I came across Dawn's facebook page and her company "Weighted Blankets by Dawn". She answered all of my questions, and was extremely knowledgable. The large websites I found overwhelmed me with their choices and I wasn't sure if these heavy blankets would overheat my daughter here in South Florida. Dawn explained that she doesn't use the extra padding and cotton fabrics so that the blanket keeps "cool". My daughter and I chose the fabric and Dawn ordered it for us. She kept us posted on the progress throughout the order. Yesterday, I picked up the blanket and my daughter couldn't wait to try it out. What I found most interesting is that my other non-sensory children also loved it! Here a closeup of my daughter's blanket. Isn't it gorgeous?
The weighted blanket provides her with deep pressure throughout her body which has a calming effect. The deep pressure from the weight causes the body to produce Serotonin and Endorphins, which are the chemicals our bodies naturally use to feel relaxed or calm. In combination with the darkness such as nighttime, the Pineal Gland converts Serotonin to Melatonin, our natural sleep inducing hormone. Animals and humans alike tend to feel a sense of security when swaddled, so having a weighted blanket wrapped around the body eases the mind allowing for complete relaxation.
Who can they help?
Weighted Blankets can help children with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, and sensory problems. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, previously referred to as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition in which a person has difficulty processing and acting upon the information they receive through their senses. This creates difficulty with many everyday tasks. Most people with Autism Spectrum Disorder also have Sensory Processing Disorder. Symptoms overlap and are both often treated with a Sensory Diet. A weighted blanket can literally be a lifesaving device for entire families where someone is not sleeping or suffering from some form of sensory processing disorder (SPD). Weighted blankets are best used for improving sleep and can also be used on the couch or in the car as a calming tool and for helping focus.
Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD):
- Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and wandering the house at night.
- Throwing tantrums or zoning out in noisy public places.
- Have trouble sitting still, focusing, or transitioning from one task to another.
- Exhibiting fearful or aggressive behaviors in certain situations.
- Craves tight hugs, banging into things, having people sit on him or pile things on top of him.
- Covering their ears or being bothered by sounds that don’t bother others.
- Constantly putting objects in the mouth past the toddler years.
- May lick, taste, or chew on inedible objects.
- Avoids certain textures, may hate wearing clothes.
You can find a complete checklist here.
Dawn's blankets are available in 4 sizes and are machine washable. Her prices are very reasonable and affordable. Check out her facebook page for more details or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some more pictures of her work.
Speech and Language Pathologist
As the lead therapist and owner of Teach Beyond Speech Therapy Services, LLC., Elisa Cartagena provides academically relevant speech and language therapy for children from preschool through adolescence throughout the Greater Fort Lauderdale of Broward County including Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, and Weston. She has over 15 years of experience in the education field that includes classroom teaching, ESE education, and speech and language therapy services.
Keywords: Weighted Blankets, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, regulating the nervous system