#144 - Blymiller Update: FMT, PANDAS and Health & Wellness with Angela and Shawn

by Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L March 17, 2021

#144 - Blymiller Update: FMT, PANDAS and Health & Wellness with Angela and Shawn

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Blymiller Update: FMT, PANDAS and Health & Wellness with Angela and Shawn

Raising a child with Level 3 Autism and a combined diagnosis of PANDAS can be a sheer challenge for parent and child. 

Today we welcome back the Blymillers to find out how their family is doing. 

We first interviewed Angela and Shawn 122 episodes ago, and much has changed in the time since. 

In today’s show, we check in with these super-parents to find out how their 5½ -year-old boy, Theo, is responding to his various therapies, and to hear some of the lessons Angela and Shawn have learned. 

After a quick catch-up, we hear how Angela and Shawn have refined their priorities. They tell us how it has been important to make changes, and what has led them down a path of following intuition, rather than outward advice. 

Throughout the episode, we cover some of Theo’s most impactful therapies and why they’re so beneficial. We touch on chiropractic, listening programs, CBD, and revolutionary FMT therapy. Diving deeper, the Blymillers share what FMT therapy is and how it can create a healthier microbiome while protecting sufferers of PANDAS from flare-ups and infection. 

Further into the show, we ask the Blymillers to share details on their Pure Living Family brands, which include protein powders, magnesium, and vitamin D. They furnish us with pertinent information about the importance of proper binders, and how to detox your body effectively. 

To hear more about the Blymiller’s incredible journey, be sure to join us in this informative episode. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s guests, the Blymillers.
  • Catching up with Shawn and Angela - we ask our super secret questions.
  • Shawn and Angela give listeners a life update and how their child is doing.
  • Angela and Shawn tell us how they refined their priorities.
  • Why it has been important for the Blymillers to lean into their intuition.
  • We cover some of Theo’s therapies and how they have benefited him.
  • Hear the Blymiller’s background in FMT and their experiences with it.
  • How FMT has helped Theo’s journey with PANDAS.
  • What the symptoms of PANDAS are.
  • How an unfortunate car accident led to a regression in Theo’s immune health.
  • Angela and Shawn discuss their experiences with CBD.
  • Hear about the Blymiller’s protein powder and other Pure Living Family brands.
  • How Theo’s diagnosis has pushed his parents to live healthier lives.


“I would say, trusting ourselves has changed everything.” — Angela Blymiller[0:08:44]

“I think just lean into your intuition, because as a parent, a lot of times, we’re searching outward for answers. Angela and I have become more spiritual in a lot of senses, and God trusted us with this child and we need to trust our instincts.” — Shawn Blymiller[0:12:30]

“Even before I can help Theo, I have to be well myself or else, I’m not going to have the energy or capacity to serve.” — Shawn Blymiller[0:23:51]

“If you have a pediatrician that’s not willing to do what you want to do, go find a new pediatrician.” — Angela Blymiller[0:30:13]

“There are so many things that we have learned because of Theo’s special needs, and I feel like it has made us individually so much more empathetic and compassionate. And as a family, it’s strengthened us.” — Angela Blymiller[0:53:46]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Sensory Project Show Podcast

The Sensory Project on Facebook

The Sensory Project on Instagram


The Blymillers on email

Trader Joe’s 

Functional Medicine Coaching Academy

Brain Maker 

Pure Living Family Website 

Pure Living Family YouTube

The Institute for Functional Medicine 

Dr. Jason Klop

Dr. Armen Nikogosian

PANDAS Network

101 CBD

Hemp Health

Full Show Transcript

[00:00:00] RH: Hey, there. I’m Rachel.


[00:00:02] JH: And I’m Jessica and this is All Things Sensory by Harkla. Together, we’re on a mission to help children, families, therapists, and educators to live happy and healthy lives.


[00:00:11] RH: We dive in to all things sensory, special needs, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care and so much more. In each episode, we share raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies for everyone to implement into daily life.


[00:00:24] JH: Thank you so much for joining us.


[00:00:33] RH: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of All Things Sensory by Harkla. You’re listening to Rachel and Jessica. Who else would you be listening to at this time?


[00:00:43] JH: What episode is this?


[00:00:44] RH: 144.


[00:00:46] JH: Holy cow! Episode 144. Today, we’re going to have a conversation with the Blymiller’s, Angela and Shawn. We have previously this couple back in 2018.


[00:01:01] RH: Yeah. If you haven’t listened to their episode, number 20. Go back and listen to it, because it was one of our top downloaded episodes ever. Check that one out. We wanted kind of a refresher. We wanted an update. They’ve done a lot of cool things to help support Theo, their little boy, which is an awesome family.


[00:01:25] JH: They are. So this is a great conversation, you’re going to love it, so let’s jump in.




[00:00:58] RH: Hello, Angela and Shawn.


[00:01:33] AB: Hi.


[00:01:34] SB: Hello.


[00:01:34] JH: Rachel and I were just talking about how exciting this interview is for two reasons. One because you guys were our second interview ever on the podcast, but also because I actually am going to be part of the interview this time.


[00:01:50] RH: Yeah. Before we started this interview, we went back and listened to the beginning of our interview with you guys. I don’t know if you’ve listened to it in a while or ever.


[00:01:59] JH: Oh good.


[00:02:00] AB: Yeah, it has been a while.


[00:02:02] JH: Okay, good.


[00:02:03] RH: Yes. We are actually going to ask you the same secret questions as the last episode.


[00:02:09] JH: And then compare answers.


[00:02:11] RH: Yeah. So yeah, let’s do it.


[00:02:15] JH: Okay. The first question is, what is your favorite dessert?


[00:02:20] SB: We’re answering for our spouse, right? So I’m answering for Angela?


[00:02:23] JH: No. I think just answering for yourself on the first questions.


[00:02:27] AB: Okay. Ice cream for sure. Ice cream.


[00:02:31] JH: That’s what you said last time.


[00:02:34] SB: For snacks are liquorish. 


[00:02:36] RH: What?


[00:02:36] JH: Oh! All right. Candy, the candy.


[00:02:40] RH: Angela, last time we had our interview, you had just introduced me to the Trader Joe’s cookie butter ice cream.


[00:02:47] AB: Oh, yeah. So freaking good, still love it so much.


[00:02:51] RH: It’s so good.


[00:02:52] JH: What does your morning routine look like?


[00:02:55] AB: We both kind of have an intense morning routine. It’s like our only time to just knock out everything. We like to get to bed early, so that we can get up early. Shawn and I are both up about 5:30, and we both do separate work out. Sometimes he goes to play soccer. I will run and do some yoga. Then we both take time to meditate in the morning. Chug a ton of water, and our greens in the morning. Then the kids get up by 7:00, and then it’s just crazy from there.


[00:03:29] SB: [Inaudible 00:03:29] I completed my yoga 200 hours certification training. I do ton of yoga, so I’ll do yoga myself just two or three times a week in the morning at 6:00 AM. Then there’s the group here in Utah that — in the tech industry, all the guys get together for soccer early morning at 6:00 AM. I’ll wake up at 5:00 and drive to Lehi and play with a bunch of guys once or twice a week. So working out early, because that’s our ritual, that’s our schedule of just taking care of ourselves. 


[00:04:00] JH: Yeah, exactly.


[00:04:01] AB: Yeah. Because our health care, it happens in the morning.


[00:04:04] JH: Yeah, you have to.


[00:04:06] RH: Last time, Angela, you said you woke up at 5:20, so pretty close, 5:30, 5:20. I’m impressed. 


[00:04:15] AB: Right around there.


[00:04:16] JH: It’s specific. 


[00:04:20] RH: All right. So then, this kind of goes along with that, but what is your type of exercise?


[00:04:26] AB: For me, anything where I sweat. I’m kind of coming around to yoga, the more meditative part of how I can just release a lot of things with yoga. But for sure, still sweating just helps me so much.


[00:04:41] SB: Yeah. I played soccer in college, so running has always something that’s been a release for me. But I got to a point where my knees and joints were suffering too much, so I had more of a balance. That’s what brought yoga into me [inaudible 00:04:53] because there are muscle stabilizers, smaller muscle groups that you don’t typically work out, so yoga brings that into play. I feel better on my runs when I do practice yoga.


[00:05:05] RH: Got you. I love it.


[00:05:05] JH: Nice. Okay. Our favorite question. Well, in this one, I think the last time when we asked this question, Shawn you did answer this one for Angela because she asked you to help her out to identify this one.


[00:05:22] RH: We want to know what your sensory quirks are.


[00:05:25] AB: Oh, yeah. You were the one who self-diagnosed, like diagnosed me with auditory problems.


[00:05:30] JH: Yup, because it was the loud noises.


[00:05:32] AB: Now, it comes up every now and then with friends. I’m like, “Guys, remember my auditory processing disorder.” 


[00:05:41] RH: I love it.


[00:05:43] SB: I guess you have to answer for me. I don’t even know what mine would be.


[00:05:47] AB: Your sensory stuff? You are weird about like socks, and —


[00:05:51] SB: Textile.


[00:05:52] AB: Yeah.


[00:05:52] JH: Tactile.


[00:05:53] AB: Yeah.


[00:05:54] SB: Stuff against my skin.


[00:05:55] RH:Clothes? Yeah.


[00:05:56] AB: Yeah, he’s weird about that.


[00:05:58] JH: Okay.


[00:05:59] RH: Do you wear your socks inside out?


[00:06:00] SB: No.


[00:06:01] RH: Okay.


[00:06:01] SB: I’m very particular about the socks I do wear.


[00:06:04] JH: All right. Here’s the last question. We’re going to do the same way we did last time. You’re going to describe Angela in one word. So Angela, you’re going to describe yourself in one word, and Shawn, you’re going to describe her in one world, and you’re going to say it at the same time, then we’ll do the opposite and do it for Shawn.


[00:06:24] RH: Yup. So you’re going to think of a word to describe yourself, and Shawn, you’re going to think of a word to describe Angela. Do you have it?


[00:06:33] SB: I have.


[00:06:33] JH: Okay.


[00:06:34] AB: I think I got it.


[00:06:35] RH: On the count of three. One, two, three.


[00:06:38] SB: Devoted.


[00:06:38] AB: Devoted.


[00:06:40] JH: That’s pretty good as last time.


[00:06:43] RH: Yes. Do you remember what you said last time?


[00:06:46] AB: Nuh-uh.


[00:06:47] SB: I bet similar.


[00:06:48] JH: Yeah, it is.


[00:06:50] RH: Yeah, devoted and dedicated. Yeah. Okay. Very close. I’m impressed. 


[00:06:56] JH: Okay. Now, let’s do the same for Shawn.


[00:06:59] RH: Yes. Do you have it?


[00:07:01] SB: Yeah.


[00:07:01] AB: Yup.


[00:07:02] JH: Okay.


[00:07:02] RH: One, two, three.


[00:07:04] SB: Passionate.


[00:07:04] AB: Passionate.


[00:07:05] JH: What? You guys planned this.


[00:07:08] RH: You guys win the couples award of the year. If you went in a game show, you’d win.


[00:07:14] AB: What did we say last time for Shawn.


[00:07:16] RH: I don’t think we did Shawn, no. Sorry, Shawn.


[00:07:21] AB: Crazy, like anyone who knows Shawn, that’s the easiest —


[00:07:24] SB: Yeah. My whole family says that about me.


[00:07:26] AB: All of his friends too. Like he’s just a very passionate person.


[00:07:28] SB: It’s like back candid compliment sometimes. You’re passionate.


[00:07:35] JH: So cliché, right?


[00:07:38] RH: Okay. So now that we all know your deepest, darkest secrets.


[00:07:42] JH: Again.


[00:07:42] RH: Once again, a little refresher. Just kind of update us on your guys’ situation, your life, Theo.


[00:07:50] JH: Well, we have a lot of new listeners who might not have heard you guys’ original interview. So just tell us who you are.


[00:07:56] RH: Mm-hmm, all the good things.


[00:07:58] AB: We’re the Blymiller’s. We have an almost eight-year-old daughter and then our little boy, Theo, who has special needs and he’s five and a half. The last time we are interviewed, I think we were kind of just new to like the Biomed training, therapy training, like all of that stuff. We were just kind of diving in, head first and doing all the things. But the last few years, since the last podcast, things have, I would say —


[00:08:25] SB: A lot more focused.


[00:08:26] AB: A lot more focused and a lot more trusting of ourselves and looking to —


[00:08:33] SB: Our own intuition.


[00:08:34] AB: Our own intuition on what Theo needs versus taking in everything that everyone says that he needs, and really just following our gut more. I would say, trusting ourselves has changed everything.


[00:08:49] SB: In the beginning of 2018, end of 2017, he was first diagnosed with autism Level 3 [inaudible 00:08:56] that he needs the greatest support. First, it’s overwhelming, it’s like a firehose that you’re just trying to take everything in, and you can dive into studies, after studies, after studies. Both Angela and I for a period, we were just reading, and reading, and reading nonstop and our self-care kind of fell away. We finally got to a point where it was just not sustainable not just sustainable that we had to finally learn like, “Look, we can only take on so much every given day.” So then we started setting up a schedule for ourselves, that we would do the self-care in the morning. Then throughout the day, then we would dive in to more of the studies and figuring out what was the best action plan moving forward for our family and for Theo.


[00:09:42] AB: I would say also, corona has also helped our family prioritize, because there was — right before corona, we were doing a lot, a lot of things. Like a lot of therapies, a lot of extracurricular things for Theo, piano lessons, swimming lessons, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy. There were just a lot of things that consumed our time. Once corona hit for a minute, all that stopped and it really helped us hone in to like, “Okay. What things are we actually going to add back into our life that were helping, and what were we just doing to check off a box on our list, you know.


[00:10:20] JH: That’s really interesting. Yeah.


[00:10:23] SB: I was just going to say, I would find myself working 40 hours a week, but when I come home, I would be taking Theo to therapies. That was my nightly activity and it got to the point once corona hit, it’s like, “Okay. We got to eliminate some of this and just focus on the non-negotiables, the things that we cannot live without and then we’ll pick up the other stuff later on.”


[00:10:44] JH: Yeah. I think that’s so hard for so many families, because you feel like you have to go and do all of these things for your kid. Like you said, check off those boxes of, “Yeah. We’re doing this. We’re doing this. We’re doing this” and it just gets to be too much.


[00:10:59] AB: Yeah, for sure. And I think as a special needs parent, you kind of pride yourself. Like when you go to bed at night, you’re like, “Okay. We did this therapy, I got this and I got all of these things.” At the end of the day, you’re like, “Wait! Is that what our family needs? Is that what he needs? Or is that what the world is telling me he needs?”


[00:11:17] JH: So then, can you talk a little bit about what you did prioritize and continue, and what you decided wasn’t a priority right now.


[00:11:27] AB: Yeah, I think for us, I wouldn’t ever try to tell like another parent like, “Oh! Your child is in need of this therapy.” But for us and for what Theo needed specifically was a better routine at home. Theo also has PANDAS, and we can dive into that later, but that kind of can dictate a lot of how our day looks. We are getting to the point where occupational therapy; we love it so much. But the place we were at, it just wasn’t — he cried every time we went. We were able to cut back on occupational therapy and really kind of hone in with ABA therapy, and some things that we learned there to integrate it. I think a lot of it was integration into our daily life, versus therapy, you have to get it. I don’t know if that makes sense.


[00:12:15] JH: It does.


[00:12:15] AB: But more kind of taking all the pieces that we’ve learned from all of it, and putting it into our day, rather than structured. You have to be at this place at 5:00 to get that in.


[00:12:27] RH: Yeah.


[00:12:29] SB: Yeah. I think just leaning into your intuition, because I think as a parent, a lot of times, we’re searching outward for answers.


[00:12:39] AB: Yeah, for sure.


[00:12:40] SB: But I think both Angela and I have both began to become more spiritual in a lot of sense, and God, universe, source, whatever you want to call it, trusted us with this child and we needed to trust our instincts of what hits for our kid. To let go of some of the studies, and the proof, and what everyone is trying to proof to the world, and just turn into our intuition. That’s why I agree, honestly yoga is so important because it’s a meditation practice. It’s a way for me to connect with myself and my own intuition. Angela just dove into that, even her running, that’s her way of finding it herself.


[00:13:22] AB: Just like for example this week, we’ve noticed in the last little bit, Theo’s been having a harder time, so Shawn and I were just kind of reflecting like, “What are some things that we think he’s missing?” We both discussed, “You know what? He’s not getting outside enough.” He hates the cold. It’s winter here in Utah. We haven’t really pushed him going outside. We’ve just made it a goal like, “You know what? He needs to be doing some grounding. Let’s really make it a goal to go outside every day for 20 minutes, whether that’s a walk in the fresh air or just out on the tramp if it’s warm enough.” I think just really trusting ourselves and like actually breaking it down to be more simple, versus the complexities of all the therapies out there.


[00:14:05] JH: Yeah.


[00:14:05] RH: I think that — we’re occupational therapy assistants, so our goal is to figure out what the child needs to be functioning in their daily environment. It’s hard for an occupational therapist in a clinic to be able to teach you guys how to transfer that over into your home. So you guys have taken all of that you’ve learned, everything you’ve learned from therapies and whatnot to be able to figure out and listen to your intuition and say, “No, I have figured out what he needs, what he doesn’t need. We can observe him.” You guys are almost like your own little therapist, figuring out what he needs.


[00:14:42] SB: I was just going to say that I think, part of that is you have to experience as much as you can in the first part, just to get a feel for yourself of how your kid is receiving it. Because we did everything, NAIT, occupational therapy, ABA, speech.


[00:14:59] AB: Music therapy. There’s just been so many things.


[00:15:04] SB: But then, take note, take account of when you do it, how much does it impact your kid and how much does it impact your family. Because that’s the other thing, how much time are you investing in a car driving to another place. Can you replicate that type of occupational therapy or some type of therapy in your own home so that you’re not in the car all the time? These are questions you have to ask.


[00:15:24] JH: Totally.


[00:15:27] RH: Definitely.


[00:15:28] AB: And a lot of the times, that it’s worth it to drive to a certain therapy. For us, I know we might talk about this later, but chiropractic care has been a huge part of our life the last like year and half since we talked to you guys. Theo, he started going to the chiropractor three times a week. We found a pediatric chiropractor in our area who’s very well respected around here. He was going three times a week, and for us, we saw such a huge shift in like his emotional state, the way he was connecting with other. For us, it’s worth it to take that 20-minute drive three times a week.


[00:16:07] JH: Yeah, absolutely. We have talked a little bit about chiropractic care and how it can be beneficial. That’s a great theme.


[00:16:16] RH: We just want to take a minute and talk to you about our company, Harkla. Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs special needs live happy healthy lives. Not only do we accomplish this through the podcast, but we also have therapy products, easy to follow digital courses and the Harkla Sensory Club to try to bring holistic care to you and your family.


[00:16:34] JH: Listeners of the All Things Sensory podcast get 10% off their first purchase at Harkla with a discount code, “Sensory.” We’d recommend checking out some of our best-sellers, like the compression sensory swing, weighted blankets or our course on sensory diets. 


[00:16:49] RH: Here’s the best part, 1% of each sale gets donated to the University of Washington Autism Center to support autism research and fund scholarships to families in need to receive in-clinic therapy for their child.


[00:17:01] JH: Learn more about Harkla and all we have to offer at harkla.co. Don’t forget to use the discount code “sensory” to get 10% off your first purchase. That’s S-E-N-S-O-R-Y for 10% off.


[00:17:22] RH: The best part is, all Harkla orders come with a lifetime guarantee and free shipping.


[00:17:29] JH: You really can’t beat that.


[00:17:30] RH: No.


[00:17:31] JH: No, you can’t. Okay. Let’s go back to the show.


[00:17:34] RH: Yeah. Let’s kind of talk about some of the different therapies you guys are doing now. They aren’t necessarily considered therapies, but different modalities that you guys are using. They’re a little bit non-traditional and you guys have done the research and you’ve spent so many hours of your lives researching and figuring out what you want to try. We’ve done chiropractic care. You made sure it was a pediatric certified chiropractor. That makes all the difference in the world.


[00:18:03] AB: For sure. He really focuses a lot on — I know your chiropractor does too, Rachel. But just local outreach, and education and helping parents understand how the body system works. He’s been a huge, huge tool for us. Also, Listening Program. I know you guys have had them on your podcast, right?


[00:18:28] JH: Yeah, fantastic company.


[00:18:31] AB: Yeah. We love the Listening Program and also Advanced Brain Technologies, they just have so many different programs. When a parent asks me, “Do I need to do the Listening Program?” I always talk about; it has been so beneficial for us and our family. When Theo is having a hard time sometimes with the sensory stuff, we would ultimately love it if he wore the bone conducting headphones. But sometimes, he won’t wear those, and so we just put the music on wherever he is. You can just feel the energy change, and just his body, his system just relaxes.


[00:19:07] SB: It makes whole sense, and Dr. Nathan [inaudible 00:19:10] the chiro that we see. He’s educated me a ton, because I’ve driven Theo a lot to these meetings, and he’s educated me a lot on the nervous system, and it totally ties in with the Listening Program and Advanced Brain Technologies, and helping the body in a stress response. A lot of these kids are living in a stress response. Anything that you could do, natural remedies. We talked about grounding, it’s just getting outside and be connected to mother earth. That’s another natural, organic, wholesome activity for the nervous system, for regulating the nervous system. That’s what’s been so great for the Listening Program. For me as well as the father, I do it myself, their 15-minute sessions of listening to high-definition technology that they use for classical music, and it’s helped me in dealing with stresses for work, and having to provide for the family. But then yet, having to come home at the same time and still contribute as the father to help with special needs kids. Because coming home from a job is stressful, but your job is not done when you come home. You don’t get to just sit down and watch TV, and watch sports. Your job is now as a father, and I needed that so much and it’s been hugely beneficial for me.


[00:20:29] AB: Yeah. I was saying, when followers will ask me, “Oh! Which program should I do?” I always tell them to just call Advanced Brain Technologies because they are so helpful in finding what program is best for your child.


[00:20:42] JH: They are.


[00:20:43] RH: Yes, absolutely. We’ll make sure we link their episode that we did with them. We interviewed the founder, Alex and we have had just an amazing relationship with them too, and have had so many successful stories with kids using that program. I’m glad you guys brought that up. Okay. What else?


[00:21:00] SB: I’m in functional coaching certification. It’s kind of played a role in decision making. This last year, the end of 2019, I had this goal that I need to do more studying to help contribute to the family wellness overall. First, I was like, “I’m going to do yoga certification” but I was introduced to this FMCA program as well. Angela really pushed me to get it done, because I was like, I like the idea but I want yoga first. I actually took both of them on at the same time, which his crazy for 2020.


[00:21:34] AB: The reason why I wanted him to take it was because, I have learned and researched so many things about how diet is helpful for Theo, and Shawn was kind of just like, “Okay. Yeah. Whatever you say.” But he didn’t really understand the why behind it, so I pushed him to do this course. It has been so beneficial for our entire family, just because he really understands like, “Oh! I know now why you really wanted to get Theo away from like inflammatory foods.


[00:21:58] SB: Well, functional medicine, just the whole matrix and the whole structure that they give you in wellness and how your body and mind operate. It’s been an excellent guide for us in total wellness. We’re talking food. We’re talking food and exercise, and it’s total all-encompassing type of practice. That’s been hugely beneficial for me and for us as well.


[00:22:24] RH: Can you say the name of the course or certification that it is again?


[00:22:29] SB: Yeah. It’s Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, so FMCA. 


[00:22:34] AB: Let’s get all the dads to take that course.


[00:22:37] RH: I want to take that course.


[00:22:38] AB: I know. I’m like, “I think I need to get [inaudible 00:22:40].”


[00:22:42] SB: That’s pretty interesting. You could do 90-minute session every week that you’re doing through Zoom. Then you have roughly 20 to 30 hours a month of study. They’ll have recorded classes that you have to take, and there are some quizzes. I graduate at the beginning of March, so I’m almost done with the course.


[00:23:04] RH: Yay!


[00:23:05] AB: Right. He’s going to start taking clients and he —


[00:23:06] RH: Yes.


[00:23:07] JH: Awesome.


[00:23:09] AB: He’s a good coach. He coaches me and he’s coached some of our friends and be like, “He totally knows this stuff.” It’s been so great, so helpful for our family.


[00:23:17] SB: I’m trying to mix that with the yoga. It’s very similar, it’s all tied in. Mental health, mind, body connection.


[00:23:24] JH: Just holistically addressing the person.


[00:23:26] SB: Yes.


[00:23:27] RH: Well, in that mind, body health, that’s like the foundation. Because if your body is a mess because of what you’re putting in it, I mean, nothing else is going to function.


[00:23:37] SB: We’re seeing that now with COVID. The people that suffer the most have underlying comorbidities and other challenges. I think this is just a lesson to everyone, that you have to protect your health, number one priority. Even before I can help Theo, I have to be well myself or else, I’m not going to have the energy or capacity to serve.


[00:23:59] RH: Totally.


[00:24:00] JH: Exactly. Let’s talk about FMT, because that’s another —


[00:24:04] RH: Or PANDAS. Should we talk about PANDAS first?


[00:24:06] JH: Let’s talk about FMT first, because we’re in that section.


[00:24:09] RH: Okay.


[00:24:10] JH: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about FMT, what that is, why you guys opted for that route.


[00:24:16] AB: I know you do want to know probably about how we heard about it.


[00:24:20] JH: Yes.


[00:24:20] AB: FMT, I came across the study a few years ago at ASU where they’re doing it there. I introduced it to Shawn, I sent it to him in an email or something and he kind of, he’s like, “Oh, yeah! That’s interesting.” But then, he got into his functional medicine course and he started reading a book that actually talked about fecal matter transplant, that’s what it stands for. Fecal matter transplant. Shawn is so good at explaining, so I’ll have him explain it what it actually is.


[00:24:49] JH: What’s the book really quick?


[00:24:50] SB: Dr. David Perlmutter is the author. He’s a functional medicine doctor, and his book is calledBrain Maker. He has this whole chapter dedicated in that book to fecal microbiota transplants for kids with autism or special needs. Because he’s bringing in the brain-gut connection and talking about, if your gut is dysfunctional, you have dysbiosis, breakdown of your gut biology, your health and it’s going to lead to brain dysfunction. If you can transplant a healthy microbiome, it can help impact the brain health and the brain chemistry of these kids as well. The way it kind of played out is, we got the diagnosis at the end of 2017 for autism. It was in the middle of 2018 that we got the diagnosis for PANDAS, and then it was —


[00:25:43] AB: That’s 2019. End of 2019, we figured out PANDAS.


[00:25:48] SB: Then about that same time, Theo had gone missing. He escaped out of our back door when we had friends over.


[00:25:55] AB: Spring of 2020. It seems like forever ago because we’ve gone through so much since then. But just last spring, he had gone through the back door when we’re saying goodbye to some friends at the front door. It was a warm night and we’re like, “Where did Theo go?” We can talk about it now without crying and being hysterical, but it was a horrible, traumatic event. At the time, we had an old wooden fence and it had some horizontal slats in some spots. He had climbed over the fence.


We had the entire neighborhood, our whole street looking. Over 30 people were looking. We’re shouting his name, he’s non-verbal, he can’t respond. We live close to some public transportation, like a track system. We live close to a canal with water, and we were just freaking out. The police came right as we found him. He had climbed over three fences and was three doors down. The neighbor saw his head bobbing up and down the fence, so she went out and snagged him.


It was extremely traumatic. We came home, I was a mess and Shawn was like, “We’re doing FMT. We have to do something now.” It was just like, “Okay. That’s it.” Obviously, like a traumatic event like sparked it, but it was just something we knew we had to do.


[00:27:16] SB: Angela also talked amongst other moms with special needs kids and they had all talked about FMT and some of them have gone through it and had some beneficial experiences throughout all of it. Then I readBrain Maker and had just finished the book when Theo went missing. Her and I talked about, “Okay. Maybe this is something we can do in 2021” and something we planned for and we saved for. Because it’s expensive, insurance doesn’t cover it. You have to pay out of pocket. It’s like $15,000 just to give you an idea. But when he went missing, we’re like, “We’ve got to find a way.” We’re going to find the money in any way we can. We have to go as soon as possible. 


[00:27:54] AB: I think just talking to other parents, their experiences are so different. Just listening to your intuition. For us, it was FMT we knew we had to do. It was just something we felt. But for other parents, maybe it’s a certain therapy, maybe it’s a certain diet, maybe stem cell therapy. I don’t want to like push FMT on everyone, but that’s what we felt was best for our son at the time.


[00:28:18] JH: Yeah.


[00:28:18] AB: We also have done some recorded Zoom and lives with Dr. Klop, who is the doctor that we saw for FMT, so we can also have you link those too. Because a lot of parents are interested in FMT have found those beneficial.


[00:28:33] SB: We started a YouTube channel, Pure Living Family on YouTube. All of the interviews with Dr. Jason Klop, he’s the doctor that we did the procedure with. We did interviews with him when we were in Mexico, and we have those on YouTube, and then we’ve done interviews after as well that we posted. I think it’s super informative. If you’re curious to know more, you can go to YouTube. You’re more than welcome to email us atpurelivingfamily@gmail.com if you want to talk more about it.


[00:29:01] JH: I want to know some of the positive things that you saw after FMT.


[00:29:07] AB: For us, I guess this is kind of where we can introduce PANDAS, because we have seen so much benefit from FMT with PANDAS. At the end of 2019, Shawn was saying — so we were on a family vacation up in the Pacific Northwest. Theo is a pretty, happy, content kid. I feel like that’s just who he is at four and when he got baseline, that’s what he is. In that vacation, everything would bother him. Everything. He had some weird steaming that kind of came on overnight and he just wasn’t himself. I remembered a therapist when he was little had told us about PANDAS. Then at the time, it wasn’t very — I mean, still, not like a very recognized diagnosis. However, it does have its own CBT code now, so doctors do need to take it more seriously because it is a legit diagnosis.


But anyway, we came home from vacation and I just researched what labs needed to be done to run that. We have a pediatrician. I think we’ve talked about this at the first podcast, but if you have a pediatrician that’s not willing to do what you want to do, they work for you. Go find a new pediatrician. But this pediatrician is so awesome. He totally just believes in like parent intuition. I came to him and I was like, “I feel like he has PANDAS. Can we run these labs?” He said, “I don’t know very much about PANDAS. I’ll run whatever labs you want and let’s see what happens.” So we run the labs and his antibodies for strep bacteria. PANDAS stands for, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections. That is why we had so much lab work ran as far as the strep antibodies go.


[00:30:54] SB: It’s called ASL. It’s actual antibody in your body that fights against strep. Theo had the highest the doctor had ever seen.


[00:31:03] AB: Extremely high for those two strep levels. He was such a great doctor. He’s like humble enough to say, “I don’t know very much about this” and so he basically told me, “Go home. Do your research. Tell me what kind of treatment you want to do and then we can discuss doing that.” At that time, we decided to add another doctor onto our team of —


[00:31:33] SB: Panel.


[00:31:32] AB: Panel of people for Theo. This doctor is Dr. Armen Nikogosian and he is in Las Vegas. He is amazing. He’s a board certified —


[00:31:45] SB: Internal medicine.


[00:31:46] AB: Yeah. He kind of has an interesting story too, but he has a special needs child. I’ll let him talk about that, because it’s kind of a personal thing probably. But he just gets it, and he understands the doctor’s perspective and he understand the parent’s perspective.


[00:32:02] SB: That’s kind of how everything aligned. Because with PANDAS, it’s strep overgrowth and your gut is actually where you house a lot of your immune system. And with Dr. Perlmutter talks a lot about inBrain Maker is, if you have an unhealthy guy, then you can see a lot of your immune system breakdown, and you’ll start getting a lot of illnesses. That made sense for Theo because he would get strep, he got scarlet fever, he got ear infection after ear infection. We know that dysbiosis was prevalent in Theo’s body. FMT kind of made clear sense to us, because it’s basically a reset of your immune system, your gut health. Both with the PANDAS diagnosis and autism diagnosis, it made sense that this would be our next step. Right away, we saw huge impacts. Within weeks, he was wearing shoes without any complaints. He’s wearing pants without any complaints. His interactions with others were better.


[00:33:00] AB: Just stepping back. The end of 2019 and the majority of 2020, we were dealing with flares. A flare is when the strep bacteria overtake his body so much that it causes brain inflammation. The best way describing a flare is just, everything bothers you and you just are so uncomfortable in your own skin. 


[00:33:24] JH: It’s like an extreme version of like sensory processing disorder, the extremest of extreme.


[00:33:30] AB: Yeah, extreme, extreme. A lot of adolescents who are verbal and who can tell you what it feels like, they say that it feels like you’re crawling in your skin and you want to like stop. That’s where the self-injury behavior like comes in. These kids, they don’t know how to react and they don’t have the tools necessary. I won’t even say it’s the tools. It gets to the point where it’s so extreme, that the compression, the lighter sheets, all the things that are go to for a a normal sensory outburst does not help when he’s in a flare.


[00:34:03] SB: We’ve had so many sad messages from parents that have the PANDAS diagnosis for their kids. They’ll be crying for hours and sometimes days, and they’ll be banging their heads against their beds or wall because the pain is just so overwhelming. They have no coping mechanisms that help relieve what they’re dealing with. With Theo, his tiny little body, we have videos. His little toes would be curling and he would just be curled up in a ball just crying for hours and nothing we could do with consoling. We got to the point where FMT came up and when he went missing, we knew we had to do something.


[00:34:42] AB: So with FMT, the biggest thing that we saw is, we didn’t have a flare for six months, and it was a big difference compared to 2020, where it’s flare after flare, few weeks in remission and then more flare. But yeah, with FMT, we didn’t have a flare for six months. I think it would have gone on longer, but the boys were in a car accident last month, and that kind of just threw off everything.


[00:35:08] SB: It’s back completely. Just to rewind a little bit. With PANDAS, the first treatment we went through was with a bunch of antibiotics, because it’s to help fight the strep. But the problem is, is that destroys your gut, so you have greater gut dysbiosis. We never felt like it was a good plan for Theo to be on antibiotics for life. It doesn’t make sense scientifically to us. We had to find other solutions, and that’s why FMT made sense because it’s just basically wiping the site clean, and resetting the gut at baseline from a health donor. It was awesome to see. We saw huge improvements like Angela said. But once we had the accident, Theo just have been going back into stress response, and the sensory process has been backwards for months and months backwards now. 


[00:35:57] AB: I would say with FMT though, it also expanded his diet. It expanded his connection with others. He started playing with — not necessarily playing, but actually paying attention to other children around him. Like he’ll go up to them and give them hugs. Whereas before, he really only did that with big kids and adults. What else has FMT brought us? I feel like FMT brought so many good things.


[00:36:20] SB: I felt like we could breathe finally.


[00:36:23] AB: For sure.


[00:36:23] SB: Because as a parent, we felt like we were just under water trying to stay afloat because there are so many nights that were sleepless nights. That’s one big change is sleep. Regularity got more fixed and we actually slept normal. After the accident, it gotten thrown back into sleepless nights. But obviously, going without sleep for periods of time as a parent, when you have a baby, it’s kind of expected. But once you get older, you hope to get into a routine. For a long time, we were losing our minds.


[00:36:53] AB: We were in such a good place, you guys, that I was even like, “Oh! Maybe we could have another baby.” Shawn is like, “Oh! Let’s see if you feel the same way in a few months.” Then of course, we got this huge step back, I’m like, “Oh! Thank you that we didn’t want.” [Inaudible 00:37:10]


[00:37:11] RH: Oh my goodness!


[00:37:13] AB: I don’t know what the future has in store for us. But as parents know, having a child with special needs, it’s equal to like five children, I swear. It’s just a lot, especially when you got one that has so many things. But anyways, yeah, PANDAS is now his primary diagnosis, autism —


[00:37:31] JH: Do you feel like it’s a side effect of PANDAS?


[00:37:33] AB: Exactly. That’s what his doctors say.


[00:37:36] RH: Totally.


[00:37:37] JH: That’s what I figured.


[00:37:39] AB: That’s also something that listeners might want to check out, is look at somethings with PANDAS.


[00:37:46] SB: The awesome resource for that is pandasnetwork.org.


[00:37:48] AB: Yeah.


[00:37:49] JH: Okay. We’ll link to that.


[00:37:49] SB: They’re one of the foundations that does studies. According to them, it’s 1 in 200 kids is now being diagnosed with PANDAS in the US. The diagnosis is growing. It’s PANDAS and PANS, kind of dual diagnosis. Similar diagnosis.


[00:38:04] AB: PANS is just with a different bacteria or different mucosa that cause the same type of inflammation in the body, autoimmune response.


[00:38:13] RH: I have a quick question about FMT. You guys have done it once. Can you do it multiple times or are you supposed to only do it one and done?


[00:38:22] AB: Yes. It’s such a good question. The way the doctors described how the car accident that set Theo back so far is, it’s kind of like when you have an old injury. Like say, you were in a car accident 10 years ago and you hurt your lower back. Fast forward ten years, and when you get the flu or when you get sick, you feel it in your lower back. Like you have those pains, because your immune response, the inflammation pathways are so used to going to that injury. That’s why the car accident has set Theo back so far, is because his response is so used to the brain inflammation. That’s why it totally caused a flare. I mean, any inflammation in your body can cause your immune system to just be compromised, so that’s where his autoimmune issue comes into play. That’s why we’re seeing this again.


[00:39:18] SB: But to answer your question directly. No, you don’t typically want to do it more than once. Because the idea is that, once you establish a good, health microbiome, you don’t need to reset it, because that’s actually what you’re doing. You’re on the heavy antibiotics before going that cleans out your gut completely. Then from there, you’re adding in a healthy microbiome. From there, it’s supposed to grow, repopulate I guess is what they call it as well with a health microbiome that serves as your immune system.


[00:39:51] AB: That’s why we have looked into doing it again for Theo since the accident, because we saw such huge benefits. What we’ve decided to do for Theo is, we didn’t do a complete gut reset for the reasons why Shawn just said. We worked for about three weeks on a good inflammatory protocol. I’m not going to dive deep into all those supplements, because they’re so specific to what Theo needs. But we were a lot the last three weeks helping his inflammation, and now we are able to get more daily dosing of the FMT that we have started for Theo. We think that his gut is in a pretty good place because of the FMT we did in July. That’s like, we’re not doing a reset.


[00:40:35] SB: Just do define the process. When we went to Mexico, they have what was called the loading dose. They basically inject into the child’s rectum feces, fecal microbiota transplant. You’re actually getting from a healthy donor, the two loading doses, two following nights. Then after that, you do 16 weeks of maintenance. So it’s just this tiny little capsule that we just mix it with water, and we give it to him orally. It’s almost looks like dust that you just mix in water, and you give it to him for 16 weeks. Now we have another month of that, that we just kind of extended it, that that’s what we’re on right now.


[00:41:14] RH: Okay.


[00:41:14] JH: Interesting.


[00:41:14] RH: I just think it’s so interesting how the trauma from a car accident caused the regression.


[00:41:21] SB: Well, talking to Dr. Nathan [inaudible 00:41:24] chiropractic, his explanation make sense to me, because your nervous system controls all your bodily organs, right? If your body is in stress response, then your rest and relax or rest and restore functions stop, as far as like digestion and your immune system. If you’re in fight and flight, your immune system and your rest and restore gets shut down. You have to find your ways to lower the stress response or the immune system, and the rest and restore part of your body to actually go into action. That’s kind of what we’re focusing on right now. That’s why the music therapy is so vital for trying to get him back to that baseline, so that he’s more in a relaxed state. CBD is another we’ve been trying as well.


[00:42:13] AB: Yeah.


[00:42:14] JH: Oh, yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about that. What is CBD? Just because, I mean, we haven’t talked about it on our podcast before, but you guys would be helpful to share that on.


[00:42:23] RH: Yeah.


[00:42:24] AB: We’ve worked with a few different companies. I love 101 CBD. Just because they are parents of a child with special needs, and had found that this really, really helped their son. So they are very good at helping coach you on dosing, because — I mean, that’s the biggest thing, is like you don’t know how to dose. It can be really scary in the beginning, but there are so many different things to use for inflammation, why not try natural things first.


[00:42:50] RH: Absolutely.


[00:42:52] SB: I’ll give my cousin a shoutout here, Hemp Health. It’s another CBD that we’ve been using. He lives in Nevada; he grows his own flower himself. But the dosing is very [inaudible 00:43:02] kid’s plate. Obviously, talk to a doctor. We’re not doctors. We can’t advice you on the use of it. Just we can tell you that it helps Theo to calm his whole body when we’ve used it, and bringing the flares down sooner.


[00:43:16] AB: Yeah, definitely.


[00:43:18] RH: That’s something that you guys are able to do, like when he’s having a flare, to kind of take the edge off a little bit?


[00:43:24] AB: Yeah. That’s how it helps for us for sure. I know other parents of children with autism find that when they’re having a meltdown or they’re having a harder day, it’s really helpful in that way too.


[00:43:35] RH: Awesome.


[00:43:35] JH: I mean, I know a lot of adults that use it for their anxieties.


[00:43:38] AB: Oh, totally.


[00:43:40] SB: And we’re talking about CBD that’s legal in all 50 states, right? We’re not talking about the THC.


[00:43:46] JH: Let’s be clear.


[00:43:48] SB: I need to clarify. This is CBD that can be shipped to all 50 states, that meets all federal requirements, et cetera.


[00:43:55] RH: Perfect.


[00:43:56] JH: We’re not getting high.


[00:43:58] RH: We’re not getting the kids high. I love it.


[00:44:04] JH: Should we finish up and talk about this.


[00:44:07] RH: Oh, yes, yes. One last thing that we want to talk about. You guys created a protein powder. Fill us in.


[00:44:14] SB: I’ll talk about that. We didn’t create it. We came across a distributor, a manufacturer that we partnered with. They have 30 years of experience working with families of special needs. They partnered with us to help bring this to fruition. We actually have four products that we sell currently, around the Pure Living Family brand. We have plant protein, which is made of shitake mushroom, pea. It’s plant protein, right. Protein powder. A lot of protein powders made out of whey protein. A lot of whey, it causes inflammation. If you feel bloated or your kid feels bloated, has a lot of gas, when you give them protein powder, a lot of times, doctors contribute it to whey protein. This is an organic, wholesome, natural products.


[00:45:05] AB: This is like a medical grade product. Like this isn’t something you can go and buy of Amazon or at your grocery store. Like this is the medical grade product.


[00:45:14] SB: A lot of my research — it crazy to hear this, but there’s 85,000 providers of nutraceuticals in the US, and it’s an unregulated industry, which is scary because you can go and buy nutraceuticals at Walgreens and stuff. And they add all these additives that are binders that can be detrimental to your health. Especially these kids with special needs, it’s so vitally important that you get the best, highest quality standard for all of your nutraceuticals. We have the plant protein. We also have the greens, the Pure Living Greens.


One of the things that we talked to Dr. Klop about, the doctor that did the FMT with Theo. He talks a lot about biodiversification. Biodiversity in your diet. When your kid gets the FMT, he wants you to get a diverse diet after that. You need to help the microbiome to expand and repopulate. The only way to do that is by eating as much variety as possible. In the FMCA course, they talk about eating the rainbow. You eat all the different colors and veggies, and that’s going to help grow an repopulate the gut. That’s what the Pure Living Greens provides. There are multiple different fruits and veggies I should say that are just in a powder. We give it to Theo every single day, and we found that if we don’t give it to him, it’s much rougher days for us.


[00:46:35] AB: Morning, yeah, for sure.


[00:46:37] SB: It’s a regulator for him for sure.


[00:46:39] AB: I would say for parents who can’t get things like that in their children, I mean, Theo is a horrible eater but we syringe. Anything that he needs in his body, we syringe it. I mean, they don’t like it at first, but now he just accepts it. 


[00:46:54] RH: It’s consistency.


[00:46:56] AB: Yeah.


[00:46:57] SB: Well, we’ve been using — what do you call it?


[00:46:59] AB: A frother.


[00:47:00] SB: A frother to mix up the plant protein and the greens, because it’s powder and then we’re mixing it with — the protein, we usually mix with almond milk and then the greens, we just mix it with sort of water. But it’s thick powder, so with the frother, it just helps make it smooth. We typically, a lot of days, we’ll give the plant protein and the greens in the morning to Theo, and it just sets him off on the right way. Because obviously, for the macronutrients, you have protein, and fats and carbohydrates are your main macronutrients. With the protein, we can get that in right away with him.


The two other supplements we offer is magnesium, which almost 70% of our US population is lacking in magnesium. It helps in everything. The other one is Vitamin D. You guys probably heard a ton of advertising for vitamin D that helps in fighting any type of illness. A lot of doctors, even Trump took vitamin D when he got coronavirus. Those are the four products we offer on purelivingfamily.com right now. 


[00:48:04]AB: I do have to say, like with the greens, we have found, we give it to him in the morning because it also — I mean, just having all of the vital nutrients in the morning really helps set up his day where he’s better. He’s willing to try more foods since we started implementing the greens. 


[00:48:22] SB: That’s been a crazy thing. We have some of these on our YouTube channel where we give him the greens, and then he starts craving other foods. We have a little video of him eating a bell pepper, coming and taking a huge bite from Angela’s hand. He’s always been a picky eater, but yeah, when we give him the greens, it’s actually introducing the biodiversity. It’s actually the bugs within your stomach that cause cravings. That’s a crazy eye opening for me. That’s what actually — my cravings, when I crave sugar, it’s because I have the candida, or yeast overgrowth in my gut. That’s where those cravings come from. It’s cool to understand that.


[00:48:59] RH: Well then, it makes sense to you when you think about, if you’ve ever done like “sugar detox” and you cut sugar out of your diet, and then that yeast was out of your system, so you don’t crave it anymore. 


[00:49:11] AB: For sure.


[00:49:11] JH: I feel like I need to have Daniel syringe the greens to me every morning in all honesty. Off the records, when I had COVID and couldn’t taste anything, he shoved greens down my throat. He’s like, “You can’t taste, here you go.” I mean, I was going to order yours, buy a syringe and say, “Okay. Just syringe it down my throat.”


[00:49:30] RH: Does it come with a syringe? That would be helpful.


[00:49:33] AB: We probably should.


[00:49:34] SB: We need to start packing it. We need to probably pack it with the frother too, so it complements all the different—


[00:49:39] RH: There you go. 

[00:49:40] AB: Or a blender. Throw it all the [inaudible 00:49:43].


[00:49:43] SB: Well, we’re parents and we talk about food all the time. But with the greens, if you’re looking to get more regular, I’m telling you right there, if you eat more veggies, that’s going to help with your gut.


[00:49:53] RH: For sure.


[00:49:54] JH: Also, I will say, I started taking the apple cider vinegar gummies that you guys recommend. Whoa! Game changer.


[00:50:05] SB: I know I’m nerding out a lot and I’ve talked a lot. Last thing I’ll just mention is, this FMAC course has been eye opening because we are exposed to so many toxins within our environment. The air we breathe, even the textiles, even the plastics, everything surrounding us. The problem is, our bodies are trying to regulate. If we’re not offering opportunities to detox, then we’d go into dysfunction. The crazy thing about this apple cider vinegar, those gummies, it’s another way of detoxing your body. If you talk about drainage or detoxing, detoxing is actually binding toxins within your body, and then [inaudible 00:50:42] body of it. If you have an actual binder co-dependent, that it won’t actually drain your body. It won’t be able to detox


[00:50:51] AB: Just like, also a little plug in about toxins and switching over to be more natural in the home. I get a lot of questions about that. I always tell people, start with one thing. I mean, for us, we start with diet and people thing, “Oh! I need to throw everything away. Invest all this money in purchasing almond food or almond products. But for me, I’ll just say, start simple. Start with your bread. When your bread is gone, replace it with something better. When your mayonnaise is gone, replace it with a better option. Same thing with cleaning items or anything toxic in your home. A shampoo, when it’s gone, replace it with something.


[00:51:29] JH: Yes.


[00:51:30] AB: I think that that’s so much easier way and sustainable than going all in and you get so burnt out and your bank account suffers. But just replacing one thing at a time is so important. With these special needs kids, the reason why we started on this toxin-free thing is, we did genetic testing and found that Theo has so many genetic mutations in his body’s ability to detox. We just knew we had to set up our environment in our home as clean as possible. Because he saw radiating theories [inaudible 00:52:03] so many toxins out in the world, and we need to make sure our home was at least really clean.


[00:52:07] JH: Totally.


[00:52:08] RH: I love that. Oh! You guys, this has been so helpful. I mean, I follow you guys on Instagram. We chat and stuff, but having all the resources in one place has been so helpful.


[00:52:19] JH: Yeah.


[00:52:18] AB: Thanks for having us.


[00:52:21] SB: Yeah. We really enjoyed chatting with you. Thanks for having us on.


[00:52:23] JH: Yeah,


[00:52:26] RH: Shawn, I think we’re going to have to interview you on some nutrition stuff too. Just like all of that.


[00:52:30] AB: He is so [inaudible 00:52:32] now.


[00:52:33] RH: I do.


[00:52:33] JH: I’m so excited.


[00:52:35] RH: I see the word passionate now. Like that is — it’s spinning. It is. You’re so passionate.


[00:52:41] SB: I’m the healthiest I’ve been in years. I played soccer in college and then weighed 155, and now I’m 180, but I was up to almost 200 pounds. Then I did this course, and my focus on health has just been so much higher now. Because when I’m drained and I’m done for the day, I have nothing left to give for Theo. So if I want to provide more to my son, I have to give more to myself. That’s kind of the theme behind our brand, so that’s what my focus is.


[00:53:14] RH: Do you feel like you would be this health and focused on nutrition and non-toxic living if Theo wasn’t struggling in these areas?


[00:53:24] AB: No. Sometimes I complain about it, not blaming Theo. But sometimes, like, “Man! I wish we didn’t know all of this stuff.” But Theo is literally our biggest teacher.


[00:53:35] SB: Oh, for sure.


[00:53:36] AB: He has pushed us outside of our comfort zone to the max on so many things. I mean, Shawn wouldn’t have thought that this would be his passion. I didn’t think that I would be on Instagram every day helping other moms. There are so many things that we have learned because of Theo’s special needs, and I feel like it has made us individually so much more empathetic and compassionate. And as a family, it’s totally strengthened us.


[00:54:01] SB: It’s kind of funny, because Eva, our daughter, has a ton of personality. She’s like, [inaudible 00:54:05] say, “I wish I didn’t live in that healthy family” because she wants her Doritos.


[00:54:10] RH: That’s fair.


[00:54:11] JH: Or Oreos.


[00:54:14] AB:She come over with friends and they’d be like, “Why does all of your food say organic? What’s organic?” And she laughed. I mean, one day she’ll take this straight.


[00:54:24] JH: For sure.


[00:54:26] RH: No, there’s a reason for it and you guys are helping so many other people in so many different ways.


[00:54:30] AB: Thank you. So are you guys, for sure.


[00:54:33] RH: That’s why we’re here. All right. Well, you guys, thanks again for taking time out of your Saturday. I’m glad we didn’t have any car accidents this time.


[00:54:41] JH: Oh my goodness!


[00:54:43] SB: Me too. By the way, [inaudible 00:54:44].


[00:54:45] JH: Yeah.


[00:54:46] AB: [Inaudible 00:54:47] car accident. It’s totaled and we’re waiting still, the insurance. [Inaudible 00:54:54].


[00:54:55] RH: I will say when I got in my car accident, that was the worst part, was the phone calls, the insurance, the lawyers. Like it took over a year before everything was settled and done.


[00:55:08] JH: That’s terrible.


[00:55:08] AB: Don’t they know that, they hit special needs parents. We’re already on the phone with insurance and —


[00:55:13] RH: Yeah.


[00:55:13] JH: Every day.


[00:55:15] RH: They are the wrong people to hit.


[00:55:16] AB: Wrong people. We’ve got this.


[00:55:18] JH: Oh my gosh! Well, thank you guys. We’re going to link everything in the show notes.


[00:55:24] RH: All right, you guys. We adore you.


[00:55:26] SB: Thank you for having us.


[00:55:28] AB: Thank you.


[00:55:28] JH: Yeah. Thanks. Bye.


[00:55:28] RH: Thanks, guys. Bye.




[00:55:29] JH:All right, everyone. That was a great conversation. I feel like we could talk to them for hours. Like literally, this episode could have lasted for like three or four hours if we had let it.


[00:55:41] RH: Yeah. Well, I met Angela on Instagram and I actually went to visit here, so that’s how you know. That we actually could talk forever because, you know, you meet people online and you don’t realize that you’re actually going to be good friends with them and they are just food people.


[00:55:56] JH: Yeah. So a great connection. Definitely go follow them on Instagram. We will link everything in the show notes. Anything else?


[00:56:03] RH: Just give your love to this family. They need all of the positive thoughts and we just hope the best for not only Theo, but the Blymiller’s all around.


[00:56:13] JH: One quick thing too, I think that they’re a great example of the things that you can accomplish for your child or children if you just take the time to do your research and you just keep pushing. Like you don’t give up when somebody says no.


[00:56:28] RH: Yes. I mean, we always talk about advocating for your child on this podcast, and Shawn and Angela are the ultimate advocators.


[00:56:37] JH: Yeah. For sure.


[00:56:39] RH: They are inspiration for not only every family, but especially families who have kiddos with different abilities.


[00:56:46] JH:Yep. Check them out, reach out to them. Let them know you listen to them on the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes if you have a minute. Those reviews really help us reach more people and thanks for listening.


[00:57:00] RH: Thank you so much for listening to All Things Sensory by Harkla. If you want more information on anything we mentioned in the show, head over to harkla.co/podcast to get all of the show notes. 


[00:57:11] JH:We always have the show notes and links, plus full transcripts to make following along as easy as possible for everyone. If you have followed up questions, the best place to ask those is in the comments on the show notes or message us on our Instagram account, which is at @harkla_family. If you just search Harkla, you’ll find us.


[00:57:31] RH:Like we mentioned before, our podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla, whether it’s for one of our digital courses, one of our sensory swings, the discount code SENSORY will save you 10%. That code is S-E-N-S-O-R-Y. Head over to harkla.co/sensory to use that code right now so you don’t forget.


[00:57:54] JH:We’re so excited to work together to help create confident kids all over the world and work towards a happier healthier life.


[00:58:01] RH:All right. We’ll talk to you guys next week.


Just a friendly reminder that this is general information related to occupational therapy, pediatrics, and sensory integration. We do not know you or your child and, therefore, we do not know any specific needs. You should always refer back to pediatricians and occupational therapists for more information.



While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L
Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L

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