I met Kim Hewett, of Kim's Custom Creations, through our local homeschool group. She and her husband, a respected counselor in our community, adopted their youngest son from Uganda about five years ago. He's a sweet, good natured, helpful boy who I had the pleasure of teaching in a couple of science classes, but at home he was having trouble sleeping and suffering from some sensory issues. Kim set to work, researching solutions, and began to study the benefits of weighted blankets.
These blankets, often used to help children with autism calm down and fall asleep, can be very effective. They have also proven helpful for many kids with sensory processing disorder, ADD, PTSD, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and other issues. But they are expensive, with many selling for $200 or more on Amazon.
Of course, there is a wide range of prices, and according to Kim, that has much to do with the size and weight of the blanket. The weight should be approximately 10 percent of the user's body weight plus one pound, and the blanket should be sized the user's dimensions, so that the weight is evenly distributed without too much overhang. This is where custom made blankets stand apart from those that are mass produced.
You may already be familiar with the relaxing effects of a heavy comforter, but a weighted blanket provides even better stimulation, with deep pressure that not only calms both children and adults, but can also help improve focus and relieve anxiety. These benefits can be immesurable for those with autism spectrum disorders and other special needs.
And with regard to kids and adults on the autism spectrum, by purchasing a custom made weighted blanket from a shop like Kim's Custom Creations, the blankets can be made to order, in a favorite color, with a favorite character or team logo, or even in an exact fabric print as needed to satisfy the recipient's needs. This can mean the difference between a product that will be be happily and regularly used and one that will be rejected.
You might think that getting a custom made product just for your loved one or yourself would be more expensive, but in this case, buying from an independent shop can actually save you money. Kim said once she gets a customer's measurements, she can get them a quote quickly, and often create a blanket they'll love for up to 30 percent less than what they might otherwise pay.
Oh, and by the way, for a limited time you will get a free unit study from me, The Unplanned Homeschooler, with your purchase of a blanket from Kim's Custom Creations if you mention this blog when you order!