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Thread: Lycra wraps for Autism, Patterns?

  1. #1
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Lycra wraps for Autism, Patterns?

    My class has three (soon to be four) students with autism. I'm trying to find patterns for making Lycra wraps and finding none! Surely, this amazing group has ideas to share. Weighted blanket or vest pattern links would be appreciated as well. These tools help students focus, relax, and learn.

    These items cost a fortune if purchased new! Who would be able to afford such tools to help their child without going broke? There is clearly a need, does anyone have patterns? Autistic kids are amazing, like gemstones waiting to shine. With a little help, my students can access what they know without some of the odd behaviors because they have tools to help.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  2. #2
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    What function do the wraps do? Are they like shawls? like bandages? what type of pattern are you looking for? Do the students make them or do you make them and have ready for the students? There was a thread earlier on how to make weighted blankets to sleep under at night as many illnesses benefitted from them. I made a vest this summer for my 10 yr old GD and found many patterns in the pattern books to choose from. Most of them had multiple sizes per pattern. Are you working with children, teenagers or adults? You didn't give many helpful details.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Try the search function here on the Board ... there've been several threads before about weighted blankets for autistic students. I don't recall references to the lycra wraps you mentioned.

    You might want to check Temple Grandin's site and see if by chance she has any info on making these ... though I don't remember seeing it in the past.
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  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the lycra wraps, but you can also make bean-filled snakes that the kids drape behind their neck and over their shoulders.

    eta: I googled and found something called a "cuddle loop" that looks like what you're describing. However, it seems to be a commercially made product with no pattern... not helpful, I know.

    http://www.nationalautismresources.com/cuddle-loop.html
    Last edited by Peckish; 10-11-2012 at 10:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    I knew this group could help! The fabric I have is a 54"x72" section of lycra. It needs to make three wraps. The child who inspired this bounces in his seat while flinging his arms down. His response to deep pressure to arms and back gave me the idea. A wrap long enough use as a loop but not so bulky as to make sitting on a section of it uncomfortable. The student sits on it then pulls it up enough to put their arms through like a shawl. It provides tension through the back, arms and seat, exactly where this kiddo needs it!

    Peggi, that site you posted gave me the inspiration I need! The comments on the cuddle wrap were the key. My hesitation to cut anything off was the fact that kids come in various sizes and shapes. How can I make what I have useful for everyone? The solution is in the knot. I will eventually sew a sturdy loop but the correct size/feedback is needed. A quick release knot will provide a temporary solution without cutting the length.

    My plan is to cut a strip 18" wide the length of the fabric. The length will have to remain until the correct measurement for appropriate tension is determined. A quick release knot won't try my patience when adjustments are needed.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  6. #6
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I belong to a Project Linus chapter, and we've made some weighted blankets for a daycare center that treats traumatized kids. We had some members make the full-fledged blankets, one with sheets inserted and one with pellets, both of which were not cheap.

    I made them some simpler ones for the littler kids. They asked for long tubes that could be draped over the shoulders or around the neck like a scarf. I went to the feed store and got dried peas (a 10 lb. bag was under $5). I made little bean bags, so to speak, and then stitched them into a long strip, sewing between bags so they wouldn't all lump up. Then I made a flannel cover that could be removed and washed.

    I know some people feel that rice or other organic materials can lead to mold, but this center didn't care. They said rice was fine, too. It certainly made the projects cheaper. I think I made about six of them. They said it helped the kids calm down at nap time.

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    RedBugSullivan ... perhaps you could find out more about the Cuddle Wrap? Ask about the size and how it is used/wrapped on the child. From the photo, it looks like it would be a lot wider than the 18" you are thinking you will start with. Maybe you could do your prototype with a larger piece and then cut later, just as you are thinking for the length?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    I have enlisted the advice of a good friend and coworker, her son also has autism and he was in my class last year. I am thinking about making the strip 24" wide. The cuddle wrap is just too involved to be practical.

    My goal, create a wrap that gives just enough feedback to the child so that they can fully participate in the classroom. It must be easy for the child to use and adjust. The ability to write and read text independently is paramount. I just pray that whatever I design can be useful for my students and for parents too! A free pattern will be shared once the prototype is successful.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  9. #9
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willferg View Post
    I belong to a Project Linus chapter, and we've made some weighted blankets for a daycare center that treats traumatized kids. We had some members make the full-fledged blankets, one with sheets inserted and one with pellets, both of which were not cheap.
    First, I have used rice for weighted blankets/snakes for years. The key is the washable covering. Just don't get organic material wet... Our classroom has these weighted tools available but they don't always meet the needs of students. I see much more investigation in my future. Thank you to EVERYONE for suggestions and support!!!
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    And aside from the problems in organic material getting wet ... be careful in using any foodstuffs (rice, barley, beans, peas) as you could be preparing dinner for Little Mousiekins!!!
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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