How to Find the Best Weighted Blanket for Autism

Anton Wieprecht @ 2019-04-22 10:57:40 UTC

Autism is a lifelong challenge, no matter how you look at it. When you have a diagnosis like that, it’s in your best interest to keep an open mind and think outside the box. With every passing year, scientists are learning more about autism and ways to help those with the condition.  


Although autism is a condition some estimates say impact up to 1 in 59 children, some people still have trouble explaining what it is. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders that affect each person uniquely, although they share common characteristics.


People with autism can have trouble with communication and social situations. They might also have repetitive behavior and intellectual delays or impairment. Or they could have a sensory processing disorder.


You don’t know what you’re getting with autism -- you can have a mild case or a severe one.


Is There a Difference in Autism in Adults Compared to Children?


 

Many of us may have had speech issues in our younger years at school that required intervention. Autism intervention has that in common with speech therapy -- interventions are best when introduced at a young age.


Autism is much more mainstream than ever before -- teachers, doctors, and even regular parents know what it is and some basic signs.


Pediatricians routinely perform well-baby and well-child check-ups now. That’s a lot different from when I was a kid -- I practically had to be having a near-death experience before my parents would spring for a trip to the doctor.


School teachers and officials flag any child they see who isn’t meeting the developmental milestones they should. Due to this, children going through school are less likely to graduate with an undiagnosed case of autism.


A generation or two ago, it was entirely possible for children with mild cases of autism to have their condition unnoticed. As a result, some people hear the diagnosis of autism for the first time when they are adults.


Adults who are diagnosed may notice different symptoms than what would be a red flag to a pediatrician who was diagnosing children with autism. As a result of the patient’s age, an adult may have different therapies than a child with autism would.


Therapies for Autism


 

There are plenty of therapies a person with autism may be offered. Some of them include:


In addition to these therapies, people with autism find other tools to help manage their condition and symptoms. Occupational therapists, for example, sometimes recommend a weighted blanket for autism.


They can provide some relief from sleep disorders, sometimes caused by anxiety, that people with autism often experience. The weighted blankets can offer deep pressure stimulation which relaxes and calms people with autism. That can lead to falling asleep faster, less frequent wakings, and less anxiety.


A heavy blanket for autism can quite literally become a security blanket. A weighted blanket for autistic adults has been proven in one study to help, with 63 percent of those tested reporting feeling less stressed.


The benefits of weighted blankets for autism children are less clear. It’s still an option some therapists recommend because they have seen success with some of their patients.


The Different Weighted Blankets Available


Weighted blankets come in various sizes and weights. They might just weigh a few pounds, or they could be as heavy as 30 pounds.


There are some that are better for adults than children, and you have to be aware of those differences when looking for one.


You’ll need to consider the size of the bed you’ll use it on. Other things that can vary from blanket to blanket include what they are filled with, such as glass beads or polyfill, and how they are constructed in terms of where the weight is placed.


The fabric they are made out of can also be a huge deciding factor for you. If you’re always cold like I am, you might want a warmer fabric like fleece or flannel. If you run warm, you may want a more breathable, lighter fabric like cotton or bamboo.


How to Select a Blanket for Someone with Autism

 

Weighted blankets can be expensive so you want to ensure you’re getting one that will be loved and used by the person you’re giving it to. Let’s make that decision a bit easier by going over some things you should consider before buying.


If you’re looking for a blanket  for an adult with autism, remember:



If you’re looking for a blanket for autism for a child:



Keep Searching For Ways To Help


Whether the person you’re shopping for is a child or an adult, they are lucky to have you. The fact that you’re looking into ways to help them with their autism shows how much you care about them.


The greatest gift someone can give is their love, attention, and thoughtfulness. Just by being in their corner, you’ll help them immeasurably.

 

For more information about choosing the right weighted blanket, check out Autism Parenting Magazine's: Weighted Blankets for Autism: Reducing Anxiety and Providing a Good Night's Sleep