How And When To Use A Weighted Blanket For Your Autistic Child
As a parent, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about your child’s future. Especially when your son or daughter has an autism spectrum disorder, you will face much more challenges. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to help children with autism. Apart from the medical care and therapies that you may line up to help your son or daughter, there is a form of therapy used by parents and therapists alike known as ‘Deep Pressure’.
What is “Deep Pressure”?
Deep pressure is a combination of a tactile and proprioceptive input which is often provided by firm holding, firm stroking, cuddling, hugging, and squeezing.
The proprioceptive sense refers to the sensory input and feedback that tells us about movement and body position. Proprioceptive receptors are located within our muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues. It is one of the “deep senses” and could be considered the “position sense”.
The autistic children are having difficulty processing proprioceptive input, they’re brain isn’t receiving proper messages regarding whether muscles are being stretched, whether joints are bending or straightening, and how much of each of these is happening, children may seek out more intense forms of proprioceptive or deep pressure input. Kids with tactile and/or proprioceptive sensory processing dysfunction may seek out deep pressure input to send a stronger message to their nervous system. Deep pressure may help them “dampen” averse tactile sensations or may give them a greater sense of where their body is in a space.
There are many scenarios where Deep Pressure can be used to help an autistic child feel better. Although it depends on the time of day, how bad they are feeling and whether or not they’re comfortable with each kind of therapy, but knowing when and where it should be used is important.
Deep Pressure could come into its own in some scenarios, such as:● When sensory overstimulation comes from a single source● If someone is feeling anxious about an upcoming event e.g. sports day at school● When your child is feeling isolated and trying to exert deep pressure on themselves
Use A Therapeutic Deep Pressure Product: Weighted Blankets
For your child, one of the simplest ways of applying Deep Pressure therapy is by giving them a hug. It doesn’t have to be too tight, but exerting a little pressure when embracing your son or daughter in their hour of need can make a big difference. Of course you can’t accompany your children all the time, there are other ways of using Deep Pressure therapy: use weighted items , such as weighted blankets. Research done about the use of weighted blankets found that it helped autistic children to improve their balance.
The weighted blanket is a popular therapeutic product came from Deep Pressure Therapy. It is essentially a blanket that’s heavier than normal, usually filled with non-toxic glass beads. So it applies ‘deep touch pressure’ on the body. The extra weight puts pressure on the nervous system which immediately calms the mind and body.
The effects of Weighted Blankets don’t appear straight away. To use a weighted blanket for your child, it can take time, from a few hours to a few days. Fortunately, once it registers with your child, they begin to feel a little calmer. Eventually, they should feel ready to get on with the rest of their day.
Things You Should Know Before Using A Weighted Blanket For Your Child● First and foremost, NEVER force a child to use a weighted blanket. You can demonstrate on yourself and encourage, but remember we’re talking about sensory input and a weighted blanket may actually feel painful to your child.● When first presenting the weighted blanket to your child, pull it up slowly from their feet and lay it down on top of them. Ask them what they think!● If your child could benefit from some calm down time outside of bedtime, try wrapping the weighted blanket around them while they sit on the couch or floor while reading, playing board games, doing homework, etc.● Choose the blanket that weighs about 10% of the body weight plus one, 10 lbs weight is intended for individuals weighing about 90 lbs.● Please don’t use weighted blanket if your kids is under the age of 2.
If you are thinking of investing in a weighted blanket for your child, we strongly recommend YnM Kid’s Weighted Blanket (10 lbs, 41”x60”) as the best choice.
The blanket is made from Cotton and has a unique 7-layer system, making the blanket support and contour to your kids shape for an even greater level of comfort. They use more glass beads and less filler, which makes the blanket better for temperature control. In addition, YnM is one of Amazon Best Sellers, got 4.5 out of 5 stars and over 3000 reviews.