Day # 53 – Resource: Weighted Blankets

What are these weighted blanket things that I have referred to time and time again? Well – they are just that, weighted blankets.  The weight provides a calming feeling to those with autism (and ADD/ADHD).  Children can become overstimulated or anxious because of their surroundings, having weight on top of them helps calm their nerves.

Have you ever had a moment where you crawled into bed with a heavy down comforter and thought, “Oh I am IN LOVE with my life right now…I never want to leave this bed.”  Well, that’s the weight helping you.  About a month ago we were visiting my parents and Tucker was anxious.  He was anxious…

anxious because we were going to be gone all day for my class reunion

anxious because we were gone the night before at my class reunion

anxious because he didn’t know what time we were leaving

anxious because he slept in a different bed

anxious because he was not at home

anxious for all kinds of reasons…

Now, don’t get me wrong – he loves his grandparents plenty – but that doesn’t matter.  He was anxious.

I found him lying in the middle of their living room with two blankets.  “Mom, can you put another blanket on me?”  Sure.  “Mom, can you put another blanket on me?”  Sure.  By the time an hour had passed he had every blanket in their house on top of him.  Yes, he should have been ROASTING HOT – but he wasn’t.  The need for the calming influence from the weight of the blankets overruled the heat of 12 blankets.  He still needed more…so I looked at my husband.  He knew right what to do.

He went in and laid on Tucker (and my husband is a BIG, BIG guy).  He laid on him for five minutes and got up.  Tucker said, “Not yet.”  WIN!!  Tucker knew exactly what he needed – he may not always know the reason…but he knows it makes him feel better.  So, Matt laid back down for another 10-15 minutes.  Finally, Tucker said, “Okay…I feel better now.”  He did – and it was obvious.

Plenty of online sites have these blankets for sale…but there is one problem.  They are EXPENSIVE.  I’ve been looking for one large enough to really make a difference for Tucker.  Smaller blankets aren’t nearly as much, but spending $200 on a BIG weighted blanket for a BIG boy is a bit pricey for us average folks. Especially when I can pile blankets on for the same result.  BUT…I get really annoyed at trying to clean up his room and teach him to make his bed.  Hard to do when there are 10 blankets to fold along with regular bed-making duties.

So, I could share all kinds of retail sites for these blankets…but…instead I’m sharing this site.

A do it yourself weighted blanket!!!  WHAT?!?!  Yep – DIY!!  This is now on my project list for Christmas – let’s hope I get it done in time.  I claim NO creativity rights to this…it’s all from a fellow blogger!

http://jesttupositive.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/diy-weighted-blanket/

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If you try it before I do – let me know how it goes.  I’d love to hear any special ‘tricks’ to making this process work.

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5 thoughts on “Day # 53 – Resource: Weighted Blankets

  1. I am an OT student and am very excited about this DIY you have shared. Thank you for sharing and spreading the word on this inhibition technique for children become overstimulated. This is a great tip that many parents are unaware of (unless their child has had therapy in the past).
    -AC

    Like

    • AC-
      Thank you SO much for your comment. I was also SO excited to come across this option that would be available to most people. So many reached out and offered to make these blankets as a ‘service project’ to give to others. That makes me happy, happy, happy! Please feel free to share with other OT folks – I had no idea what OT’s did until this all began, now I am FOREVER grateful for your very unique skill set!

      Like

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