Benefits of weighted blankets and vests
Parents of special needs children have found that weighted blankets and vests can have a calming effect on their kids. They have proven extremely effective for those with autism and sensory issues. The science behind these weighted items is known as Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), a term for the feeling of gentle, distributed weight of the body.
Research has found that weighted blankets and vests have several benefits when they’re made a part of a child’s behavior plan. Here are some of them:
- Promotes and improves sleep
Studies have shown that weighted blankets can increase serotonin in the body. This is an important chemical that helps regulate mood and ease relaxation. It has been seen that children with autism are low in serotonin. This is one of the reasons why they feel at ease with weighted blankets. They also help in calming down the nervous system and can be a great help for those who can’t fall asleep due to anxiety.
- Helps improve focus in classroom
Several studies have shown that using weighted products in classroom can help improve a child’s performance. One study stated that children with ADHD improved their in-seat behavior, attention, and task completion while wearing a weighted vest. It was also found to have a positive effect on fine motor skills like writing and on-task behavior.
- Reduce self-stimulatory behaviors
Weighted vests have been found to reduce self-stimulatory behaviors, commonly known as fidgeting or stimming. Whether used at home or in therapy, a weighted blanket helps reduce sensory overload. The extra weight adds a sensory input that allows kids to feel their body.
- Helps reduce anxiety
Weighted blankets have been shown to reduce anxiety. It helps cause a physiological change on a person’s nervous system, thus helping them feel calmer. If anxiety is an issue for your child, a weighted blanket or vest can be a good tool to have on hand. Weighted blankets have been shown to improve serotonin production, and can be used to help alleviate OCD anxiety as well.
- Helps calm meltdowns
When raising a child with special needs, meltdowns are something that you have to commonly deal with. Whether it is due to sensory overload or an unexpected change, meltdowns can be very difficult on anyone. A weighted blanket or vest can produce the feeling of a hug and can help reduce or prevent a meltdown.
- Helps make transition easier
Teachers often struggle to get children with autism to change from one activity to another. In certain special education classrooms, teachers have turned to weighted blankets to help make their transition easier. It works very well when children are coming from a break. Teachers often give a weighted blanket to children who need extra help. This strategy can be used at home when your child comes from school, or comes inside from playing. Children with autism tend to do better with transitions when they have a routine and are using weighted blankets.
Find a weighted blanket, vest or cushions for your child at Help Them Shine. Children who are easily distracted, hyperactive and lacking in concentration respond positively to the hugging or comforting sensation of these weighted objects. Therapists have also found that adding additional weights to the body can also assist with reflex maturity, body position awareness and coordination, balance, eye/hand coordination, spatial perception and hearing and speaking skills.