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!
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.