Weighted blankets aid children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Weighted blankets aid children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Within our Diocesan whānau, we have a number of people working hard to address the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within our communities. One of these people is Cat Noakes-Duncan, a member of the Parish of Naenae-Epuni,

who has established a free playgroup for children with ASD and their parents to experience an environment suited to their needs. You can read about Cat’s playgroup here in this article from 2016. The group is going from strength to strength as it connects with parents who face raising their children with unique physical and behavioural challenges.

Weighted blankets have long been popular for calming individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Typically the blankets contain metal or plastic beads sewn into quilted layers. The idea is that the weight provides gentle, deep pressure that addresses the sensory integration issues often associated with ASD.

We are hoping to find keen craft groups who might be willing to make 5 weighted blankets for the group to use. Some of the parents of the group had started trying to make them themselves, but found it was too hard to do this whilst caring for high needs children.

Click here for a quick video about how to make one.

For the pre-schoolers of the group, each blanket should be around 2kg in weight and 1.5 x 1m in area. They are easy to make. The best local source for weighting is the plastic pellets available from craft stores for use in stuffed toys etc. The remainder of the blanket can easily be made using scrap fabrics.

If your group is able to help, please contact Rebecca in the Bishops’ Office. If the purchase of pellets is too costly, please also let Rebecca know as there may be ways of accessing some funding around this. Her email is rebecca@wn.ang.org.nz or telephone 04 471 8597.

Thank you for making a difference!