Some benefits of using a weighted blanket in therapy are that it can elicit a feeling of calmness and comfort for the patient and enhance proprioceptive feedback, as stated by eSpecialNeeds. Weighted blankets help those who suffer from sensory processing disorders and delayed motor skills.
Many different disorders benefit from the use of a weighted blanket in therapy. Some of these include anxiety disorder, Asperger's syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and sensory processing disorder, according to eSpecialNeeds.
Sensory processing disorder occurs when the brain cannot process all the information coming from different senses and leads to an inability to regulate emotions and responses, explains Occupational Therapy Assistant Susan Hoffman, writing for Advance Healthcare Network for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. Sensory processing disorder can be a stand-alone issue or can be associated with various other disorders, such as autism or anxiety.
Those suffering from these disorders often act out by jumping, bumping or pushing things because they crave the deep pressure from the objects surrounding them, states Hoffman. Extreme pressure from weighted objects, particularly weighted blankets, is effective in calming the patient and can improve the brain's ability to regulate, process and understand different stimuli from the senses that may be overwhelming him. Weighted blankets can improve quality of life for those suffering from sensory processing disorder and other illnesses.