As an avid user of FuzziBunz cloth diapers on my little guy Brody, I was absolutely thrilled when I was recently given the opportunity to interview Tereson Dupuy, the brilliant mind that created FuzziBunz diapers in 1999.
I was even more excited when I learned that FuzziBunz is currently selling a “Light it Up Blue” diaper with $1 of every purchase being donated to Autism Speaks. (Tereson’s son Eden, who was the inspiration behind her creation, is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.) Check out my Q&A session with the “mother of the modern cloth diaper” below, and check out www.fuzzibunz.com to pick up quality cloth diapers and help an amazing cause at the same time.
Katie: As the mother of a child with autism who has worn FuzziBunz for the past several years, I must thank you for making a truly outstanding product. Besides being the highest quality cloth diaper around, I noticed also as my son grew older that FuzziBunz seem to come in larger sizes than most CDs on the market. Is this something that you have done with children with disabilities/special needs in mind? Have you given any consideration to producing even larger sized FuzziBunz in the future specifically for children whose needs may require them to stay in diapers longer than others?
Tereson: We actually do have larger sizes in XL and XXL that we make in house in our warehouse in Louisiana. We would certainly given the demand for them make them in larger quantities as this is a need for special needs children. So we do have the product and would be happy to make more and get them into the hands of the people that can reach parents with special needs children.
Katie: Eczema, skin conditions, allergies and food allergies seem to go hand-in-hand with asperger’s & autism. Besides using Fuzzibunz for your son Eden, have there been other changes that you have made for him, dietary or otherwise that you have seen good results from?
Tereson: Allergies have always been an issue and we just tackle those as they come about. But what I have found most helpful is to just be in tuned to his sensativities with food and provide the types of foods that appeal to him and not force him to eat things that I know make him uncomfortable. Many adjustments have to be made such as not taking him to really crowded places, noisy places etc and heaven forbid the ZOO with all of those smells!
Katie: Chemicals in typical disposable diapers have actually been linked in past reports as a contributing factor to autism, among a myriad of other things such as vaccines, environment, and genetics. With a recent study revealing that it is now estimated that 1 in 30 children fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, do you have any thoughts or opinions on this issue that you would like to share?
Tereson: I don’t know how I feel about the environmental factors that cause Autism, Aspergers I know runs in families so it is genetic but what I can only hope for is a cure or at best a better mode of treatment for families that are affected by Autism spectrum disorders.
Katie: Fuzzibunz seemed to erase the sensory discomforts that my son experienced with typical disposable diapers. What made you choose the materials that you did when creating FuzziBunz? Was it trial and error or did you have a specific formula in mind?
Tereson: I made the connection that chemicals were the cause of the rash, as well as the wet feeling of cotton next to his skin in cloth diapers so I knew I needed something next to his skin that was both chemical free and soft and dry. Polar fleece was the answer! I tried it, it worked, happy baby, rash free!
Katie: Your idea to collaborate with Autism Speaks is a wonderful one. Do you have any future plans to link up with any other autism awareness groups for fundraising or just general awareness?
Tereson: I would love to as the opportunity arrises – this is a cause very close to my heart and so much more is needed to raise awareness. We have many walks and runs to benefit Autism awareness in our area and FuzziBunz plans to be a sponsor for those events locally.
Katie: Finally, what words of wisdom or advice would you share with other families just receiving an autism or asperger’s diagnosis for their child?
Tereson: Know that you have been given a very special gift, albeit challenging, but education and understanding the issue is so important in helping your child grow and thrive in a world that is often times foreign and uncomfortable to them. Knowledge, love and a lot of patience is definitely the key to raising a child effected with an Autism spectrum disorder.
Katie: Thank you once more for taking the time to speak with us. Your product is making a wonderful difference in so many children’s lives and your decision to partner up to raise funds for Autism Speaks is just the cherry on top!
Tereson: THANK YOU!