Weighted therapy is the use of weighted products to apply deep pressure to the body, stimulating the proprioception in the muscles, enabling those who are “sensory seeking” to relax, focus and have a greater awareness of their body.
What are Weighted Items?
They are objects, such as vests, blankets, cushions or toys that are filled with weights. The material of weights can be Polly Pellets, sand, rice, or wheat.
Who Benefits From the Use of Weighted Items?
Weighted items are useful for people who experience difficulties with touch, body awareness, balance, and movement senses. Weighted sensory products, under the guidance and supervision of a qualified Occupational Therapist, have been shown to help meet the needs of children and adults with:
- Autism (ASD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down syndrome
- Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS)
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS)
- Rett syndrome
- Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and many more.
How Do Weighted Sensory Products Help?
They provide proprioceptive input which creates stability, increased body awareness, and calm. This improves attention, focus, and concentration for many children and adults with special needs. In many cases, weighted sensory products can be effective in helping calm overly stimulated children with sensory needs. They may help with:
- Improving alertness, focus, and attention for activities
- Reducing aggressive
- Calming and decreasing anxiety
- Relaxing and going to sleep
The suggested weight for a therapy blanket is approximately 10% of the person's body weight.
I offer custom-made weighted products to meet your needs. I can also provide you with a fabric to match your child's favorite interest, which can help them bond with the blanket even more.
For every purchase of our Sensory Weighted Products, we donate 5% of the profits to support autism causes in Canada. Feel free to contact me to learn more.
How is a Weighted Blanket Made?
The weighted blankets start with high quality quilting grade cotton or cotton flannel, and has two layers of muslin cotton to keep the pellets in. It is stitched together making individual pockets so the pellets can be evenly distributed throughout the blanket. All blankets and outside edges are double stitched and bound to add protection and provide a crisp clean edge. Weighted products are filled with 100% clean and non-toxic Poly Pellets.
Please note that Poly Pellets are not harmful but should not be eaten.
How Does the Weighted Blanket work?
A weighted blanket provides pressure and sensory input for individuals with autism and other disorders. A weighted blanket can be used as a calming tool or for sleep. The pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input to the brain and releases a hormone called serotonin which is a calming chemical in the body.
"Deep pressure touch stimulation (or DPTS) is a type of therapy that almost anyone can benefit from. Similar to getting a massage, pressure exerted over the body has physical and psychological advantages. According to Temple Grandin, PH.D., 'Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming."
Recommended by Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists (OT) recommend weighted blankets for sensory therapy, Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PDSD, anxiety, stress, as well as insomnia. There are also many clients who rave over their improved restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s symptoms, as well as their ability to stay focused and relaxed. Family and Personal Support Worker’s say it helps adults with Alzheimer’s to stay seated longer with the application of some weighted products thus reducing wandering and agitation.
A Weighted Blanket may be covered by Medical Insurance. Referrals through your OT or other health professionals may be tax deductible. Check with your insurance to see if they cover any expenses.
Always seek the advice of your Occupational Therapist. It is recommended that any weighted item should be less than 10% of a person’s body weight.
Types of Blankets
Lap Pad: These can be helpful in the classroom, car, restaurants, travel, or in a work environment.
Couch or Activity Blanket: This smaller blanket is great and convenient as it is easy to carry around the house for many different needs. The activity blanket provides a sense of security and calmness whether the individual is reading, playing board games, drawing, colouring, watching TV or visiting with family.
Weighted Blanket: These blankets can be customized in weight to accommodate individuals of all ages and sizes. This allows the person to choose fabrics that they love. Weighted blankets are made to cover your body.
How to Calculate Weight
Total Body Weight x 10% + 1 pound. Round up to the nearest pound.
Example: (73 pounds x 10% = 7.3 pounds+ 1 pound= 8.3 pounds rounded up to 9 pounds required for a blanket for a 73-pound individual.)
Safety Information & Warnings
NEVER swaddle or forcefully wrap any person in a weighted blanket or put it over their face/head. They should be used willingly. A blanket should be able to be removed easily by the user.
DO NOT use weighted items for people under 3 years of age without the recommendation from a healthcare professional (Physician, Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist).
@ 9Senses.ca, we are not licensed Occupational Therapists, Physicians or Physical Therapists.
ALWAYS Consult your health care professional or licensed therapist for the correct size and weight before using a weighted blanket as a supplement for treatment of a specific disorder.
Care & Washing Instructions
ALWAYS inspect your blanket prior to use. If it is damaged, discontinue use until it is repaired.
Machine wash separately in cold water in gentle cycle and hang to dry. Do not iron. Do not microwave. Do not dry clean.