Our OT suggested that Reine might benefit from a weighted blanket. I had heard of them before, but had no idea what purpose they served to those on the spectrum. We were told that they provide a slight pressure, almost a hug like feeling. They are used by many to help soothe and sleep better. They are weighted depending on the person’s weight.
As the OT was writing her preliminary initial thoughts and recommendations for us, I quickly looked them up on my phone. I was in sticker shock to say the least. Many start at $90 for a small one (AKA lap blanket) and go up from there. Some as high as $250.
When the OT came back into the room, I asked her about making one (Mom In Law is an AMAZING quilter). I saw what seemed like a thousand DIY tutorials on them in my less than 5 minute search I had just done. I was surprised when our OT nicely said she does not recommend the homemade ones as they can pose health risks. She said many are not weighted properly and if one of the pockets were to get a hole in them, they would pose a choking hazard. OK, I can see her point.I even agree with it. So, time to think outside of the box.
I could not fathom paying over a $100 for something that may or maynot work for my daughter. There is a reason they say when you meet one person with autism, congratulations, you met one person with autism. Each person on the spectrum is different.You never know if what works for one person with ASD will work with another.
So, I started to look at weighted blankets sold from reputable autism sites.I knew that if this did not work, I was going to be stuck with a blanket so I had better like the design, print, style, size, and color. I happened to look down at my lap at that exact moment. I was snuggled into a throw blanket. Do they even make “weighted” throw blankets? Could this even be a possibility? Well yes, yes they do make them.
I did an online search for heavy throw blankets. I looked at the overall shipping weight generally listed under the description of the product.Some that claimed to be heavy were only actually 2 lbs. I needed to be between 3-5 lbs for Reine according to our OT. Imagine my surprise when I was able to find one that weighed 4 lbs and was less than $40. My bank account cried in delight. I know it would have also jumped for joy, sang at the top of it’s lung and placed me on a pedestal if had it actually could. I know wishful thinking, but seriously the price was awesome! The blanket is made of polyester and is a woven two-ply faux fur. I had 3 color choices of black, gray, or white. I opted to go with black. Remember I needed it to be able to use it in case she did not like it. The throw is 60×50 inches. Not a bad size at all, especially for a 5 yr old. It appeared to be super soft with a fur like texture that I hoped Reine would LOVE. I ordered it and prayed. The day it arrived, Reine was in INSTANT love with it. It has been the perfect snuggle, calm down, falling asleep blanket this house has ever used! The only con for us is that it is dry clean only.
Link to our weighted blanket can be found here.
I also recommended it to a friend to try with her son that is also on the spectrum. She was just as hesitant as I was about it, but she bit the bullet so to speak and opted for the white blanket. Her son is in LOVE with it too.
I think I maybe on to something here.