you for sharing your research and experience with this program. I had the privilege of attending a short, free webinar on this program with Excellence In Writting. It sparked my interest so I checked out their site and saved the free PDF E-Book “Understanding Your Childs Brain” I think that’s what it was called. I also watched some videos from the website and liked everything I saw. But I would not be able to attend the conference because I live in California. Also, the DVDs are pricey. If I had the money I would buy it to test it out but I don’t so thank you for sharing your personal experience. I agree that it is cheaper than paying an outrageously priced therapy session which I’ve never been to and never plan to go to unless I win the lotto which I don’t play. So Ive been researching the net for ideas on how to do Therapy at home. we have home schooled for ten years a d frankly there is very little if any help out there. Many parents are choosing to put their children in public school because you can get more help than none at all. I had one lady who is studying to become an OT share these words with me. Tell me what you think and if its true. If so, is Matthew Newell’s therapy (which I am very interested in and willing to save and invest time and money in) the same as ABA therapy? Thank you and here is “part” of her letter to our family. ~~ABA is the ONLY scientifically backed form of therapy out there. I know there are so many treatment interventions that promise the world, but are simply gimmicks. We had my cousin, Andrew, who is now about 13 years old, in therapy with the “sunrise” program which uses the options method when he was younger. This was a while back, and I have done a lot of research since then. Sonrise program was very damaging to his progress. Therapy involved imitating his stims. It was bad in just about every aspect. It also used facilitated communication with a keyboard and a facilitator does not work. It’s not a one size fits all when it comes to autism treatment. There might be another form that also works, but I would be really careful in selecting another type of intervention therapy if it is not ABA.

    Other than ABA, the only other therapy I would recommend is PRT or Pivotal Response Treatment. PRT uses ABA methods in a naturalized, child centered therapy.

    • Hi, Netabaneta, Thanks for taking time to stop by. I have heard many people say that about ABA, and I respectfully disagree. The reason is I consider biology science as well. If God created our bodies to work a certain way, and certain things help it improve, then that would be the science of biology at work. For example, many would say my son’s improvement on a GFCF diet is not scientific. I think many of those folks generally do not like non-medical interventions. Of course, then there’s the definition of therapy–would GFCF diet be considered therapy or treatment. However, I do also agree that there are a lot of folks out there vying for special needs parents’ attention and money that do not offer help.

      The Newell’s program is not ABA. It is basically brain organization/strengthening. Based on the behaviors/current development of your child (with or without disabilities), you can tell which parts of the brain if any need help, and then the Newells tell you how to help that part of the brain. I am still in the sections of the DVDs that discusses the parts of the brain and have not gotten to the part where they teach you how to develop a program specific to your child.

      I will invite the Family Hope Center to stop by and correct me if I am misspeaking.

      Thanks for your comment, as I know many people are thinking those things but didn’t say it. I appreciate the inquiry!

      • Thank you for your reply and thank you for inquiring about these issues with the Newell’s. I’m just now discovering all of this for the first time even though I found out two years ago that my son had Aspergers. My main focus is trying to get some, or any help to empliment into our home school day. I’m a fresh newbie with all these terms and avenues. Thank you again for reading the coment.

  2. Pingback: Challenging Belief Systems: Family Hope Center & Special Needs | Many Hats Mommy

  3. Hi! I am wondering how the seminar went? Have you finished the DVDs and do you have any more thoughts about the FHC? Thank you

  4. Pingback: Autism, Parenting, and Chocolate: My Top 5 Posts from 2013 | Many Hats Mommy

  5. OMG the ABA therapist that came to our home was a total JOKE. He sat in our daughter’s room and just stared at her for 3 hours! Such a scam. He did NOTHING. and yet our HMO was charged and we were charged a CO PAY. WHat a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was done through Easter Seals…and through Maxim Heatlhcare Services. Wow. they need to seriously educated their ABA therapists to make sure they aren’t arriving LATE and leaving EARLY and charging HMOS and REgional centers for this time.

  6. Hi Jenny, I have read all your posts and am wondering if you have continued with the program, added scents and tactile etc, and how your child has continued to progress?

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