End the overwhelm.

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

End the overwhelm.

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


Toolkit Tuesday: A Simple Tool to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Lab Tests

My Child Will Thrive Toolkit Lab Test Tracker

Lab tests are essential tools in determining the correct treatment path for our children. They can be expensive and invasive so we want to make sure when we do them that we are getting every little bit of value out of each one we do. In this Toolkit Tuesday podcast episode, we’ll be discussing the Lab Test Tracker, a simple tool that can help you save time, money and effort and maximize the usefulness of the lab tests you perform.

The Lab Test Tracker is one of the many tools found in the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit, which you can find for free inside the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit here.

The Toolkit includes:

  • Researched and field-tested guides, tracking tools, checklists and cheat sheets allow you to get to the root of what is causing your child's challenges. so that you don't waste time creating them yourself.
  • Videos to walk you through some of the more challenging topics you will need to learn to help identify what your child needs.
  • Using The My Child Will Thrive Toolkit gives you a head start so you can focus on what is most important – your child!

Lab tests can provide measurable and unique insights into your child’s health and are a very valuable tool when making decisions about what the next best steps are for your child’s treatment and therapy plan.

Keeping track of every test that is done for your child in one place helps you save repeating labs unnecessarily and it serves as both a tool to share with a new practitioner so they can tell you which labs they are interested in seeing and it can also keep track of when labs need to be repeated and more.

Watch, listen or read this week’s episode of the podcast to learn more about this simple but effective tool.

I recommend watching the video on this page below or on our YouTube Channel to see the tool as I walk you through it. I hope you enjoy this episode!

Things You Will Learn
  • What the free My Child Will Thrive Toolkit is.
  • What the RAIRE Method™ is and how tools like the Lab Test Tracker help you make the best decisions for your child with confidence and clarity.
  • How you can help practitioners you work with by using the Lab Test Tracker. 
  • How this tool can save you from repeating lab work unnecessarily.
  • How to access the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit for you and your child.
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

  • What the My Child Will Thrive Toolkit is (1:28)
  • What the RAIRE Method™ is and how the Lab Test Tracker fits into the RAIRE method™ (1:55)
  • How the Lab Test Tracker saves you time, and money and avoids unnecessary lab work (3:59)
  • How to use of the Lab Test Tracker helps when working with multiple practitioners to coordinate care better and minimize expenses (6:59)

Resources and Links

Sign up for the free My Child Will Thrive Toolkit

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00:01 Tara Hunkin:
This is the My Child Will Thrive podcast and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and mother. I am here to share with you the latest research expert advice, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing the health and development for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, learning disabilities,

or other neurodevelopmental disorders. 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, please keep in mind that the information provided is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your child and is not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. You can sign up for free to watch 10 days of expert interviews and masterclasses at mychildwillthrive.com/summit. Now on with the show.

01:24 Tara Hunkin:
Hello and welcome back to Toolkit Tuesday. What is Toolkit Tuesday? It's the day we share one of our tools or tools we love here at My Child Will Thrive. Today I'm gonna be sharing with you one of the tools that works with the RAIRE Method that is in the free toolkit, which you can find at mychildwillthrive.com/toolkit. But before we get to the tool,

I just wanna give you a little refresher on what the RAIRE method is and why I created it. So the RAIRE Method came out of the fact I was always falling down research rabbit holes. I'd often have at least 20 tabs or more open on my browser at a time. One article or blog post led to a new tab that led to another. I think you get the picture and I couldn't really blame Chrome for crashing on me all the time.

The endless cycle of new information fueled new research and sometimes impulse purchases of new tools or supplements or new tests I thought my child needed. Some of the new avenues would quickly get dropped, and others produced results, but there really wasn't a plan of attack for most of them. Once I understood the fundamentals of what was underlying the causes of my child's struggles, I knew I needed a system,

a system to plan, track and monitor what I was doing and why it was or wasn't working. Over time, I created tools and systems into what I now call the RAIRE method to manage my child's care. And then I used it with others as well. The RAIRE method is not rocket science, but it did help me gain confidence and clarity in my decisions of the next steps I should take and a way to evaluate what was working and what wasn't with my child.

03:33 Tara Hunkin:
So let's just take a really quick look at the RAIRE method itself. I'll just explain to you if you're watching this on YouTube or on a website, you can see a graphic of what the RAIRE method is and basically, it's an infinite loop. Now sometimes that overwhelms people in and of itself because they think. Where do we end? Well, it's just that we go through a cycle, an infinite cycle with our children in terms of how we work with them.

03:59 Tara Hunkin:
So the R in the RAIRE method, so RAIRE is an acronym R A I R E and each letter is one step in the process in that infinite loop. Step one is recording and the tool we're gonna be talking about today is actually part of that step one process of recording and we'll get to that in a minute.

04:19 Tara Hunkin:
Step two is analyzing. Step three, the I is for interpret. Now interpret the data that we recorded in step one and then we will take that interpretation to revise our plan that we're working on with our child. If this is the first time that you are creating a plan for your child, then you'd be obviously just starting to create that first plan from that interpretation of the data.

And then the E in RAIRE at the end is execute. So once we revise the plan, we then in step five execute that plan and then we loop back around to, as we're executing the R step one record, we're gonna keep recording that data so we have the best information possible to help make those decisions as we go through that loop again.

05:10 Tara Hunkin:
Very simple; five-step process. Within each of the steps as I mentioned before, we have tools that have been developed to help you through that step. So we have a number of tools in the record step, a lot of trackers, we've talked about those before on Toolkit Tuesday. And then we have tools and guides within and we use the tools in the record for analyzing and interpreting as well and a lot of guides for the interpretation step. Step four, revising. We have tools in there that you can use to then help you revise that plan and lay it out so that you're ready to execute again and guides to help with the execution of the plan.

05:49 Tara Hunkin:
So today we're gonna talk about, as I said, a simple tool, a very simple tool that's in step one of the RAIRE method, which is, is recording the vital data that we use in making decisions. And this tool is called the Lab Test Tracker. So as you can imagine, it helps us track all the lab tests that we're doing with our children. Take a lot of different lab tests with different types of practitioners over the years.

06:15 Tara Hunkin:
The idea the Lab Test Tracker is to ensure that not only are we making sure we're recording everything that we're doing, the types of tests that we're taking and getting copies of them, but we're also making sure that because lab tests can be so expensive, but they are very valuable data points for our practitioners and ourselves as we're making decisions, we wanna make sure that we're not repeating something we don't need to yet. We wanna make sure that if we are working with multiple practitioners at one particular point in time,

that we are able to share the information with them and ensure that they don't ask for the same test twice at the same time when there's a valid test that's still available for them to look at. So in the end, the Lab Test Tracker is going to save you time, money and also the struggle of getting them done. Some of the tests are more invasive than others and you really don't wanna have to do them unnecessarily with your children.

07:19 Tara Hunkin:
So let's take a look at what it actually looks like. And again, I'm gonna describe it for you. Those of you that are just listening on the podcast. So the Lab Test Tracker is really just a spreadsheet. So the first column is the test name. So you wanna be as specific as possible cuz this is gonna help you when you're working with other practitioners.

So you may be working with multiple practitioners that I mentioned at the same time and some of them or more than one of them might be skilled in in at looking at an interpreting lab test results and particularly the functional lab test that we typically have done for children. And if that's the case, you want to know specifically the test name that has been done and sometimes even the lab that performs it 'cause there are different labs that perform some of the functional tests and they're slightly different depending on who does it.

And so they can, you can say here's my list, this is what I've had done, would any of this information be helpful to you and what you're doing? An example of where you might have an overlap in practitioners that would—more than one practitioner looking at the same tests at the same time would be for example with a nutritionist that has functional testing training.

They will look at those tests to help you devise the right type of diet and protocols for your child. So they can take a look at those for those reasons. You may be working with somebody else as well the same time that can has is gonna be looking at other types of treatments and therapies with your children. That also would look like a naturopath or a functional medicine practitioner.

They'd be looking at other things in relation to those tests. So sometimes the lab tests can be used by more than one practitioner at the same time and obviously, you only wanna hop down them once in that same time period. The other thing is that we want to make sure that we're recording the date that the test was taken. So again that's because certain lab tests are only valid for a certain period of time and then they need to be repeated if they're going to be valid.

09:19 Tara Hunkin:
Most lab tests are a snapshot in time, so that is very relevant to the usefulness of the information as well. So we're gonna do that. Also, there are some tests that need to be repeated within a certain interval. So sometimes lab practitioners you work with will say, I'd like you to do this, this battery of tests. One of the questions you should be asking is,

one would be why, but also will this test need to be repeated in order for the information from even the first test to be valid? So for example, in order for a practitioner to measure whether or not the treatment or the therapy or treatment or the protocol that they're putting them on has worked or needs to be tweaked, they may say that they need to take that test again in three months' time.

10:11 Tara Hunkin:
You need to know that one so that you can budget for it. And two, so that you can set expectations for yourself and your child and make a decision before you even do test one that you are willing to do test two as well, like to repeat that test and you have the resources to do that as well. Date taken. Next column is ordering practitioner. Again, you're working typically with a team of practitioners, you just wanna keep track of who ordered that particular test.

10:36 Tara Hunkin:
The next column is checking off whether you received a copy of the results and you might wanna just stick the date in there in terms of when you received them. You always want to get a copy of your child's test results. It is the easiest way for you to be able to, one, you've paid for the test so you typically you've paid for the test, but even if you haven't, it's part of their medical record and you are going from practitioner to practitioner and in order to share this in a seamless way, you really need to be the keeper of all the results. Obviously, you're ordering practitioner will keep a copy as well,

but you should ask for a copy of your result, that way you can share them easily. The next column is, as I mentioned before, the date the lab should be repeated, so if it needs to be repeated, that date should go in there. And then the last column is notes. So you can take notes about pretty much anything why you're doing the test, which I always advise people to ask the question of why we don't wanna just do a test for no reason. We wanna know the reason that we're doing it.

11:35 Tara Hunkin:
And if you don't understand everything at this point in time, that's okay too. But sometimes jotting down why that particular practitioner ordered that particular test can be helpful when you're talking to another practitioner. So they might say,

oh, why are you doing that? And you can tell them without them having to actually talk to the other practitioner. So that note column is really for anything that helps you remember why you're doing something or when you're doing, maybe it might be what you need to do in terms of prepping for the test. It is a smaller column, but you can always scribble some notes on the back as well.

12:09 Tara Hunkin:
This tracker, most people will have several pages of this. We do a lot of tests with their kids over the years, so I typically would have the lab test tracker and then I have a binder with all the results in it. You can obviously store this digitally as well. You get to do whatever you prefer. You could use the Lab Test Tracker or a spreadsheet like this to do that and then have links to where your files are saved of all the scanned results as well.

I hope this tool is as much use to you as it has been to me and the people that I've worked with over the years and those that have downloaded it from the FREE Tool Kit. Again, you can see the video version of this podcast on YouTube or on our website at mychildwillthrive.com and you can find the Toolkit at mychildwillthrive.com/toolkit.

12:57 Tara Hunkin:
I hope this has been helpful to you and I look forward to sharing you more tools in the toolkit in the future. Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing and giving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next episode of the podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com where you can find many articles and the FREE My Child Will Thrive toolkit too.


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