In a previous post, I mentioned that deep pressure (something like a hug) can help reduce generalized anxiety associated with autistic conditions. There are even special inflatable vests and weighted blankets designed to deliver deep pressure for autistic users. In my own case, I recently experienced some backache and decided to buy a lower-back brace to ease the strain. I ended up with the 3M Futuro Stabilizing Back Support, which can be worn under clothing. It seems to deliver some deep pressure as well, an added bonus. I feel calmer when I’m wearing it, though some of that might be due to my back not acting up. Anyway, if you’re looking for an unobtrusive way to get some deep pressure, you might consider a good back brace.
Deep pressure (something like a hug) can relieve the stress of sensory overload for many autistics, by releasing calming hormones in the brain. The Squease Vest is a handy inflatable garment that can be worn comfortably and inflated when necessary, to provide just the right amount of pressure to the torso when required.
Difficulty sleeping can be an issue for many autistics, and some find the pressure of a weighted blanket has a calming effect that induces sleep. Apparently, the pressure of the blanket acts like a hug, causing the sleeper’s brain to produce ‘feel good’ hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Cozy Calm weighted blankets are made with medicinal-grade plastic beads that are sewn in so the weight is evenly distributed, with double insulating layers for added comfort. Cozy Calm’s owner, Eileen Parker, is herself autistic and has Sensory Processing Disorder. She couldn’t find the right blanket and started making her own. The rest, as they say, is history. The blankets are custom-made to a specified weight, and a common formula is 10% body weight plus 1 pound. The Cozy Calm site has a weight chart listing the most popular weights ordered.