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Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


The Parent Perspective: Amy Taft

The Parent Perspective: Amy Taft

Today is our second episode of The Parent Perspective, a segment of the My Child Will Thrive Podcast where I’ll be interviewing parents just like you to find out more about their stories with their children. In this interview, I talked with Amy Taft, a mom of three and holistic practitioner. Amy takes us through her experience from pregnancy to now with her child, Benjamin. I hope hearing Amy’s journey will help spark ideas and inspiration for you and your family.

If you’re a parent or caretaker and you’re interested in sharing your experience with us on the podcast, please fill out our form here and we read them all and you will always hear back from us. We look forward to sharing your story too!

I hope you enjoy this interview with Amy!

Things You Will Learn
  • Amy’s story from pregnancy to early childhood with her son, Benjamin
  • The different therapies and avenues she went through with him
  • A helpful turning point in Benjamin’s story
  • Her thoughts and what she wishes she would’ve done differently throughout the process
  • How she helps other moms and children now
  • And much more…

Show Notes

  • The early stages with Amy’s son, Benjamin, when she knew something was going on. (3:27)
  • How Benjamin is doing now. (13:18)
  • The steps Amy decided to make with her son. (17:27)
  • The parts of feeding therapy that Amy incorporated. (20:14)
  • The turning point in Benjamin's story. (24:30)
  • What Amy wishes she knew from the beginning that she knows now. (28:15)
  • What Amy and her family are doing now. (32:00)

Resources and Links

Amy’s website: Good Life Architect

Amy’s Facebook


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The Parent Perspective: Dana Latter


More About Amy Taft

Amy Taft is a homeschooling mom of three active kids, a former elementary school teacher, retired high school field hockey coach, and now committed holistic practitioner and dedicated advocate for children’s health. She enjoys asking, and being asked, hard questions, learning new skills, nourishing family and friends with nutritious and delicious home-cooked meals, and taking long reflective walks alone in the woods. A recent addition to her passions is homesteading and pursuing a more intentional and self-sufficient lifestyle.

Amy began pursuing this path of holistic wellness when conventional medicine and all the “experts” couldn’t provide the answers she needed to help heal her second child, who was born with a number of puzzling health challenges. Making many important discoveries along this journey, she feels compelled to implement what she learns to help others heal their bodies and minds, including her own. For almost a decade, she has been educating herself in the area of ancestral health, functional medicine, and whole food nutrition – reading books, attending seminars, seeking additional training and certifications from reputable cutting-edge programs, and learning from the personal experiences and professional expertise of others. She is passionate about the healing power of real food and the benefits of living in alignment with our God-given human biology. Her heart is helping families, and especially moms, discover their untapped potential for health and vitality, so they can then nurture and help heal their children, who are our future.

Amy has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Virginia and is certified as a Primal Health Coach, Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Functional Hormone Specialist, and Functional Blood Chemistry Specialist. Always on the lookout for the next opportunity to acquire and apply new understanding, she is a life-long learner who is continuously amazed at the divine complexity and innate wisdom of the human body.

[00:00:00] Tara Hunkin: This is My Child Will Thrive and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin nutritional therapy practitioner, certified GAPs practitioner, restorative wellness practitioner, and mother. I'm thrilled to share with you the latest information, tips, resources, and tools to help you on the path to recovery for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, or learning disabilities.
[00:00:23] My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on research I can dig into and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed, trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey. A quick disclaimer, before we get started.
[00:00:46] My Child Will Thrive is not a substitute for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. The information provided on this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat your child. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before implementing any information or treatments that you have learned about on this podcast. There are many gifted, passionate, and knowledgeable practitioners with hundreds if not thousands of hours of study and clinical experience available to help guide you.
[00:01:17] Part of our goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to effectively advocate for your child so that you don't blend to implement each new treatment that comes along. No one knows your child better than you. No one knows your child's history like you do or can better judge what is normal or abnormal for your child. The greatest success in recovery comes from the parent being informed and asking the right questions and making the best decisions for their child in coordination with a team of qualified practitioners in different areas of specialty. Today's podcast is sponsored by the Autism,
[00:01:49] ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. In order to learn more about the summit and to sign up for free, please go to mychildwillthrive.com/summit.
[00:01:59] Tara Hunkin: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I want to welcome you to another episode of the parent perspective and I have with me today,
[00:02:17] Amy Taft. Amy is a homeschooling mom of three active kids, a former elementary school teacher, retired high school field hockey coach, and now a committed holistic practitioner dedicated for advocating for children's health. She enjoys asking and being asked the hard questions learning new skills and nourishing family and friends with nutritious and delicious home cooked meals and taking long reflective walks alone in the woods. a recent addition to her passions is homesteading and pursuing a more intentional and self sufficient lifestyle. and think have many things in common. So I'm really excited to be able to talk to you today, Amy, and get you to bring your story of your journey with your children or your one child in particular to the audience, because I think they can learn a lot from what you and your family have been through.
[00:03:11] Amy Taft: Thank you, Tara. Happy to be here and happy to share my story.
[00:03:15] Tara Hunkin: let's get right into it. So why don't you start by sharing with us a little bit more about why you came to the work that you do today the journey you went through with your son in particular?
[00:03:27] Amy Taft: Sure. I think I've always been interested in health and nutrition.
[00:03:32] I just didn't really understand what that truly was until a few years ago, but it was really with the birth of my second child. I have a daughter who's now 12 and my son is 10. And when I was pregnant with him, I was advanced maternal age. I was 37 when I got pregnant with him and so that of course sends you down this track with medical professionals as to what they require.
[00:03:53] And so part of that was meeting with a high risk doctor who runs lots of tests and they're basically looking for something to be wrong with your pregnancy and something to be wrong with your child. So I was used to that. I had gone through that with my first child. And so it didn't really concern me too much except that after one particular visit,
[00:04:11] they seemed excessively concerned and made like a big to-do about it and wanted me to come back very soon. And they mentioned a few things that I had heard before, and didn't really concern me, but long story short at about halfway through my pregnancy, maybe a little bit over halfway, they said we are doing scans and we can't find this particular brain part. Going back in my memory,
[00:04:35] I'm having a hard time remembering what it was. I want to say it was the cerebellum, but there was definitely something that they could not find in the scans and scared me very much. They gave me a lot of options at that point. Do you want to continue in the pregnancy? Do you want to do genetic testing?
[00:04:50] All those sorts of things. So very emotionally traumatic and not something as a pregnant mom that you're ready to hear. So I spent the rest of that pregnancy, like wondering, worrying, having a lot of anxiety, going to happen with this child, but I just decided to just trust the process and see what would happen. And when he was born,
[00:05:09] he was beautiful. There was nothing difficult about the pregnancy, nothing especially difficult about his delivery. And I thought, gosh, what are those doctors know, look at this. I have this beautiful baby boy and he's perfect. He's absolutely perfect. And so a lot of their fears that they instilled in me, out of my head, as I was caring for him.
[00:05:26] And it wasn't really until maybe about nine, six to nine when we started to notice he wasn't meeting milestones. My mother-in-law would say, hey, is he rolling over yet? I'm like, actually, no, he's not. And he's sitting up, actually no, he's not. And a friend of mine who has children about the same age, as I remember her one day specifically holding him.
[00:05:44] And she says, gosh, Amy, he's so squishy. And she said it in a very loving, motherly kind of way, but it really stuck with me. I'm like, there was no like tone and the way that he moved his body. we were going back and forth with the pediatrician. And at one point she said, done some labs and the only thing I can think of is that he seems to be subclinical hypothyroid. And at that stage in my life, I had no idea what that meant. I barely knew what the thyroid was, where it was located, what it did, but she said we could try medication. He wasn't even a year old at this point.
[00:06:17] She said we could try and it probably won't hurt anything and it could possibly help. So we decided to move forward with that and within about three weeks, we noticed a significant difference just in terms of his like better eye contact. Just seem more alert, more, just happier and more present in his life, you can be that way as a infant. So that was something that gave us some hope, but there were still a lot of other areas where it was very concerning. Again, the milestones not being met, eventually he was diagnosed with global developmental delay. So delays in every area of his life. I'm sure you're very familiar with the term. so developmentally he was behind, his speech, his self care,
[00:06:58] his eating abilities. So we began a whole bunch of interventions, therapy. And everybody told me the sooner you start, the better the outcome be. So we did all the things that I could possibly do. So he was in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and then probably the most traumatic one was eating therapy or feeding therapy. We had to drive an hour to get there.
[00:07:20] I had a toddler, I was pregnant with my third baby, dragging him to these sessions that he absolutely hated, just hated, would cry almost the entire time. They had him strapped in a highchair and they were like force feeding almost, Cheetos and all sorts of just junk food. And they're like, these are highly palatable snacks that kids just love
[00:07:42] and these are really successful with us. And there was one day in particular, it was a very hectic morning as a new mom with lots of little children and a husband who travels and we drove the hour to get there. And within the first 10 minutes, Benjamin made it clear that he wanted no part of what they were going to be doing that day and just down.
[00:07:59] And I was melting down and they said, you know what? We're just going to cancel today's session. And I was like, oh my gosh, like I just got up at whatever o'clock this morning to get all my children here and it was just very demoralizing and discouraging. So I lasted in that particular therapy a year exactly a year. And that's all I could take. And I just felt like this is not right. There's something about this that can't be good for my son. He hates it. I hate it. They're feeding him like junk food. So that kind of began to encourage me there's gotta be a better way. There's gotta be something else that we don't know about yet. the other major problem that he was having at this time was constipation, constipation, like seven, 10 days with no bowel movement. And I remember one day in particular, it was always when I by myself, my husband was never home when these sorts of things happen, but I was changing a diaper and he just, the bowel movement was just excessive and ongoing. And his bowel was literally inverted. They came outside of him and I could see them
[00:08:56] and of course, very frightening for a mom. And he was an obvious pain and distress. And I remember taking him to the doctor to explain what had happened and they said, oh, that's a no big deal. And he gave me like the technical term for it. I don't even remember what he said. He that's not a big deal.
[00:09:12] And they put them on the magnesia. He uses this as many times a day as you need to put it in his bottle, that sort of thing. And I was like, just your mom heart and your mom brain says, this is not right. Who else can help me? Where else can I go to get answers?
[00:09:27] And it was really by the grace of God my sister-in-law said, have you ever tried dairy free? And I was like, dairy free. Like, why would I do that? That's like the one thing consume right now is cows milk. He was over a year old at this point. So I was like, I'm not sure how I would possibly do that,
[00:09:42] but we eventually moved in that direction and saw some progress. stop me. Cause I can go on and on, but stop me the beginning of the process. So later on more diagnoses were added. So global developmental delay, hypotonia, which of course is low muscle tone, and then a little bit later as he got older,
[00:10:00] a proxy of speech, and then we've since added another one to that. think he has a growth hormone deficiency that we've just discovered recently, did the stim test for that. So it was just a lot for a mom to handle and not feeling like you could get answers. I'm definitely a why person, why is this happening to my son?
[00:10:18] Why is this happening to our family? Did I cause this somehow? cCould I have prevented it somehow? So it's just very lonely. And of course comparison, seeing my friend's children. And they're like, oh, Benjamin's not walking yet. How old is he? I'm like, he's getting closer. Like he has some delays and you are just searching for words to explain why they're at,
[00:10:39] where they're at. And then people get uncomfortable and feel embarrassed and then you feel embarrassed. So it was just a lot of really difficult feelings to navigate so that's the beginning of the story. That's what catapulted me into this whole realm of health and nutrition and functional wellness.
[00:10:56] Tara Hunkin: Yeah. Like I said, we have lot of similarities in our stories in terms of how we ended up there. I can completely relate to the whole why thing. went through the same thing and hear it from other parents all the time and that's why we tell them to follow your gut instincts because no one spends as much time with your child as we do. And when you're in an office and you don't feel like you're being heard you can't imagine that,
[00:11:23] and especially with the gut health things, normalization of children's poor gut health and digestive problems just terrible terms of that is the common term. And understand in terms of what's being taught in traditional medicine, and these are the things, the way that they've been taught to handle digestive issues or gut health issues. So they really do believe that those are the only options that are out there.
[00:11:52] But when can't from a common sense perspective, understand why we wouldn't be looking at why are we having these problems? It's not the diagnosis of some kind of developmental delay that causes it. have some motility problems. So why are we having motility problems and what can we do to do that as opposed to just putting them on things like milk of magnesia or MiraLax or in Canada,
[00:12:17] it's called Resoralax, so same story. It's just, it is really sad when hear that and that's what so many of us were up against in those early stages. very much for telling all that, because it is really helpful to hear all the different feelings and I'm sure you reflect back on it too,
[00:12:35] just like I did. When you realized how stressed you were during your pregnancy, how that just further impacts when things might not be going well to begin with. going to have an impact also the health and development, and people can tell you not to stress all they want, but when the doctors have told you something that's stressing you out, it's pretty hard not difficult not to wonder all of those things. So you've given a pretty clear picture of what were dealing with in the very beginning with your son. Maybe just let's talk about where he is now, then what happened in between. So that journey of where, how you got to where you are now.
[00:13:18] So how he doing right now at the age of 10.
[00:13:21] Amy Taft: He's doing so fabulously and he's just a happy, funny, goofy kid. He loves to play Legos. He's a fabulous reader, just a silly kind of kid. He likes to crack jokes and that sort of thing, he's become a great sleeper,
[00:13:38] which was not the case when he was a toddler, of course. I felt like I was waking every hour to 90 minutes with him when he was a newborn and into those early years, now he sleeps great. He has friends. Up until a few years ago, he attended public school and then after COVID, we decided to homeschool.
[00:13:55] So that has just given me a whole new perspective on his learning style and his capabilities and what he needs to be able to be successful. But I think that one of the biggest blessings is Benjamin is just happy and he's just happy to be here. That's what my husband always says. Benjamin is just happy to be here and he doesn't really notice his difficulties.
[00:14:12] He doesn't notice his speech challenges. He doesn't notice that he can't do all the same things that some of his same age peers can do. He just enjoys the things that he loves and he doesn't really notice anything about himself that's different. So that's been a real blessing and we've also thankfully been around families who the children are very supportive and they love Benjamin and they think he's fun.
[00:14:33] They don't tease him or isolate him in any way, which as an elementary school teacher, I know just what a blessing that is because you see a lot of that happening with school aged kids. So thankfully he's just had a wonderful group of peers and other adults in his life that had been encouraging and supportive and just love him for who he is. trying to think what else. We have noticed academically math is a big struggle point for him. Like anything that requires a lot of memorization, just the concepts that you feel like he should have by now, have grasped by now, he just doesn't get it. Like he still uses a number line to count. Like just simple, like two-plus one,
[00:15:07] he'll have to use his ruler to count up a spot, but when it comes to reading or just being imaginative or building things, he just excels. So it's something I always point out to his siblings. I'm like, you're wonderful soccer and this, and she's wonderful at this and Benjamin really thrives at being creative and building and he's just sweet.
[00:15:27] He's a sweet little boy and I think everyone who's ever taught him or worked with him. They said, he's just a sweetheart, we just love Benjamin. In that sense it's been just a blessing for me just to see, he's not typical like in air quotes, typical, but he's perfect and he's happy that way, the way that he is. I think thoughts now are as long as he's happy and he's healthy and he's progressing and he's learning and he's enjoying his life, that's really what I'm focused on. I'm not focused on making him just everybody else, like sort of mentality died a few years ago. Like I'm just going to let Benjamin be Benjamin and just support him and all the things that he loves and enjoys.
[00:16:02] Tara Hunkin: That's amazing. I think that too, to me, that when we talk about recovery, recovery means different things to every child and thriving is different things to every child and it's about making their lives the best life possible for them under their circumstances and reaching their potential. I think you and I share the same philosophy. We're not looking at,
[00:16:26] you're clearly not looking to change him because he's a wonderful kid. don't want to change their personalities. We don't want to change. We just want them to be happy and therefore thriving. So what are the steps that you did take? So once went through the whole, obviously, and continue to do that, and I think it is a balance between traditional medicine and holistic is true and integrative approach.
[00:16:47] So once you identified these things, you started to look at those root causes, what decisions did you make in terms of the steps you were going to take to go off that path of what you had been recommended that point and why?
[00:16:59] Amy Taft: I think when I started to get more in tune with the functional medical world and just learning that there were alternative options,
[00:17:07] I began to seek those who specialize in thyroid because I thought that was like the primary diagnosis that we had received. And I wanted to understand like what caused that? What was impetus that made his thyroid not work properly? And it's unusual that it's brought me down this path and just illuminated so many other areas. We didn't know my husband
[00:17:27] has Hashimoto's and probably has for most of his life,. His mother, his sister. And just going back to my pregnancy with Benjamin, there were a lot of other stressors, unfortunately, in addition to his diagnosis at the time that I was undergoing so just understanding how that played into everything. I did seek out some thyroid specialists and sometimes the information can be overwhelming because the thyroid very complicated and unless you're really in it to understand all the intricacies of that process can be overwhelming,
[00:17:56] but it eventually led me to a functional doctor in Charlottesville that we still use. I've used them personally. And my husband uses them. My mom, like spread him out all my friends and family, he just gave a much more personalized approach and tried to get dosages of the T4 and the T3 just right, because for a long time he was only taking T4.
[00:18:14] That's all I knew of and didn't realize there was this other option. things weren't progressing that you could add that in. So we did add that as well. Continued on with speech therapy. He still does speech therapy during the school year. We take the summers off, but we did reach a point with the therapies, especially when he was little like around three or four,
[00:18:31] I'm like, I just, I can't do this every day. Literally every day of the week, we were going to a therapy and dragging along two other children and trying to entertain them while he was doing his thing. And I said, this is not adding to his quality of life. It's not adding to our quality of life as a family. So we started just to back off on some things,
[00:18:48] the first of which was the feeding therapy, obviously I'm like, I'm just gonna try some of my things and work with him at home, which ended up being extremely, just, we made a lot of progress that way. did early intervention through the school system. So he was in preschool. I think it was like two and a half or three
[00:19:03] he started with like just a couple hours each morning. so he was stimulated and exposed to new and wonderful things and was getting out of my purview for a few hours each day, which was really healthy for me as a mom, just needing some time for myself as well. trying to think what else. Yeah. I think my husband,
[00:19:23] I should praise my husband for a bit. He was always wonderful to include Benjamin in all the outings. So my daughter who was very agile and athletic and very confident, he decided to take her rock wall climbing, the rock climbing that you can do inside. And he's I'm taking Benjamin, of course he's coming and they put the little harness on him and he wouldn't crawl as fast or as high,
[00:19:43] but he did everything his sister did. And so I really credit my husband a lot with that. He would just bring him along and he had them do as much as he could do. He tires really easily even to this day. So when he was little, there was always a backpack and stick them in the backpack when he wears out. But we just included him in everything, which I think has been to his benefit.
[00:20:03] Tara Hunkin: Yeah. completely see why that would be really helpful. Let's talk a little bit about the feeding therapy. So like you said, one of the things you did and not because I know nutrition has played a huge role in what you've done with your son as well. So talk to us about what you did and
[00:20:20] how it differed from what the traditional feeding therapist was doing with them, or what parts did you incorporate do at home?
[00:20:29] Amy Taft: Yeah. can certainly share what I did. I don't know that all of it was right, like the right way to do things, but it was what I struggled through. So we definitely observed that he was much more receptive of foods if he was distracted.
[00:20:42] So mealtimes became like the horse and pony show. Literally I had my husband in back of me, like with toys and ringing this and tapping that, which would distract Benjamin enough so that I could just kind of feed things into his mouth while he was distracted. So there was a lot of that going on. We always would feed the kids first because it did very often get to be very emotional and traumatic when things are not going the way that you want
[00:21:05] and he starts crying and I'm at the end of my wits. So we would always take care of him first and separately and then the rest of us sit down for a meal. But I definitely did not do any of the Cheetos and Doritos and all that snack food. There was just something, even though I didn't know a lot about nutrition, I knew that much. Okay. I'm not going to feed my kid junk food. So we worked a lot with apples. He loved apples, which they kept warning me about because they said it was a choking hazard and they didn't think he knew how to chew, which I don't think he ever really struggled with chewing. He was more of a textural sort of thing. So I worked with the foods that he liked and for a long time,
[00:21:38] it was literally like a small bubble of foods that we would rotate through. once I realized this is a marathon, this is not something we're going to fix in a short amount of time. Once I made peace with that, I said, all right, we're just going to try to one new food into this month or this week or in the next few months.
[00:21:56] And just slowly started to introduce new foods. It was very hard when you have a child who is almost non-verbal at that point and you can't really explain a lot about what you're trying to accomplish and need this to make you healthy and strong? There was not that sort of recognition at that age, but once he started to understand and we could reason a little bit with him,
[00:22:16] then I began to push a little harder because I think one of the mistakes that we can make as parents is we label our kids. He's our picky eater. He's the one who won't try new things and kids hear this and they internalize it and then they just give you what you expect from them. So I started to change the words that I use about he ate and just change his perspective.
[00:22:36] I'm like Benjamin, you are such an adventurous kid. like to try new things and so today, look, we're going to try, we're just going to touch this today. And just using some teaching skills, like as a teacher, trying to get them engaged, involved, and not putting a lot of pressure on his performance. If he ate it wonderful.
[00:22:53] But if he just touched it or allowed it to be on his plate, or I had all three kids together and we made a skeleton, a human skeleton out of all different kinds of foods and they could build it however they wanted. So there were carrots and celery sticks and blueberries and popcorn and just all these different things. And he was touching them and engaging with them and playing with them,
[00:23:12] but it was to eat it, no pressure to put it in your mouth. So just things like that, I just realized this is going to be a game with slow progress, but now he's an amazing eater. There are still a few things, he turns his nose up at, but not any different than typical kid would be, but he eats basically all the foods I put on his plate. They're all whole foods, very little processed ingredients. He does have an occasional Popsicle and that sort of thing, but has just come so far. And my husband and I every now and then have to remind each other, just think back when all he ate was eggs, cow's milk, apples,
[00:23:46] and bacon. I think it was like, that was the, his circle of safe foods and we've just come incredibly far since then.
[00:23:55] Tara Hunkin: Yeah. is so important to do that, especially when you see how much more work. Sometimes we feel like we need to do to help our kids all the gains,
[00:24:07] instead of all the gaps that we're still waiting to fill really important because we forget much work has been done and how well they're doing sometimes when they're still struggling with some other things. I think that's really good insight on that. Is there one thing in particular that you feel you did with your son, that was the turning point why would you say.
[00:24:30] Amy Taft: One thing that just popped into my mind was swimming. It was really important for us, for all three of our kids to learn how to swim. The pool that we were using at the time was the local YMCA and all they had was a very deep end, there was no shallow end. There was no place where the kids could walk or be waist high or knee-high was just,
[00:24:48] you're immediately in deep water. And so Benjamin was just, he loved to be in the water, but he wanted no part of going under the water or holding his breath. And we tried a swim coach, my husband tried, I tried and he just was frightened of that whole thing. And then this whole new world opened up when we joined a local pool that had a ginormous shallow end for him.
[00:25:11] There was a separate infant pool, which kind of gave him some confidence, but then there was this other kind of next level up where he could walk and on his own like dunk and put his head under water and stand back up. And there were steps to play on and handle the hold onto. And within two days he was swimming like a fish,
[00:25:28] like underwater, not a problem. And that is just, he's not especially athletic. He doesn't really love group things. Groups really overwhelm him. So like soccer and all that sort of thing, just never worked, but swimming, he can do by himself. And it just gave him such confidence that he could swim like his sister. He eventually went off the diving board and he shows me his pencil dive and all his little special tricks that he does.
[00:25:53] So it wasn't something we did intentionally, it just into our laps, but I think that was a huge turning point in terms of his confidence and his understanding like, I can learn to do new things and I can overcome these fears that I have. just to see him now with his little goggles swimming across the deep end and doing all the things
[00:26:10] other kids, and sometimes kids older than him, won't do what he's doing. So that's just really exciting for him to see that fits in if that's the goal. I don't know if that's the goal, but that he has lots of talents and abilities and the ability to learn.
[00:26:25] Tara Hunkin: That is so important for them to feel like though they're part of their community in terms of,
[00:26:32] so fitting in can mean a lot of different things in terms of how we look at it. Doing those types of things too really important. I think a lot of times when we're so focused on treatments and therapies, we don't think about the things that well, like what you described your husband did in terms of taking him with him when he took your daughter climbing because all of those movements and engagement of the different muscle groups in terms of the shoulders and the core and everything else are going to help with the neuro-development so much more than just doing some kind of therapy,
[00:27:12] because the more often they're doing it, better. Same thing with the swimming. So I think what's really important is for people to realize that there are times at which one get overwhelmed with all the therapies, but then we really need to find a way to bring the pieces of what the therapy is just regular everyday life so they don't feel like also that all they do is go to therapy or all they're doing is working.
[00:27:36] And we went through that too, and it's hard, but you have to find that one thing for your child that helps them do that. For our daughter was horseback riding and she continues to do that and that's her passion to this day. And we're very fortunate that she was able to do that. But I think that's a really important point.
[00:27:55] And a lot of times people say that one thing was this diet or this other thing, but sometimes we forget that it's the everyday things that we do that might make all the difference in the world. If you could go back all do this now, go back and say to yourself, what do you wish you knew from the beginning that you know now,
[00:28:16] and want to share because I know you continue to do work in this area. What are those important or the most important mindset or thing that you tell people now, when you start working with them that you wish you knew at the very beginning of yourself.
[00:28:32] Amy Taft: Gosh, there's so many things, obviously diet is just so paramount to the success of our children,
[00:28:37] especially when they have these challenges. talked about swimming, but certainly diet was something that we got strict very quickly on that. And I think now he's 10, we've loosened the reins a little bit, he gets a cheese stick, occasionally sort of thing, but diet was a huge piece of it. But also one thing I wish I had known more of about at that time,
[00:28:55] and I knew a little bit was the v@ccinations what impact that might've had on his health. And the other piece of Benjamin's health history that I forgot to mention was when he was 11 days old, he got very listless and stopped eating and just, I could tell something was not right. He was just very fatigued and just limp and took into the hospital where he was there for over a week.
[00:29:18] And all we ever learned from that was that he had what they called was an unknown blood infection. And that was the only explanation that we ever had and that was after a spinal tap on my newborn baby, like my sweet little boy, getting a spinal tap and all those sorts of things. that was the only explanation which I accepted at the time
[00:29:37] because I didn't know any better. And then when he was two or three, I can't remember, the same thing happened again, exact same scenario, exact same diagnosis. It was a unknown blood infection. And just in the past year, I've been thinking back and I said, it's so odd that both of those events happened right after a birthday,
[00:29:58] like the first one literally after his birth, but then the second time it happened was after his birthday. And I'm wondering now, was there something related to the v@ccine schedule? Was that a reaction to that? And would they be afraid or unwilling to tell me that was a possible cause? So I wish I had known more about that and my rights as a parent to decline certain v@ccinations, I haven't gone too far down that rabbit hole since just because I feel like you can't undo what's been done, but we can choose better in the future. So that's definitely impacted our thoughts about just medication in general. Certainly he's on thyroid medication and has been since he was a year old so we know that there's a place for conventional medicine and going through the growth hormone therapy possibly in the next several years.
[00:30:41] We know that can greatly improve his quality of life, but then other areas where we're pretty firm and pretty strict about, no, we're not doing this and we're not going to do that and this doesn't feel right for our family. So I wish I had felt more empowered as a younger mom, just to speak up for myself, to speak up for him,
[00:30:58] to advocate for him. I tried at that point, I did try back then, but I just didn't know enough and didn't have enough self-confidence. And doctors as can be very intimidating and very brusk and can be very dismissive if you don't follow what they say. You can't be a patient here, if you don't follow this v@ccination schedule, we can't see you here,
[00:31:15] which is very concerning. You're like, do I go? So I just think just to let parents know that there are other options and there are other avenues of caring for your child in a way that's appropriate and responsible, but that also fits your values and your beliefs and just the way that you would like to live in the future you want for your child.
[00:31:35] Tara Hunkin: Yeah. I think it is really important that we like it's about the personalization of medicine, I think, is that we are looking at each individual as their own set of circumstances and applying them and like you said, people feeling comfortable advocating for themselves without feeling like they're going to be abandoned if they don't do everything that they're being asked of that particular physician,
[00:31:59] when they're with them. What you doing now? So I know obviously you are a mom and you are continuing to support your son, but what are you doing now to help others that are going through similar circumstances to your families that they've gone for?
[00:32:14] Amy Taft: Yeah. So in the past few years I've pursued a few different certifications.
[00:32:18] The first one was primal health coaching, which the way that I explain that to people is just teaching us how to be human again, and like how to be in the sunlight and stress manage and move our bodies and eat real food. And I love the nutrition piece of that so much that I went on to the NTA, the nutritional therapy association and got that,
[00:32:35] which I loved. It was just, just blew my mind how powerful food is. And then after that I did a functional blood chemistry, which is basically when you get the labs, I now know what all those little acronyms mean and how they're related and how it relates to nutrition. I can't diagnose obviously or treat anybody, but I can at least say, gosh, we could probably get some more like beets and beet greens into your diet to help this issue that you're having or there's issues here that maybe suggest that you're deficient in iron? that just brought my understanding to a whole new level. And then most recently I did a functional hormone certification working specifically with women and their hormones, but my passion still is working with children.
[00:33:15] I've been a teacher, a coach, now a mom, homeschooling mom. And that's really the niche that I would like to fill because I just see so many children who are unwell more and more going on medication and more and more dealing with weight issues and that sort of thing. So I was trying to reach that population, but what you quickly realize is you can't reach the children until you have the mom's attention. So I found really where I've tried to focus is reaching out to moms and helping them with their own health because that's the same journey that I went through. I was so focused on my son and helping him and doing what was best for him that I neglected myself and let a lot of things get too far where I was trying to heal two people at once,
[00:33:56] which is difficult to do. So helping moms understand that until they are taking care of themselves and they have a sense of I'm whole, I know how to fuel my body appropriately. I know how to care for my body with good rest. Those are the sorts of people that I'm working with now and then as I work with them, I start to nudge them a little bit and be like,
[00:34:14] you know what we're doing with you, you could also do with child and those behavior issues that you see, it could be related to the breakfast that you're feeding him or her. So it's getting a two for one, starting with the moms and getting them to a place of confidence and then helping them work with their children. But it's slow work.
[00:34:32] I have to say, it's difficult to get people to commit to what seems like such a drastic change. So I just not having a lot of time right now with homeschooling three children. I just do what I can. I do some restart classes if you're familiar with that do those when I have time in my schedule. I've taken on a few one-on-one clients. My first client was actually a 12 year old boy which was really exciting and just amazingly successful. He was on his way to fatty liver disease and terribly overweight and just very unhappy in his life and just the transformation was amazing in a year's time. But since then, it's been mostly moms and getting them to a place of wholeness. So that's where I'm focusing now.
[00:35:10] And very excited to launch a new website here shortly, where I'm really, it's call to action to moms because I really feel passionately that if moms don't take up this role, nobody's going to do it. The schools are not teaching our kids. The churches are not teaching them. The sports coaches are not, the club teachers are not either so it's really got to happen in the home with a mom and just one family at a time just revamping diet, revamping lifestyle, and us back to being the resilient humans that were supposed to be.
[00:35:40] Tara Hunkin: Yeah, that sounds wonderful. It's great work that you're going to be doing. so just so everybody knows that if you go to the show notes, you can find a link to Amy's website, the good life architect. I love the name.
[00:35:54] It's wonderful. And she has also a Facebook page under a good life architect as well. Make sure that you go there and follow what Amy is doing so that you can get more insights from all the studies that you've had as well as your life experience with your family and in all the other work that you've done over the years. I want to thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your family's story
[00:36:19] and I hope this story helps other families out there too. I'm sure it will. And what encourage other parents, if you're listening to the podcast and you have a story to share, we would love to have you here on the My Child Will Thrive Podcast, The Parent Perspective. So make sure you reach out to us here at, you can email us at [email protected] if you're interested in joining us here as a guest.If you enjoyed this episode, I really encourage you to subscribe to the podcast and review it so that it is shared then with more families like ours, so more people can learn about what their options are for their children so they can thrive, too. Thanks again, Amy for joining
[00:37:03] Amy Taft: me. Thank you, Tara. I just love your community and the way that you support one another so thanks again.
[00:37:11] Tara Hunkin: So that's a wrap. Thanks for joining me this week on My Child Will Thrive. I'm so passionate about giving you the tools and information you need to help your child recover. And as they say,
[00:37:21] it takes a village. So join us in the My Child Will Thrive Village Facebook group, where you can meet like-minded parents and stay up to date on everything we have going on at My Child Will Thrive. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com.

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