Having a child with autism can be difficult. It is important to find ways to help them manage their emotions and make them feel comfortable. One tool that many parents have found helpful is a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket can provide deep pressure touch stimulation, which can be calming and soothing for kids with autism.
The Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Autistic Children
Weighted blankets provide deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS), which has been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and sensory overload. The weight of the blanket provides gentle pressure on the body, giving it a feeling of being held or hugged, providing safety and comfort in stressful situations. This type of stimulation works by stimulating certain nerve endings in the skin that produce hormones like serotonin and oxytocin, both associated with relaxation and calming effects on the body.
Weighted blankets can also help children sleep better at night by providing comfort and security while they are sleeping. Many autistic children experience difficulty when trying to fall asleep due to sensory overload caused by external stimuli such as sounds or lights. The deep pressure therapy provided by a weighted blanket helps their bodies relax so they can drift off into peaceful sleep easier. In addition, having something familiar and comforting like a weighted blanket can help reduce separation anxiety during bedtime or when travelling away from home.
When choosing a weighted blanket for an autistic child, it is important to find one that fits properly according to their size and weight. Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is 10 percent of your child’s body weight plus 1-2 pounds (for example if your child weighs 40 lbs then you would need a 6-7 pound weighted blanket). It is also important to check the quality of the fabric used in making the blanket; ideally you should look for breathable fabrics such as cotton or bamboo blends for maximum comfort during sleep hours. Additionally, some blankets come with removable covers so you can remove the cover easily if necessary for washing purposes.
Weighted blankets offer many benefits for children with autism including improved sleep quality, reduced stress levels, increased safety and security when away from home, as well as calming sensory input during times of high stress or anxiety. When selecting a weighted blanket for your child it is important to consider size, weight requirements as well as material composition in order to get maximum benefit from this therapeutic tool. With these factors taken into consideration you will be able to choose an appropriate weighted blanket that will provide your child with comfort and relief during those difficult moments when nothing else seems to work!