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The Weighted Blanket Guide


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Table of Contents

1. What Is a Weighted Blanket? 1.1. What Is a Weighted Blanket? 1.2. What Are They Used For? 1.2.1. Sleep. 1.2.2. Chronic Pain. 1.2.3. Anxiety. 1.2.4. Autism. 1.2.5. Alzheimer's/Dementia/Seniors. 1.2.6. Mental Illnesses. 1.2.7. Special Education. 2. Where Did the Concept Come From? 2.1. The Old Meeting the New. 2.2. Others' Stories. 2.3. Origins. 3. How They Work. 3.1. Your Sensory System. 3.1.1. What Problems Result from SPD? 3.2. Exploring Deep Pressure. 3.3. Massage. 3.4. Neuroscience. 4. Professional Settings. 4.1. Occupational Therapy. 4.1.1. What is Occupational Therapy? 4.1.2. How are Weighted Blankets Used at an OT Clinic? 4.1.3. How Does OT Work for SPD? 4.2. Hospital Use. 4.2.1. Restraint Reduction. 4.2.2. Actual Use in a Hospital Setting. 4.3. Comfort/Multi-Sensory Rooms. 4.4. Helping Patients Getting Weighted Blankets Covered by Medical Insurance. 5. Considerations/Guidelines for Use. 5.1. Can They Create Dependence? 5.2. How Long to Use the Blanket? 5.3. Safety. 5.4. Drawbacks/Concerns. 5.5. Medical Insurance Coverage. 6. Choosing or Making Your Own. 6.1. Choosing a Weighted Blanket. 6.2. Weight Chart. 6.3. On a Budget. 6.4. Sewing Your Own.

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The essential guide to weighted blankets, including how they work, how to use one and how to choose one.

About the Author

Eileen Parker has autism and sensory processing disorder. She discovered weighted blankets while in sensory integration therapy, which inspired her to run her own weighted blanket business for six years. Her background is in PR and journalism. She is now a full-time writer and lives in Minnesota, USA.

Cara Koscinski is an Occupational Therapist with over 18 years' experience. She owns The Pocket Occupational Therapist, a company that provides in-home services and consultations to school districts, and is the author of The Parent's Guide to Occupational Therapy for Autism and Other Special Needs, also published by JKP. She lives in South Carolina, USA.


When I was a child, I craved deep pressure and I liked lots of blankets on the bed to help me sleep. When I got older, I built a squeeze machine to apply deep pressure to help calm me. Sensory problems are very variable. A weighted blanket is likely to be most effective for children or adults who seek deep pressure. For children with an autism diagnosis, some individuals will respond well to a weighted blanket and for others it will have little effect. This book contains lots of good practical advice on how to use and make weighted blankets. It will be a great resource for individuals who are calmed by deep pressure. -- Temple Grandin, author of 'The Autistic Brain' and 'Thinking in Pictures'
Cara Koscinski and Eileen Parker have written the definitive guide to weighted blankets. As an Autism Mom and an individual with fibromyalgia, I wish I'd had this book years ago! I finally understand the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder and how pressure can counteract those symptoms. I especially loved the detailed instructions on how to sew my own weighted blanket, including smart color choices for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This book is a must for anyone thinking about using a weighted blanket! -- Shannon Penrod, Host of Autism Live
I am thrilled to see this much needed weighted blanket guide. It answers so many questions that people have about weighted blanket therapy. There is no one more suited to write it than Eileen, a onetime fellow weighted blanket maker and a user of weighted blankets for her own autism. -- Donna Chambers, Founder, SensaCalm Weighted Blankets

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