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Thread: Weighted Blankets for children with Autism

  1. #1
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    I have been asked by a friend who is a big advocate for Autisium if I could make some weighted blankets for children. Has anyone ever done this? The research I did shows using sicila pellets for the weight. So if I were making a blanket using a Long Arm, I suppose I could load the backing and batting then stitch the top on row by row and sew in the sicila pellets. I could put the pellets in mesh pouches. You need to disbribute the weight evenly.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    Yes, I've seen that method. One I quilted was canvas, front and back, 4" squares. That was pretty heavy all by itself.

  3. #3
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I don't have any information to add to your how to list but I know that they are also using weighted coats (Thunder Shirts) for dogs terrified of thunder or riding in vehicles. Some of the dog sites may have information on stitching these that may also help you. I'm thinking that you would need to stitch individual bags filled with pellets and then slide them into channels in your quilt so that they can be removed if the weight needs to be changed. I sort of imagine that the filled bags would somewhat resemble the grain bags that I make (only longer) to fill with wheat to heat in the microwave. These are becoming quite popular so there must be some information out there somewhere. Good luck with this worthwhile project.

  4. #4
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    I have an almost 10 yr old son with Asperger's & when he was younger we had looked into buying a blanket for him. I can't remember now what the price was but it was outrageous.
    What an awesome idea for you to try!

  5. #5
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamamama
    I have been asked by a friend who is a big advocate for Autisium if I could make some weighted blankets for children. Has anyone ever done this? The research I did shows using sicila pellets for the weight. So if I were making a blanket using a Long Arm, I suppose I could load the backing and batting then stitch the top on row by row and sew in the sicila pellets. I could put the pellets in mesh pouches. You need to disbribute the weight evenly.

    Does anyone have any ideas?
    Try doing a google search for an article about them. I saw something on TV or internet (don't remember which) about these quilts. It seems to me that one side was left open with velcro so the bags could be taken out for washing. There is a certain way they determine how much weight to use according to the weight and size of the child. Wish I had paid more attention. Good luck! What a great thing for you to do!

    Google "Autism weighted blankets". There is a ton of info. I didn't find a pattern, but you should be able to get enough info to "wing it".

  6. #6
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    the info is out there..i ran across a blog once that had detailed instructions. but i didn't need the info at the time...

  7. #7
    deema's Avatar
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    I know there is someone on this board who has done it...I remember reading about it. I wish I could remember who and point you in her direction.

    Anyway, if I recall correctly, I think what she did was have velcro openings in the back where she placed rows of (whatever the weighted pouches were). The weighted pouches were removable for washing.

    I would probably want to quilt the whole thing, then add the pouches on the back. If you did it in rows instead of individual "bean bag" sized pouches, adding the required fabric shouldn't take too much work.

    For the pouches, I think I would sew long rows (the width of the quilt) to contain whatever you're using to weight it, and then sew lines across to evenly distribute the weighted material to keep it from shifting within the larger row sized pouch.

    I would use a light weight velcro, only because kids with Autism can have textile sensitivities and I wouldn't want the coarse velcro to cause problems with that...I wonder if you could use those metal snap things instead of velcro...? Might irritate sensitivities less.

    Hm. I've never made one of these, and I don't know if my ideas would really work. I'm just kind of typing as I think. I hope some of my thoughts will help you in your process. :o)

  8. #8
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Okay, I just went on YouTube. There is a great demonstration by Sensory Direct. Check it out. There is another one by "Stitches byAnne". Her website is www.stitchesbyanne.info

  9. #9
    deema's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-51755-1.htm

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-88427-1.htm

    There are a couple of links to posts here about them :) The second one has some links to tutorials for weighted blankets. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    another on youtube---a weighted quilt for autisum

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