Sensory Blankets for Sensory Processing Disorders (DIY!)

Sensory Blankets for Sensory Processing Disorders (DIY!)

I found a great DIY online for a weighted blanket and just had to share!

Weighted blankets are used to help with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which is fairly common with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism among many other diagnosis.

From the SPD Foundations website – “SPD is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.”

Many parents and therapists swear by weighted blankets to calm children with SPD. The theory is that the pressure is comforting and when weight blankets are used it can release Seratonin, a happy, calming chemical. Seratonin can also be converted by the body to Melatonin and can help children sleep. Along with being a sleep aide, many children respond well to having a weighted blanket across their lap when they need to sit still, relax and focus.

Any special needs parent will tell you, when their child is in need? Anything is worth a shot.

I found this great online tutorial for a weighted blanket. It requires a sewing machine, but it doesn’t look like you have to know much about sewing to be able to do it. (I think I could even figure it out and believe me, I am no seamstress!) If you are interested, the tutorial can be found by clinking on this link, Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Weighted Blanket.

If sewing isn’t your thing, look on Esty (<– Click that link) to find someone who likes to sew. They are generally a bit better priced than ones that are mass produced and sold as a therapy tool.

Have you used a weighted blanket for your child with SPD? What about other diagnosis? Let us know if you have had a good experience using weighted blankets for your child!


Image courtesy of yingyo at

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