Autism Awareness week.. A weighted therapy aide review.
Autism awareness week and I couldn’t decide what to write about.. If you follow me you know I support Autism Awareness all year round, working as a Spectrum Inspired Photographer and Abassador I donate my time to provide families with members on the spectrum images they’ll hopefully treasure forever.
I am also a mother to three boys on the spectrum diagnosed with multiple different things. So I didn’t want to write the standard ‘facts’ or .. ‘what not to say to an Autism parent’ etc as so many have already gone over those so perfectly.
As a result of the above I got thinking about how our lives have been recently.. any recent events that have triggered change or any big wow moments. We’ve been super lucky to have a few of those wow moments recently but what stuck most was a recent purchase so I thought why not write about that. A more personal experience and not just about Autism.
Over the years I have found myself investing in many different therapy aides to try support my boys in their sensory needs, auditory processing needs and many more. One of the things that I was fortunate to be able to invest in early on was a weighted blanket for my youngest, probably most.. sensory Child. I had it esp made by a friend and the benefits it gave him at that time were huge.
Not just for Autism though..
With age though came growth and he out grew his blanket. It wasn’t giving him the same level of benefit it had once done which made it a bit redundant. Over the years to come we still kept it and I found myself one day with my own health issues and sat in the doctors office when she suggested it might be worth a try of one for my Restless leg syndrome, aka Willis-Ekbom disease. This is something that impacts on my Anxiety and PTSD quite traumatically. When you don’t get the sleep your body needs it becomes a vicious circle quite quickly.
I decided before investing a whole ton of money into finding a size suitable one for myself that I’d try his old one on my legs.. the benefits were noticeable from day one but not quite to the desired effect I’d hoped for. It was positive though.
Weighted blankets are made specific to a weight percentage of the person they will be for, so as a child grows this would need to be adjusted.. hence why ours stopped having its desired effect as he aged.
One day about four weeks ago I stumbled across a business share post and a lady had posted her small business for weighted blankets.. (Under Pressure by Danielle) I jumped on and we got chatting.. a week later I had my very own new weighted blanket, hand delivered too!
Roll on to today and my newly purchased blanket is an item I can no longer sleep without! The desired effect was pretty much instant. Within half an hour of having my blanket my legs stop twitching, the feeling of a constant need for movement is dulled. Using my blanket at night for the first time was quite frankly crazy. I wasn’t expecting miracles but quickly realised just how bad a restless sleeper I had become. I now don’t see in every other hour at night. Restless sleep has always been a struggle for me. My boys have never slept properly and that’s always been ‘my norm’ so to come away feeling for once like I had actually slept is quite possibly a miracle for me.. something I am sure many take for granted.
A prime example.. March 17th, my best friend and I completed a 10k night walk in London to raise money for the National Autistic Society, (raising a fantastic £770 might I add!) but arriving home at gone 1am and having walked around London since 2pm the previous day my legs were screaming!! Crawling into bed at nearly 2am with whole body shakes, I thought I’d never sleep. An hour later exhaustion over took and the blanket had quite literally saved me hours of agony.
However this isn’t all about me.. it wasn’t long before two of my boys became intrigued, (I think they have developed quite the blanket/cushion obsession that their mother enjoys!)
After having had quite a challenging morning and a crazy long meltdown from my youngest, (coming towards the end of the term it’s not unusual to face more bad days than good,) I came in to find him rolled up in my blanket on the living room floor.. like nothing had previously happened. Calm and quite content wrapped up like a sausage roll! He stayed that way for a good hour and the day saw no more meltdowns.
A few days later I walked in to find my middle son hiding under it and spent that evening listening to the pair of them argue over who needed it most and whose turn it was. It’s been pretty much the same ever since. So enough was enough.. I purchased them each a blanket!
We now own three!
BENEFITS OF A WEIGHTED BLANKET..
Adults as well as children can reap the benefits of weighted blanket therapy. Like a tight hug weight blankets can help you feel secure, safe, comforted and calm.
Ideal for helping reduce anxiety, panic, tension or stress.
Sleep conditions/disorders, weighted blankets can help the body increase its levels of melotonin and serotonin, both chemicals produced naturally in the body that help to regulate mood, sleep, social behaviour and even memory and appetite.
There’s so many more benefits attached but these are the big ones for us.
I can not thank Danielle enough, not just for the benefits that have come with what’s she created for us but the quality of her work. Our blankets are of the softest material I think I’ve ever come across, another added sensory benefit. A fantastic range of colours, designs and if she doesn’t have to hand what you are after she finds it for you. Once the materials arrived she was super speedy in creating them too.. and despite my picky requests she created and delivered two blankets within a week of the materials arriving at hers. The quality is second to none as is her customer service.
Please, if you’ve ever considered a weighted blanket, lap or shoulder pad check out her page, (Under Pressure by Danielle) so many options for weighted therapy she’s super approachable and I can not recommend her enough!
Supporting my local small business owners and other Autism families.
Check out our blankets below!