Weighted Blanket Therapy & Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a condition that is often misunderstood.

The Social Care Foundation estimates that 1 in every 100 people in Australia has one form of autism or another. That’s nearly 230,000 people, both adults and children.

Calming Blankets is proud to be a part of the educational revolution around autism. We believe that the general public have an inaccurate and somewhat negative stigma towards this 'disorder'.

Not only this, we specialise our product development around autism to try to make our blankets as calming as possible.

“This has been a game changer for our autistic 6-year-old boy. He has always had major issues with sleep disruption but has slept like a log since getting one of these blankets. He actually puts himself to bed now because he loves being under it. Because he’s sleeping better, his behaviour has improved too. The Calming Blanket is worth every cent!” - Lorri Ellison, Perth

In December 2018, we donated our therapeutic weighted blankets to Tutti Arts, a disability arts program in Southern Australia that focuses on working with children with autism.

Those soft, heavy blankets brought such big smiles on children's’ faces - smiles that are more precious to us than anything else we could have gotten for Christmas this year.

Watch the video below and you will see why...

Autism & Weighted Blankets -  Do They Help? 

Whether you’re researching the Calming Blanket for yourself or someone close to you, we are acutely aware that you are wary of magic bullets that claim to treat the symptoms of autism, some even going as far as to suggest that they can completely cure ASD.

We make no such grandiose statements. 

Every person with autism is unique - they fall somewhere squarely singular on the autism spectrum - and their symptoms can be easier or more difficult to manage. What scientific studies have shown so far is the following:

Deep pressure therapy, which is the cornerstone of weighted blanket therapy, can help the brain make the switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system.

This means that it’s then easier for a person to calm down without external stimuli re-triggering their anxiety, sensory issues, or other comorbidities that generally accompany ASD.

Similarly to weighted blankets, weighted lap pads can help children with ASD to transition from one activity to the next faster. Many children with autism struggle with this, and using the blanket for a few minutes when your child returns home from school or comes in from playing could help smooth that transition.

Again, this is the principle of deep pressure therapy that we’re seeing in action.

The Proof Is In The Pudding - Our Customers With Autism Love Their Calming Blankets

However, it’s usually not the science that convinces us that something will be good for our health. It’s the people fighting the same battles and coming out on top. Although weighted blanket therapy for autism still needs to be thoroughly researched, there’s ample evidence from people who gave it a try and are now much better off for it.

Here’s just a small sample of the success our customers with autism have had using our Calming Blanket to treat everything from sleep issues to slow transition times and sensory disorders.

“My 10-year-old has autism and I have researched a lot about these blankets, and the best ones around. I’m so happy with my purchase - quick delivery & best of all, the first night using the blanket was a success. From taking hours to go to sleep, waking during the night, she was asleep within 30 minutes and snoring. Best investment ever - hopefully, now this mum can get some much-needed sleep too!” - Mish Stewart

“Noticed a difference after the first night with my daughter. She suffers from ADHD, Anxiety, and mild Autism. Every night she struggles to get to sleep and in the morning it’s normally a struggle to get her out of bed and ready for school. The first night, she fell asleep on a colouring book with a pen in one hand and the lid in the other. In the morning I couldn’t believe it - she was like a different child and was out of bed in an instant! I’m so happy and would highly recommend the Calming Blanket to anyone who has children like mine!" - Stephanie Booth

“I purchased this blanket 3 weeks ago for my ASD son, he was sleeping with 12 blankets on his bed and close to 50 teddies. Since I purchased this blanket for him he has cut his blankets down to two and his Calming Blanket!!! This is a huge deal for him. He’s also taken some of the teddies off the bed now he has the weight of his Calming Blanket, his sleeping has improved 100% - he’s sleeping through the night, waking up happy and no longer waking up multiple times! Would recommend to anyone who has issues sleeping or their child has issues sleeping! This blanket has been a game changer!” - Stace Bentley

kid using weighted blanket

There are plenty more of these stories on our Facebook page, where satisfied customers flock to tell us (and the world) how the Calming Blanket changed their lives. We’re especially proud that a lot of these positive reviews come from people with autism and parents of ASD children. If you’re curious, head over to Calming Blankets Facebook page and read more!

Since we really dislike blowing our own horn, we’ll leave you here with a heartwarming video of one of our youngest and loveliest customer - Avalon. Her mum swears by her weighted blanket for autism, noting that Avalon now sleeps through the night and wakes up much calmer. She also doesn’t need her time-consuming morning routine and occupational therapy, and is ready for new challenges as soon as she gets up! 

Struggling to view the video? Click here to watch it on Facebook.

Tips On Buying A Weighted Blanket for a Child With Autism

When shopping for a weighted blanket for your child, there are several factors to consider.

  • Fabrics are very important - since your child will be using it for the better part of the day, the fabric should be soft and comfortable. It needs to be non-abrasive as that can cause frustration.

  • Consider the filling - some manufacturers fill their autism weighted blankets with grains like rice or barley which, while natural, can sometimes trigger a reaction in children who are sensitive to grains. A natural, hypoallergenic material is a preferable filling for weighted blankets.

  • It’s all about the weight - the rule of thumb is to buy a weighted blanket that is approximately 5-15% of your bodyweight. So, if your child weighs 14kg you would look for a blanket that weighs about 2 kg. If you are purchasing a weighted blanket for an adult, the same rule applies.

Our weighted blanket for autism is specially designed and made from ultra-soft minky fabric for comfort, with evenly-distributed beads for a gentle, soothing pressure. Currently available are 2.2, 4.5, 6.8, and 9-kilogram blankets.

The Calming Blanket is also completely machine-washable and covered by our 30-day return policy. Of course, the shipping is totally free within Australia and you can expect the blanket 2 to 8 days after placing your order.