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Weighted Blankets Help Special Needs Children

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Story originally published by KCRG 

Sewers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, made twelve weighted blankets during a Sharing the Weight event, an organization that sews weighted blankets for special needs children to help them feel comfortable and safe.

Marci Prose organized Sharing the Weight when her son, David, was diagnosed with autism in 2013. David was given a weighted blanket to aid in sleeping. The first night, and nearly every subsequent night, David has slept through the night -- something that had never happened in his entire 2-1/2 years of his life.

"With that added weight and the added pressure, it send signals into the brain saying you’re calm. It’s OK, you are safe," Cassandra Laas, a therapist at the Witer Children’s Therapy Center, told KCRG.

The blankets weigh anywhere from three to 10 pounds and are filled with poly pellets. With the specialty blankets sometimes costing up to $400 through speciality catalogs, access to them is not always attainable. To date, Sharing the Weight has made and distributed over 1,900 blankets, an approximate $475,000 value, to families in need in 46 states and 5 foreign countries.  While the group meets regularly to create the blankets, there are over 4,000 on the waiting list (some going back to the year 2014). The blankets take about an hour per pound, so they can be time consuming for the larger sizes. 

If you want to donate supplies, make your own blanket to donate, or request a blanket, please visit their website here for more information