Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects 1 in 59 children. Autism affects each person differently; however, they do share common traits. In general, people with autism struggle with social situations and communication. They may also demonstrate repetitive behavior, mental impairment, or delays. Some people with autism also have a sensory processing disorder.
Occupational therapists often recommend weighted blankets for children to help them manage the symptoms of autism. Weighted comforters offer deep pressure stimulation that helps to relax and calm the nervous system. This can result in children falling asleep faster, waking less frequently, and experiencing less anxiety.
Weighted duvets come in a variety of weights and sizes. When shopping for a blanket for autism, it’s important to consider the person’s height, weight, bed size, and material preference. Additionally, the following guidelines should be observed:
- Find the appropriate weight by calculating 10 percent of a person’s body weight and then add one or two pounds.
- Select a size that will comfortably cover a person’s feet, legs, and abdomen.
- Smaller people and children need to be able to remove the blanket without assistance easily.
- Consider the thickness of the blanket. A thicker blanket will generally be warmer and heavier.
- Research the manufacturer’s return and exchange policy. Finding the ideal blanket is often a matter of trial and error, so it’s essential that you can return or exchange your purchase.
The material of the duvet you choose is also essential. You will want to take a person’s sensory preferences into account when selecting a blanket fabric. Most comforters are available in a variety of materials such as mink, fleece, cotton, flannel, and silk.
Weighted blankets are a popular commodity, which means there are a lot of options to choose from. To help you in the selection process we’ve compiled a list of the best blankets for autism:
The Hush Classic weighted comforter features a removable duvet cover that consists of a Minky microfiber fabric and a unique stitching pattern that’s designed to be tactically soothing. This fabric does make the blanket hot to sleep under in the summer. However, the duvet has an inner cotton shell that is breathable and can be used without the cover for the warmer months. This inner shell consists of a series of pockets that contain the weighted beads for even distribution.
The Hush Classic comes in four sizes, teen, twin, queen, and king. The teen size comes in a weight of 12 pounds, and the twin comes in 15 or 20-pound weights. The queen size comes in 20, 25, and 30 pounds, and the king comes in 30 and 35 pounds.
Hush Kids is designed specifically for children who weigh between 30 and 70 pounds. The blanket measures 36 x 48 inches and weighs 5 pounds. It comes with a cover that has a different design on each side and consists of breathable soft cotton. There is also a cooling version of Hush Kids called Iced Kids, for children who are hot sleepers and need extra cooling.
The Gravid 3.0 consists of eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics. It features a seven-layer structure with a double-stitched design for increased durability. Additionally, Gravid 3.0 uses a ZipperTech attachment system. This system employs durable zippers around the perimeter to keep the blanket securely attached to the cover and ensure the blanket’s weight is evenly distributed. This comforter comes in a twin size, a queen size, and a king-size. The twin and queen sizes come in 15 and 20-pound weights. The king comes in a 35-pound weight.
The Gravid Junior is a smaller version of Gravid 3.0. It measures 40 x 50 inches and weighs 7 pounds, making it ideal for children who weigh between 50 and 100 pounds. It doesn’t come with a cover, but the VERSA Jr. over can be ordered for an additional cost. The VERSA Jr. is double-sided. One side is made of cooling cotton, which is best for summer, and the other is made of supersoft plush, which is excellent for winter.
The SnugBug Compression Sheet is not a blanket, but it does provide the same benefits of a weighted blanket. Instead of using weight, the SnugBug uses compression to simulate deep pressure therapy. This sheet is designed for children but can be used by adults as well.
The sheet wraps around a mattress like a pillowcase. A person then slides between the sheet and the bed, and the stretch of the fabric compresses against the body. Research has shown that compression sheets are particularly useful for children with autism. The snugness of the sheet helps people to achieve the input, spatial, and body awareness necessary to self soothe.
The Snugbug can be custom ordered to fit the specific measurements of a person’s bed.
The Dozeology weighted duvet consists of naturally hypoallergenic, high-quality cotton. This material won’t irritate sensitive skin and is durable enough to withstand the rigors of daily life. It’s also breathable, ensuring you’ll be kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Additionally, this blanket is filled with glass beads. The delicate texture of the beads gives the duvet a smooth consistency, making it suitable for people with tactile sensitivities.
This comforter measures 60 x 80 inches and comes in weights of 7 or 15 pounds. The 7-pound model is ideal for children who weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. The 15-pound model is best for children who weigh 120 to 150 pounds. Furthermore, the duvet cover is removable and comes in colors of Frosty Grey or Sky White.
The Calmforter weighted comforter uses Evenflow Technology and features an outer cover that consists of a Minky fabric. The outer cover has one smooth side and one side with SensaDot Texture. SensaDot Texture offers sensory stimulation and can have a calming effect when stroked. The inner material consists of StarDust Microbeads and CloudSoft Polyfill, which simulates a warm, heavy pressure on the body. This blanket comes in 12 or 15 pounds weight and is, therefore, best suited for children who weigh over 100 pounds.
This duvet is also weight versatile. The blanket can be folded to increase or decrease its weight. For instance, the blanket weighs 12 pounds, and when doubled over, it increases the pressure to 24 pounds. The blanket measures 60 x 80 inches and is available in seven colors.