Weighted Blankets and Mental Health…

Weighted blankets are being used in mental health units so that patients can soothe themselves.

A patient with bipolar 1 disorder, anxiety, ADHA, and dyslexia was taught about deep pressure tough strategies to alleviate severe symptoms of sensory over overload and anxiety.

Mental health units using weighted blankets saw a big decline in the use of seclusion and restraint as well as safety sitters.  The primary job of a safety sitter is to keep a patient safe…preventing, self harm, overdosing and suicide.

The reports are that people who used the blankets felt calmer, more grounded, safe and secure.  They also felt more centered, had improved concentration and deceased stress and anxiety.

Many people reported that the weighted blanket worked miracles.

One sensory specialist in this area said:” I have observed that the deep pressure is helpful for patients.  They start to relax, they make increased eye contact and where there was rapid speech…the speech slows down.  They have a general look of physical pain relief.”

Patients report that they have a feeling of being given a big hug.  They also feel less agitated and calmer.  Many patients are receptive to using weighted blankets because they wish to try  different sensory interventions.  After people get to try sensory methods they tend to know what they need..such as a fidget…headphones or a weighted blanket.

Practitioners are constantly seeking ways of funding the blankets so that patients have more resources.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bslforkids

Weights Lap Pad Blankets for Anxiety…

Overview

Research has shown that Weighted Lap Pads, Weighted Blankets and Weights shoulder wraps can help reduce reduce symptoms and manage conditions for many people who have disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, or autism, weighted blankets may provide a safe alternative to medication or other types of treatment.

Caregivers and professionals in the autism community have a great awareness of their benefits including feeling more secure, improving feeling body awareness, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep.

What are the benefits of a weighted blanket for anxiety?

Weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in both children and adults. They are safe to use as long as you understand some basic rules.  Autism can be stressful because we encounter situations where we don’t have the skills or brain type to handle them.

This can cause anxiety, anger, sadness or other extreme emotions.  Sometimes it’s simply a change of routine that can cause an extreme out of control feeling.

With sensory processing disorder, sensory messages are not processed in the usual way by the brain.  Other people may focus on one sound and not notice anything else but for a person with Sensory Processing Disorder, all the sensory signals come in which creates an overload and can make you feel like screaming or running away.  At the very least it makes you feel very frustrated because people don’t tend to understand how sensory overload feels.

according to statistics it is common for those with Autism to be under-responsive, needing more stimuli to achieve regulation of the body.

The opposite is also true.  Some people with Autism may be over-responsive or require a calm a calm environment to function optimally.

Weighted blankets help ground your body during sleep because of the feeling of weight or pressure. This process, known as “grounding,”  and may have a deeply calming effect.  People who meditate or work with crystals often talk about grounding themselves to help them feel connected and centered.

The blankets also simulate deep pressure touch (DPT), a type of therapy that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce chronic stress and high levels of anxiety.

Studies show that grounding may help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Cortisol is produced when your brain thinks you’re under attack, eliciting the fight or flight response. Stress can escalate cortisol levels.

This can have a negative impact upon the immune system. It can also increase blood sugar levels and adversely affect the digestive tract.

Elevated cortisol levels, especially those that don’t drop back down to normal levels naturally, can cause multiple complications. These include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • weight gain

By providing deep pressure touch, weighted blankets can promote relaxation and help break this cycle. This may trigger the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones produced in the brain. These hormones help combat stress, anxiety, and depression.

Weighted blankets are increasingly being used in mental health units so that patients can soothe themselves.

 

Welcome to BSL for Kids…

Being a parent to a special-needs child takes a unique kind of knowledge, courage, dedication and flexibility.  There is no right way to do things…your child is totally unique. Is there an expert who can tell you exactly what is best for your child both now and in the future?

You’ll learn by trying new things, seeing what works and of course what doesn’t work and hopefully you are in a position to gather all the support and resources that you need.

Your role as a parent is unique and complex, just as your child is.  We design and create resources for people on the Autistic Spectrum because we believe that with the right kind of support they can succeed at home, at school, and in their communities.

We want them to enjoy life, set goals within their reach, make friends, keep friends, grow, learn, achieve and know who they are, and feel a sense of belonging in the world.

I believe that people with autism spectrum disorders can have rich, fulfilling lives…if they are shown the way.

I speak with passion because I speak from the spectrum.  I have first hand experience with being different and having my own unique experience of the world.  The products that I design are a little different from the industry standard.

To me being different as an adult is positive and having special needs is nurturing.  One of my favourite things to do is sew….I like to make patterned quilts using fabrics with a range of colour and texture.  My issue was keeping my mind on what I was doing.   Unfortunatley  when my mind wandered off so did my straight lines.

Emmm..what to do?  So I decided to make myself a weighted Lap pad.  This pad weighs a little more than 10% of my body weight and it’s my favourite thing.

It makes me feel relaxed, I feel centred and calm and somehow more focused…….and guess what….I can sew straight lines when I have it on my knee.

So of course I sell Weighted Lap Pads and Blankets.  I sew each and everyone myself and they make me smile. I design bags that are choice boards and communication books that are bags and giant visual timetables…..why….because it’s the difference that makes the different and everyone should have reasons to smile.

Anyway….that’s enough about me…..I hope that you are inspired by my products.

All the best,

Elly x

All symbols that we use in our resources are used with permission and under copyright licence from
PCS Boardmaker Dynavox 

All our product designs are copyright BSL for Kids (c) BSL for Kids 2008-2019
All our character drawings are draw by BSL for Kids (c) BSL for Kids 2008-2019

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