Monday, January 14, 2013

Anxiety Blanket

Usually I have an invisible blanket of anxiety draped around me, but now we have a real blanket the helps reduce anxiety!

On one of our visits with Caitlin's doctor the office was a little chilly. She asked Caitlin if she'd like a light blanket or a "heavy" blanket. I thought we were talking fleece or weaved... But it turned out she really did have a heavy blanket. It's made with polymer beads to add weight. Apparently it's incredibly affective in calming autistic children but also works for general anxiety too. The weight causes the body to releases serotonin, calming the person.

The blankets are expensive. But it couldn't be that hard to make... And there are several patterns and tutorials on the web. I kinda took a little bit from all of them and then jumped in.

I let Caitlin pick her material, one side Minnie Mouse and one side textured green, selected the heaviest weight thread, and 8 lbs of plastic polymer beads.

It took me 6 hours or so, machine help from mom, and math help from Sarah to get it done but I am super happy with the result. AND it works! The very next day, the girlies were still on Holiday, Honey called and Caitlin was having a... Lets call it an anxiety attack, screaming and crying... Last time I got this call I had to race home. This time Honey was able to get Caitlin to lie down under the blanket. 2 minutes later Caitlin was calming down and I was able to get back to work.

I've even used it on several occasions. I need a heavier blanket, it should be 10% of your weight plus 1 lb, but even this 7 lb blanket is beneficial.

Is it all in my mind? Maybe. But in that case the suggestion works, so who cares.

I'd really like to go get her blanket right now, but it seems wrong to steal it from her while she sleeps.

So making one for myself is on my sewing list... Sewing is pretty therapeutic too. Win/win.

If anyone wants to know my super easy cheesy way to make these things, holler.

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