As a result of autism, many children suffer from extreme anxiety. This anxiety can also be due to a sensory processing disorder or any other disorder or condition that makes it difficult to soothe and calm a child. One way to help calm a child like this is by using weighted blankets for autism or any of the other abovementioned conditions.
Many people prefer to sleep under blankets even during the summer. The reason for this is because humans find the pressure of something on them while they are sleeping to be soothing. It gives the person a feeling of security and safety. In autistic children this is doubly true. Weighted blankets work on this principal. Since the blanket is weighted, it gives more pressure than a normal blanket would and thus it also helps to give a greater sense of safety and security. This phenomenon is explained by science as well. Due to the pressure from the blanket, the brain releases a chemical in the brain that is called serotonin. Serotonin regulates sensory perception, mood and sleep. These are all of the things that are directly affected by anxiety.
If you have children who have autism or if you are a caretaker of children like this, you know that calming them down once they have become upset is extremely difficult. The weighted blankets help greatly in this regard since it will stimulate their serotonin. If the child in question struggles to fall and stay asleep, weighted blankets might also be a solution for this problem. As mentioned previously, serotonin regulates sleep. This means that while sleeping under the weighted blanket, serotonin will continuously be regulating sleep ensuring a good night’s rest.
At its core, the goal of the weighted blanket is to help children with autism manage their anxiety.