Tara Hunkin

FOUNDER OF MY CHILD WILL THRIVE AND THE AUTISM, ADHD, SPD SUMMIT

I’m Tara Hunkin, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified GAPS Practitioner, Restorative Wellness Practitioner, mother, and founder of My Child Will Thrive. I am passionate about helping parents like you because I have been in your shoes. My Child Will Thrive is the resource I wish I had found years ago.

When my daughter was very young, I knew in my gut that something was wrong. After a high-risk pregnancy and challenging delivery, my daughter was born healthy by traditional standards. Difficulty sleeping, multiple rounds of antibiotics (first from me via breast milk and later because of ear and urinary tract infections) and digestive issues once solid foods were introduced would have been early red-flag triggers that, had I known, I could have addressed differently. When my daughter missed several developmental milestones, I began to worry.

Doctor visits left me with more questions than answers, and I soon realized that it was up to me to figure out how to get her the help she needed. While my daughter exhibited many signs and symptoms of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, she rarely “fit” into the perfect criteria for an official diagnosis. As a result, I had to put together many puzzle pieces in order to get my daughter the therapies and treatment she required.

There were many stumbling blocks. Conventional medicine is highly focused on diagnosis-based treatments, most of which are behavioral in nature or in my daughter’s case speech and occupational therapy. It was only much later that I learned the value of looking beyond a diagnosis to find root causes and triggers that can contribute to the atypical behaviors and symptoms my daughter displayed.

If only I knew then what I know now.

After 11 years — and counting — researching, applying therapies and techniques, succeeding and learning from mistakes, the journey to recover my daughter from multiple neurodevelopmental disorders (dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, general learning disability, dyslexia, auditory processing disorder…) has been an eye-opening, soul-searching, sometimes lonely trip.

I went with no regrets from a life in finance as a chartered accountant to that of a mother, student, and practitioner, learning all that I could about how to help my daughter. I pursued an education in nutrition with the Nutritional Therapy Association (my NTP certification), trained with Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD as a Certified GAPS Practitioner (CGP), and took an intensive course that incorporated functional nutrition testing that added the credential RWP (Restorative Wellness Practitioner) to my name. Currently, I am in the process of completing two courses by Julie Matthews, CN with the Bioindividual Nutrition Institute to deepen my understanding of the host of ways nutrition can be used to recover our children, taking into consideration their individualized needs.

My most important credential, however, is my MOM certification — that’s right, being a mom! That experience has taught me more than any course could. All combined, my training has paid off. My daughter is continuously improving step by step as we address each root cause. Although we still have work to do, she is thriving at home and school and able to pursue the activity she loves most — horseback riding.

My learning never ends. Whether formally, through courses and conferences, or informally, by reading, listening and research, I am on a mission to transform what I’ve learned into useful, practical solutions for parents who are where I was at the beginning of my journey — confused, determined, scared and hopeful.

Knowing more about your child’s health and the possible underlying causes is the key to finding the path to recovery. Envisioning your child’s total recovery (whatever that means to you) is, dare I say, a reasonable and necessary part of the process. Knowledge is power, hope is fuel.

At the end of the day, when your children are happy, healthy and THRIVING, that’s all that really matters.