Hello Amazing Readers!
There has been so much going on behind the scenes, balancing and navigating through so much amazingness and stress at the same time, and all I want to do is scream all about it to the rooftops. Big announcements coming soon, hold tight, it’s going to be an amazing and mindful ride. For now, I must share with you a recent amazing experience.
It all happened so fast. It was last Monday. I was watching my Instagram stories, keeping up with all the awesome accounts I follow, my amazing colleagues, and soul OTs slaying it out there, and @thesensoryproject208 posted a story of a mother and her daughter and I remember reading something about weighted blankets.
One, if @thesensoryproject208 is posting about it, I am going to totally check it out. Two, I have been searching for the perfect weighted blanket for years. I have even made my own but have never been able to get the exact feel and weight my body needed. Three, I now have a two year old with very similar sensory needs as myself.
So down the Instagram rabbit hole I went, to @sheltered.co. I went to their website and got stuck there for about 30 minutes. I had finally found not only a product that I truly thought would help my son and I but a company that had values and a mission I could stand behind. As a pediatric occupational therapist and mother to a son with specific sensory needs, this company and their products gave me all the feels.
I immediately went to their stories. I discovered that they were releasing four new colors the next day at 9 am. The next morning I placed my order. I even paid for overnight shipping because I wanted to trial it out Thursday night into the weekend!
The blanket arrived Thursday morning. It was a very fast- paced day, as per usual, and my brain was racing, as it typically does on a daily basis. When I got home, I had discovered my son had got to the box first and ripped off the labels. Clearly he was just as excited as I was for this blanket. I went into a room by myself and opened up the box. It was so beautifully packaged, screaming hugs and love, that I did not want to touch it until I had uninterrupted time to explore what I had just purchased. Fast forward two hours later, toddler asleep, let the fun begin!
The Blanket. Orchid adult sized blanket. 100% cotton. Imagine, me staring and smiling at the blanket in awe of its beauty, honoring how much love, thought, and care was put into making such a stylish, sustainable product. Did you know Pam only uses dead stock fabrics?! You can read all about it on Sheltered Co.’s blog!
The presentation of materials was simplistic, eye-catching, and dazzled with personal touches. As an Educational Occupational Therapist, I truly appreciated the enclosed post card with a thoughtful written message. In this fast-paced world of innovative technology, one must always appreciate written expression. Moreover, the blanket came with its very own travel/storage bag. You better believe I will be taking this blanket everywhere with me!
Oh. My. Gosh. This blanket is epic! It is the exact feeling fabric my nervous system positively responds to and the weight was the ideal amount of proprioception input my body needed!
Photo 4: Holy Cow! My body is actually regulating. My mind is actually slowing down.
Photo 5: That feeling you get when your body has achieved optimal self- regulation and it feels magnificent – yup, that’s it.
Since I have been using this blanket as needed throughout my days and nights, I have felt less anxious and more calm consistently throughout the day. That constant edge of anxiety felt quieter and for the first time in a long time, I actually was able to rest my brain. I vary the amount of time I use it based on how my nervous system is feeling day to day. Also, my sleeping patterns started to regulate. I am a very light sleeper and startle awake from sound quite often. The first night I slept so deeply that I slept through my first alarm. I am pretty sure my body had no idea what to do with its rested self. This blanket has truly been the best additional item to my sensory suitcase.
As for my son, he has his own agenda. He prefers to drag the blanket around the house, pull it over him and throw it off of him while laughing, and run around on top of it. He does calm and organize for a few minutes and then he is off running again. We have just begun our journey with helping him figure out what he needs to calm and organize. We just keep adding to his sensory tool bag to increase the variety of choices he has to access when needed. This is just another beautiful example showing that every individual has a unique and ever-changing nervous system.
I have been on a life-long search for sensory supports to help me calm, organize, and maintain optimal self-regulation. The last ten years as an occupational therapist has provided me with extensive knowledge of sensory processing and various intervention strategies that I have tried and ruled out as ineffective or added to my sensory suitcase. The important thing to remember is that each person has a unique nervous system with their own specific needs. One must explore and determine which sensory supports they would need to promote their own optimal self-regulation.
Thank you Pam for creating a business that supports our hidden sense of proprioception and for making your business grounded in ethical and sustainable practices providing fashionable hugs to all!
*disclaimer * This is my personal review of a product and a business I chose and will continue to support. I am not affiliated with the company in any way and they did not ask me to write this review. I just truly think Pam is amazing and her company is sensational!
*disclaimer* This blog post is not providing medical advice and it does not claim to do so. Please consult with your pediatrician, doctor, and/or occupational therapist for recommendations, treatment, and specific intervention plans.