Weighted Blanket: What Is It & How To Make It?

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Difficulty communicating is one of the first signs of autism. Social, communicating and language skills develop differently and more slowly in children with autism in comparison to “regular” children. Autism can be diagnosed at as early as 18 months old. The sooner parents notice autism and diagnose it, the better chances they have to improve autism condition and reduce its symptoms.

We have already told our readers about the benefits of animal and drama therapies. Both of them help to develop and improve social, communicating and language skills, emotions, as well as cultivate such traits as responsibility, self-esteem, care and more.

However there is one more therapy, which is considered to be helpful. It’s called a weighted blanked therapy, so-called deep touch therapy. The purpose of the therapy is to calm people who have autism, help them to fall asleep. The key is the weighted blanket, of course. The heaviness of the blanket creates a pressure on the body, similar to the pressure of the hug or when you stroke a pet. The recent researches shown that this therapy and the pressure it creates, encourages the production of neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is well known for its calming and relaxing qualities, it helps to reduce anxiety and stress. By the way, the weighted blanket therapy can be also used for people who suffer from insomnia, bi-polar disorder, restless leg syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder. Unfortunately, you will not find such blankets at your nearest department stores, more likely you will be able to purchase them online from Amazon or other retailers and online stores. You should also select the right weight of the blanked for yourself or your child. It should be something between 5% and 15% of the patient’s body weight. E.g., if your weight is 120 pounds, the blanked should weight from 6 to max 18 pounds.

The good news is that you can make a weighted blanket yourself. First of all, you need to have at least minimal sewing skills J. You’ll need enough fabric, preferably woven, such as flannel. Filling for the blanket segments, such as poly-beads for toys. Do not use sand as it’s not good for lungs because of the silica. Rocks can simply poke from the blanket and scratch your sensitive child. Rice and beans can mold over time. There are a couple of patterns you may use to craft your own weighted blanket. Here are a few of helpful links:

1. http://mommysews.blogspot.com/2007/08/sew-your-own-weighted-blanket.html

2. https://craftnectar.com/2009/09/03/calming-the-senses-with-weighted-blankets/

3. http://www.ehow.com/how_5525250_make-weighted-blanket.html

Hope it was helpful and now you are an owner of a beautiful weighted blanked!