For many people on the Autism Spectrum, pressure is comforting, soothing – even relaxing. Weighted gear, including blankets, lap pads/shoulder wraps and vests can provide this pressure in a positive manner, and Salt of the Earth offers a multitude of products. This company has a FAQ page to answer questions that parents may have regarding the use of their products. In a paper entitled “Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals,” by noted Autism expert Temple Grandin suggests that abnormalities in the cerebellum may be responsible for sensory processing difficulties. Dr. Grandin developed a “squeeze machine” which helped her overcome hypersensitivity to touch as well as having the added benefit of calming her nerves. She goes on to discuss the benefits of deep pressure: Autistic children will often seek out deep pressure sensations. At various lecture meetings of parents of autistic individuals, parents have reported to me various types of pressure-seeking behavior of their offspring, such as wrapping arms and legs in elastic bandages, sleeping under many blankets even during warm weather, and getting under mattresses. In my case, l used to crawl under sofa cushions and have my sister sit on them. A high functioning autistic woman stated, “I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.”
Planets in space weighted blanket from
Weighted blankets are custom-made blankets filled with beans, poly-pellets, river rocks or sand to give them added weight. Deep pressure from such a weighted blanket helps to calm certain individuals, which allows them to relax. These blankets can also assist with sleep issues prevalent among those with sensory disorders including Autism.
Blankets are available in a variety of sizes and weights. The best formula for determining the proper weight is 10% of the individual’s weight plus one pound. Using this formula, a fifty- pound child’s weighted blanket would contain six pounds of added weight. Be careful to make certain that the manufacturer uses one of the materials mentioned above; some utilize lead weights, which can be hazardous to health.
Weighted vest from saltoftheearthweightedgear.com
There are many who swear that the use of a weighted vest by autistic children, as well as those who have sensory integration or pervasive developmental disorders helps to calm them. It is believed that this is because the vests alter the way their bodies perceive and interpret incoming sensory information. Because the vest offers constant deep pressure, it is believed that it enables these children to process proprioceptive input better and to understand where their bodies are in space. In the book “Mozart and the Whale” by Jerry Newport, his wife Mary describes a situation in which she was tackled by the staff of a psychiatric facility as being one of the defining experiences of her life. It was the first time she’d ever had a clear sense of where her body ended and the rest of the world began.
For more info: www.SaltOfTheEarthWeightedGear.com
Salt Of The Earth Weighted Gear
414 Rd D1050
Henderson, Ne 68371
Call 402-723-5229 or toll free 1-800-345-0579 Ask for Annie.
To speak directly to the vest seamstress, call 402-362-2039. Ask for Avon.
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