For parents of kids with autism or sensory processing disorder, back-to-school can be a stressful time. Will your child handle the hustle and bustle of the classroom? Can she stay focused throughout the day?
If your child struggles with overstimulation and sensory concerns, a weighted lap pad may help. Here's how weighted lap pads work and how they can help kids deal with challenges in the classroom.
How Weighted Lap Pads for Kids Work
If your child has sensory processing disorder or a condition that poses sensory challenges, you may already be familiar with weighted blankets, which work by distributing firm but gentle pressure evenly over the body.
As occupational therapists know, this deep pressure causes the brain to release “pleasure transmitting” chemicals like dopamine. Deep pressure can also reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and stimulate a parasympathetic response in the body, which helps people feel less stressed and more relaxed.
In studies, researchers have found that deep pressure therapy delivered by a weighted blanket reduces the physiological signs of stress and anxiety. In the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, for example, researchers noted that study participants had lower heart rates when they used a weighted blanket or vest during dental procedures.
Weighted Lap Pad Benefits
Like weighted blankets, weighted lap pads provide deep pressure, but in a more portable size and weight. At SensaCalm, our weighted lap pads weigh two pounds and measure 12 inches by 18 inches. This makes them great for kids, as they can be folded up and stored in a backpack or classroom when not in use.
And because our weighted lap pads also come in a wide variety of patterns and colors, you can customize your lap pad to suit your child’s preferences. Many parents also tell us their children are excited to use their weighted lap pad, as the fun colors and prints don’t look like typical therapy items. Choose their favorite superhero or cartoon character.
Planning a Disney trip? Our Mickey Mouse or Tsum Tsum print could be a hit. We also offer waterproof fabrics, which are perfect if you have younger children, kids with bladder control concerns or you’d just like to spill-proof the car or classroom.
Weighted lap pads are great for a variety of uses, and they may help kids who struggle with a range of behavioral challenges at school.
Whether your child is overactive, a fidgeter, a sensory seeker or someone who experiences a lot of anxiety, a weighted lap pad might help.
Overactive - For some kids with sensory processing disorder, overactivity is a challenge. Kids with overactivity may seem hyper or unable to sit still. For some kids, overactivity can even translate into meltdowns or what looks like clumsiness.
However, this typically means they are seeking sensory input and don’t know how to get it. Sensory processing disorder can even stimulate the “fight or flight” response in the brain, which makes kids seem overactive.
Fidgeter - Fidgeting can look a lot like overactivity, but most fidgeting happens when kids seek more or less tactile input. In some children with sensory process disorder, even the feel of their own clothes on the skin can be overwhelming.
“Fidgets,” such as fidget toys, spinners and certain fabrics, can help them redirect their brains. At SensaCalm, we offer a cuddle backing, which is super soft and perfect for fidgeters who seek tactile input.
Sensory Seeker - It’s somewhat common for people to assume that kids (and adults) with sensory processing disorder don’t like to be touched. In reality, research shows that gentle, firm hugging and squeezing can actually help sensory processing disorder. Autism researcher Dr. Temple Grandin found that gentle squeezing helped her overcome her sensitivity to touch. Weighted lap pads use the same techniques.
Anxiety - There is a well-established link between sensory processing disorder and anxiety. When children are old enough to be aware of their sensory challenges, they often start to feel anxious about experiencing their triggers. For example, the sharp, buzzing sound of classroom bells can be overwhelming for many kids with sensory processing disorder.
For others, the chaos and noise of a crowded lunchroom is a major source of anxiety. By promoting the production of dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals, weighted lap pads may ease anxiety and stress at school and in the classroom.
These are just a handful of ways weighted lap pads may work for kids. Our weighted lap pads are machine washable and dryable, made in the USA and constructed with hypoallergenic, high-quality materials. They’re also a hit with teachers and school therapists. Best of all, SensaCalm weighted lap pads are durable, which makes them ideal for school, the bus and even the playground.
SensaCalm Weighted Lap Pads for Kids
At SensaCalm, we want every child to feel comfortable and relaxed at school. If your child has sensory processing disorder, a weighted lap pad might help them stay focused in the classroom. Check out our ready-to-ship weighted lap pads today. Questions? We love to hear from our customers. Give us a call at 855-736-7222 or use our contact form to get in touch.
What are your tips for making back-to-school a success? Let us know by tweeting us @SensaCalm.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.