1. Why “Woggle-Bug”?
The Woggle- Bug is a character from Frank L. Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz. He is a bug that was accidentally grown huge. He is Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated. Being gigantic has cut him off from his own kind, while being, well, a bug… has set him apart from other beings his size. He is charming, pedantic, eccentric, quirky and brilliant. All the great qualities found in people I know and love with AS. Besides, we just like Oz.
2. What do the Acronyms mean?
AS- Asperger’s Syndrome- one of the “flavors” of Autism on the Autism Spectrum, which deals mostly with social skills problems, and subtle communication problems. This sometimes spelled in various entertaining ways: Asperberger’s, Asberger’s Aspenerger’s, etc. Sometimes referred to as being an Aspie.
OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- Feeling the need to do a behavior repeatedly, like hand flapping or washing, to the point where it interrupts your life and you can’t stop even if you want to. I am not a big fan of these kind of labels for medical problems or behaviors. I think they are a good place to start, but eventually can obscure what you are trying to achieve, which is, better health. ( For example, “Autism” is supposedly not curable, which is definitely not true, and my daughter’s diagnosis of OCD got her only more ineffective psychology sessions, instead of what she really needed, which was some sensory integration.)
NT- Neurotypical- This is what those who feel they are not on the spectrum call themselves and sometimes is used by Aspies as an insult. I think these labels are ridiculous. Who can claim to be normal, after all? I would certainly never want to be described as typical. These labels cause bad feelings. They give persons with Autism reason to feel like they are being oppressed. They feel undervalued, and it makes them feel the need to fight for their right to be autistic, which is sad for everyone because it impedes the cause of finding a cure for this illness. With their brilliant intellects and laser focus, having a few Aspie’s dedicated to the cause of curing Autism would be a fine thing. All people are valuable, and everyone has their own challenges to face.
3. What can/can’t I eat on the gfcf diet?
If you are looking for the particulars of the diet, you need to go to www.gfcfdiet.com. It is not a very easy site to navigate, but it has everything you could ever want to know about the diet, and how to get started. But the basic diet is No Gluten, (which includes wheat, rye, oats, and barley) and No Casein, (Which includes all dairy products.) What can/ can’t I eat is also a loaded question, because of the very nature of this diet, and how it helps our kids. The theory behind it, in a nutshell, is that children with autistic spectrum problems may have leaky intestines. The leaks are microscopic. When they eat, their food leaks out of their intestines undigested into their bloodstreams. When the undigested food hits their blood a chemical reaction occurs and the food turns into an opiate. These opiate (like opium?) chemicals act like drugs- the kids are literally high. So it is not so much that they are allergic to these foods but that they are addicted to the foods. This theory is controversial to many people. It is hard for some people to swallow that pasta or pizza could make you lose your mind. I know my description of how it works is less than scientific. But what I do know is that the diet works. My daughter is 13 now, very lucid, very intelligent. She will tell you when she has a breach in her diet that she feels “buzzed”. She also, as she has grown up a little, has taken more control over her diet because she says she doesn’t like how hard it is to think when she has a diet breach. The reason I said the question is loaded, is because people can also have this opiate effect from a lot of different foods. Gluten and casein are merely the worst offenders because they are staples in the North American diet. I met a Mom of an autistic boy when we were waiting in the doctors office. She was from the Philippines. Her son could not eat any rice or fish, which are the staples of their diet. She was importing potatoes from the states! My family is particularly sensitive to corn, potatoes and soy among many other things. You have to rule out all foods that give a bad reaction, and these foods are different for everyone. You need to become very observant of how your child reacts to different foods, keep a food journal if you need to.
4. Why doesn’t the diet work for everyone?
When you hear that the gfcf diet only works for 50% of the kids, my guess is that 50% of the people give up early because it is so difficult, or do not go on after they start gfcf to also eliminate the other things that are causing problems. If you decide to go gfcf, remember, it can take 6 months to see results. We saw results right away, but not everyone does. If your child is autistic, and you are not doing gfcf, be brave and give it a try. You have to be strict, you have to be diligent. It is worth the sacrifice. One thing to remember if you are not seeing instant results: Our kids don’t communicate well! (I know, duh.) Your child may be experiencing sensory changes or even physical changes that he just can’t tell you about. Even when you are blessed as we are with a child who can talk, they don’t have the vocabulary. Now, Years later, my daughter can tell me about the changes in her body. She doesn’t like the diet, but she is grateful for it. Gratitude is something you learn to do without from your autistic child. We are seeing it now, years later. Be patient, hold on. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
1. The Disclaimers:
A. I am not a doctor or any kind of professional anything. I am not even some wise crunchy granola type who knows how to use the weeds growing in your backyard to cure your acne. I often wish I was smarter so I could find more definitive solutions to my family’s health issues. What I am an expert in is my own kids, and I hope that some of the success that we have had can help somebody else who is struggling for help or ideas. I am making it all up as I go along, but I have been in the trenches for over 10 years, and experience counts for something.
B. Use the therapies I suggest at your own risk. Most of them are not conventional, and frankly could be quite dangerous if not used with caution. We use methods that have proven effective for OUR FAMILY. The very nature of Autism suggests that it is very different for everyone. We have gone through a lot of tweaking and trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t work like you hoped. Try not to pin your hopes on any one thing- you may find what worked when Jr. was 5 no longer works at 10. Be courageous and try new things, but BE CAREFUL. I make no promises and you have been warned- I don’t want any email about how you took Muffy off Prozac and she went postal on her babysitter and tried to eat the dog. (Besides we’ve been there and done that.)
C. I don’t work for any of the companies that I mention on this website. The supplements and food we have choose are chosen because we feel they are safe and very effective. Also- remember that food companies notoriously change the formula on a product that you have been using forever and thought was GFCF or allergy free or whatever. I may not have been able to update something so always check ingredients! We owe it to our families to be vigilant on their behalf and not leave it up to others.
D. We want to be perfectly straight up about the fact that one of the purposes of this website is to help fund our childrens’ therapies. We do have affiliate links for some products, may have advertising on select pages, etc. Despite the fact that we would like to make a little money through our efforts, we will never sell your email address, browsing habits, or other personal information to third parties. In the beginning we wanted to give all of our recipes and strategies away for free, but now we’d at least like to cover the cost of our web hosting, and possibly a bottle of supplements here and there, because we’d be working second jobs otherwise and wouldn’t have the time or money to bang away at the keyboards into the wee hours of the night. Our main goal is to help other families – if you find we have info that would help you and the circumstances don’t permit you to buy our cookbooks, drop us a line and we’ll send you one. If you have been blessed with abundance and want to throw us a bone because we’ve saved you some time or if we made you laugh, feel free to toss some change into our Tip Jar.