Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids

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Hi everyone,
My brother-in-law called me last night. He has 3 yr old twin boys that were
diagnosed with autism last summer. The occupational therapist has suggested
compressions vest for them and using weighted blankets in their beds. I plan
on making them for the boys since they are pretty expensive to buy. At this
time they do not want the vest to be weighted since the boys are small. It
is basically a tank top with velcro on the sides to adjust pressure and
sizing. He wasn't sure of the material but thought it was dive/scuba suit
material. Polypropelene? Has anyone ever made these and if so what did you
use for fabric? I googled instructions for the weighted blanket.
http://www.myweightedblankets.com/make_your_own . Basically channels filled
with dried beans or poly beads? I thought about using drapery weights in the
squares. The weights or beads would make it washable or I could just make a
removable cover that would be washed. Any suggestions/advice would be
appreciated. I live in the north Texas area and haven't started searching
for fabric yet. I will probably have to mail order the vest fabric from the
Rain Shed or another source.
Thanks,
Judy



Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
No suggestions, just wanted to let you know wet suit material is called
neoprene.

Cathi
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
I don't know about making the vest but my neighbor asked Thursday if I could
make a weighted blanket. This is what I did......

Took a cotton, flat twin sheet and folded it in half, top to bottom. Sewed
up the two sides, turned it, sewn seams inside,  leaving the top (the fold
was the bottom) open. I then laid it out flat and smooth and marked the
middle and then marked even channels, running top to bottom about three
inches apart, then marked lines the same width as the channels at right
angles....now looks like little square window panes. I pinned then stitched
the channels top to bottom. I used rice because I had over half a 50lb bag
left from making rice bags. I used a funnel and poured 1/4 cup rice into
each tube, shook all the kernels to the bottom and then pinned and sewed
across the marked lines side to side to form the first row of little "rice
pillows". I had my neighbor helping me hold and fill and pin before I sewed
across to enclose each row of "rice pillows". This could be done by one
person but it sure was easier with an extra set of hands, especially as the
blanket got progressively heavier. After making the entire folded sheet of
little rice filled squares I made a cover out of a twin, flat flannel
sheet....like a big pillow case.

Next problem was keeping the 'blanket' from moving around inside the
case.....solved!

We put the blanket in the cover, laid it on the floor and smoothed it all
out and then marked all four corners, one square in, on the cover and
blanket. We did this by putting a pin straight down through cover and
blanket and out the other side, then marking both sides of the cover with a
pen where the pin was and carefully folding back the cover and marking the
place on the blanket the pin went thru. We did the same thing in eight other
areas (because we had 24 matching buttons) around the center of the blanket
and cover. While I was  sewing 24 button holes reinforced with heavy
stabilizer, on the cover, my neighbor was sewing buttons on the blanket. I
should mention that these buttons are in the 'crossroad' of the window pane
seamed channels, same place on both sides and a piece of stabilizer under
the button before sewing it on. The button holes are on both sides of the
cover to correspond with location of buttons on blanket.

This was a real seat of the pants project done with what we could scrounge
up  that would work well to do the job she needed done. I had fleece that
would have worked for a cover but we decided that might be too warm. Both
sheets had been washed numerous times but were in very good condition so we
didn't worry about shrinkage and the flannel cover will be easy to wash and
dry. The project didn't take any out of pocket expense, I can't tell you how
much the blanket weighed because I forgot to load it on the scale before she
left with it. It was very substantial however. This blanket was for her
small 4 year old boy.

I'm sure somebody may come up with different/better ideas and she may have
me tweak things later. I'll keep you informed how it works and any changes
we make.

Val

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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Nick and Judy wrote:
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http://www.sensorycritters.com/products/weighted-vest/weighted-vest.html


NAYY, just something I found while googling that I thought would help
you. Washable seem to be the key!

I hope these do the trick for your nephews.

Sarah

Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
They know all about Temple Grandin believe me. Since the diagnosis we ALL
have  been researching the subject. They don't want a weighted vest, just a
compression one.
I will do the blanket with either beans or rice or the poly pellets if I can
find them at a good price. Does anyone know of a source in the US for the
poly pellets? My BIL thinks the neoprene for the vests will be too hot in
the summer, so I will have to look for some other fabric, maybe some kind of
heavy lycra used in athletic uniforms?


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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids

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Your local TSWLTH:

http://www.joann.com/catalog.jhtml?CATID=156485&PRODID=152336&source=search

Sorry if this is not what you mean by "poly pellets".

Beverly



Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Also:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Bean+Bag+Pellets&btnG=Google+Search

HTH,

Beverly



Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
This one looks best because you can order various quantities, and
they offer free shipping:

http://www.beanbagbeads.com /

Beverly



Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
No these are too light. The ones I have found are used in dolls and other
crafts.
http://www.poly-fil.com/pellets.asp
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids

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 no, those are basicly styrofoam. too lightweight to use for
weighted blankets. however, i'm glad you posted it, as i want
to make Boo a bean bag chair :)
lee
--
Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if
there be
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Nick and Judy wrote:
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Not sure I would use rice in something that will need washing unless you
can seal it away from any moisture. Rice is a very good desiccant and it
will absorb moisture and odors from the air and when washed it will
release a LOT of starch which could promote bacterial growth. Beans
would be a problem as well since they could absorb water and mold.



--
Steve W.

Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids

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 tell them to stay far away from the Cure Autism Now & Defeat
Autism Now (CAN & DAN) folks. <shudder>
 i would use the poly pellets for the quilts if at all
possible, for washability purposes. Autie kids can be really
slow to toilet train (mine is 6 & he makes it about 75% of the
time during the day. rarely at night). the usual weight for
the weighted quilts i've seen for sale are 3-4 pounds. i get
poly beads from CR's Crafts:
http://www.crscraft.com
look under bear supplies, stuffing.
 they charge $1.69/pound & a pound is approx. 5 cups.
 the nice thing about making your own weighted quilts (besides
picking fabric the kids like) is you can customize the weight.
 i don't know about the compression vests because Boo doesn't
like tight clothes.



lee <autistic mom to one HF autistic boy>
--
Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if
there be
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Thanks, that is a great price!
Yeah I was just reading something about CAN, how none of the $ they collect
is going toward training or something sketchy.
This is going to sound really stupid, but does a pound of the pellets equal
a pound of weight? I think I read somewhere in my searching that you have to
use 2 pounds of pellets to make the equivalent of one pound of weight. I had
planned to make a washable cover if I didn't use the poly pellets, but I was
still concerned about "fluids" leaking through the cover.

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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids

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 best i've found, so far. i'd like to find pellets in 25 pound
cartons, like poly fill comes in, but haven't yet.

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 nope. they spend all the donations on the officers & on
lobbying Congress to 'find a cure'. they want to blame autism
on *something* other than the most likely cause, which is
genetics.

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 a pound is a pound.
 i know when you make weighted vests, you want to make inserts
that weigh 1/4 pound each, so you can add & subtract to get
the weight that works best, where it works best. you could do
that with the quilts, i suppose, but i suspect it's more
trouble than it's worth.
lee
--
Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if
there be
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Nick and Judy wrote:

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<http://www.dollstuffing.com/services.html is one example.  10 lb for
$20.  I've never dealt with them.

Check with your local bead shop and see what they can do in terms of
glass beads.  I would recommend those over anything like rice or beans,
since they'd be tough, waterproof and not prone to rot, decomposition,
mildew etc.  Glass and ceramic beads are also used industrially for
grinding and manufacturing - a company that does shot-peening of big
steel items could get you in touch with a supplier of beads.  The larger
of these (approx 4mm or a bit over 1/8 inch) would make good weights
sewn into a liner.  You could also use some metal beads, but they'd have
to be stainless steel or a good brass to be laundry friendly.

If heat was not a problem, I'd suggest wool.  I remember back in
childhood living in a house with minimal heat in winter (we weren't
exactly rich nor lived in the most modern of neighbourhoods). My mother
made a bunch of quilts with cheap, heavy wool inside.  A couple of them
and we were pinned for the night :-)  I still sleep easier in the winter
with a cool bedroom and _heavy_ blankets.

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There is a kind of lycra used in things like women's bathing suits that
is used, well... like a girdle basically.  They used to have it at
Textile Outfitters, but I can't find it on the web site.  It was flesh
coloured IIRC and stiffer than regular lycra.  If you don't need that
much tension, perhaps someone can suggest a lycra mesh that would be
cooler in the summer.

I noticed that some of these commercially-available vests have
inflatable chambers to allow variation in the hugging pressure.  I know
that Grandin's "Squeeze Machine" (aka hug machine) is based on air
bladders that inflate for changing the amount of squeeze.  I don't know
if that's what you want to emulate, but thought that you could vary the
tightness with just a couple of strategically placed zippers.

Mike

Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
The vest is simply a long sleeveless tank top(covering the torso and hips)
with velcro on the sides to wrap it tighter, no air bladders. I haven't
found it anywhere online, but my BIL is supposed to forward me the info once
he receives it. Seems pretty easy to make once I decide on fabric. Thanks
again to everyone for helping me weed through finding a good price for the
pellets. I figured someone in this NG  had a good source.

tolycra on the
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
Nick and Judy wrote:

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http://www.ctckids.org/page.asp?view=918

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6086551.htm

Both these links mention possible fabrics for compression vests.

HTH

Sarah

Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
There are a lot of things to consider when making a weighted blanket
or vest, for sensory sensitive people. The size,  weight and fabrics
need to be appropriate and customized to each individual user for them
to be effective. The site below explains alot.

http://www.weightedblanket.net/weightedblanketsize.htm

Good Luck , Jackie



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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
"Judy"  wrote
...3 yr old twin boys that were
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Judy - They also need to know about Temple Grandin - she is autistic with a
Phd!  http://www.templegrandin.com/ She's written several books about
autisim and she designs livestock handling facilities and teaches at
Colorado State.  She is a true inspiration!
--
                    -::-
            . ))
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Re: Compression vest/ Weighted blanket for Autistic Kids
I have to agree with Chris' comment about Temple Grandin as I watched a
documentary about her on TV just a couple of weeks ago.......what an
inspiration!!  Until that doco I had never heard of her and it was only
by chance that I was channel surfing and fortunate to see it.

Bronwyn ;-)

Chris Underwood wrote:
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