Having a weighted blanket for kids with Autism can be a very useful tool for caring for a child with Autism. A weighted blanket is simply a blanket that has a weight attached to it, making it a therapeutic device for many. Weighted blankets are known as a calming blanket for autism in children.
Many parents of children with Autism have sung the many praises of using weighted blankets as a therapeutic device. They’ve been said to help calm the child down, however, it’s important to know what exactly is right for your child’s needs, as weighted blankets can be dangerous if you don’t get the right kind.
With so many different types out there, which one is right for me? Also, what’s the science behind it, and why should I believe it? As a parent, it’s important to know these questions, and more, before coming to the conclusion to buy a weighted blanket. However, thankfully, with the help of this comprehensive article, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision for your child!
The Science Behind It
LifeScience states that weighted blankets have been used in occupational therapy for quite a while now. In this type of occupational therapy, called “sensory integration therapy”, people with Autism or other similar disorders are encouraged to focus on certain “sensory experiences”.
It is said that this can help the patient’s ability to regulate their overall mood and in turn their behavior, aiding greatly in the overall therapy experience for the patient. Occupational Therapist Teresa May-Benson looks more into this.
Overall, May-Benson states that it’s a personal decision, using a weighted blanket as a therapy technique. If you feel that it could be beneficial to your child, it’s definitely worth giving a try.
Another article, this one by Healthline, speaks on the rise of the popularity of Weighted Blanket, especially in therapeutic ways.
A famous study in 1999 used a machine by Temple Grandin, Autism advocate who is on the spectrum themselves, called “The Hug Machine”. This study made strides in sensory integration therapy, and ultimately found “deep pressure stimulation to be beneficial to people with Autism.”
This study consisted of 67 children diagnosed with Autism, from ages 5 to 16. In the end, both participants and their parents, when given the choice between a weighted blanket or a normal blanket, giving the weighted blanket an obvious preference for both child and parent alike.
Now that we know the science behind it, it’s time to think about whether a weighted blanket is the right choice for you. Various factors, such as age and where your child is on the spectrum all come into play when deciding if to use a weighted blanket, and this simple questionnaire is perfect for learning if these blankets are right for you!
The first thing to know is how old your child is. This greatly affects your choice in a weighted blanket, as for children aged 9 and younger, it’s recommended to get a lower weighted blanket or to use another form of sensory integration therapy altogether. A good note of rule is to get 10% to 20% of the patient’s body weight.
Secondly, does your child have Autism? If so, it’s important to understand the risks of thee blankets, especially for younger users. If you’re using this as a type of therapy for your Autistic child, remember to ensure that they’re constantly monitored while using it, as well as making sure they don’t suffocate in it.
Next, an important question is, specifically, how much does your child weigh? This information is vital and must be known if you’re interested in purchasing a weighted blanket, as getting the wrong size of blanket can be very dangerous to a child with Autism. Using the 10 to 20% body weight mentioned earlier, you can figure out what blanket is perfect for your child’s needs.
Lastly, does your child like physical contact, or prefers their personal space? This is great to take into account, especially since Sensory Integration Therapy is mainly based around the touch sense. Make sure that a weighted blanket is something your child would like before investing.
So Which One Is For Me?
All safety precautions aside, weighted blankets are a great choice for those with children that have Autism. However, choosing the right one for your child is vital.
Choosing for an Autistic child can be difficult, as their moods and preferences seem to change indefinitely, however, making sure that it’s one that they’ll love is important, so try shopping with your child, to ensure that you pick the right one for them.
As well as this, make sure that you get the right weight for your child, as getting the wrong weight can be dangerous for the child. As mentioned before, using the rule of thumb 10 to 20% of the child’s body weight is a great way to make sure that you’re getting the right size for them.
After answering the questions in the questionnaire, it’s important to take those findings and implement them in your weighted blanket search. Keeping this in mind, taking all of these things into consideration will ensure your success in finding the perfect weighted blanket.
The benefits, while arguable, are vast and can certainly provide a better night’s sleep for your child. Either that, or it can be used as a therapeutic device for autistic children. There’s a reason that so many parents swear by weighted blankets for their children who are on the spectrum.
Decided that a weighted blanket is right for you? Well, look no further than the great deals over at Namaste Blankets! These blankets not only are some of the highest-quality blankets out there, but their selection of weighted blankets will be sure to please!
Overall, having a weighted blanket for kids with autism proves to be not only beneficial for you, but your child as well. With great benefits, such as decreased anxiety, and an overall improvement in emotional behavior, it’s hard not to try it out for yourself!