What Are the Benefits of Weighted Toys for Your Child?

What Are the Benefits of Weighted Toys for Your Child?

Are you familiar with how weighted toys work for kids? Then feel free to read about some of their calming effects for sensory processing disorder and health benefits in this brief analysis.

Between 30% and 40% of the world's population is thought to be neurodiverse. Neurodiversity includes autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADD, and other processing disorders that change the way people experience the world.

If your child has autism or ADHD, you know all of the challenges that come with these special needs. It can be hard to find special needs resources that assist children, serve them and help to minimise uncomfortable feelings.

Luckily, our latest toys are some of the most reliable therapeutic devices available. Keep reading to learn about the fantastic benefits of using weighted animals or other weighted plush sensory toys to assist ease anxiety and assist with sensory input.

What is a Weighted Toy?

Weighted toys are therapeutic items with weights that appear like normal children's toys and accessories but have an extra weight added to them in the form of poly pellets, stainless steel pellets, or glass beads. The weights are often stitched into the fabric or placed in specialised pockets within the sensory toys. These are often weighted blankets and stuffed animals or other plush toys.

One of the the key uses of weighted toys is relaxation and soothing of the sensory input. Weighted toys tend to be items that a child would already be interested in using to self-soothe and have a super soft calming effect.

What Are the Benefits of Weighted Toys for Kids?

Weighted blankets and kids toys are recommended for children with autism, ADHD, and other general anxiety disorders or trauma and sensory input special needs. These fantastic devices use their simple technology to provide relaxation, stimulation, focus boost, body awareness, and confidence to children who need it.

Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation

One of the fantastic effects of weighted plush toys is their use for deep touch pressure therapy. 

Deep pressure touch stimulation is a firm tactile sensation that sends signals throughout the whole body.

Here are some of the benefits of deep pressure touch stimulation:

  • fights insomnia

  • eases sensory processing disorder

  • reduces anxiety

  • relieves stress

  • treats symptoms of restless leg syndrome

  • improves sleep

  • encourages calmness

  • improves mood

  • encourages focus

  • relieves pain

  • eases PTSD symptoms

  • soothes panic attacks

  • manages OCD symptoms

Some common examples of this type of stimulation are hugs, stroking, cuddling, compression, and swaddling. Unfortunately, some children with anxiety find those activities uncomfortable, so they need another way to receive that kind of sensory stimulation.

That's where the weight of these special needs resources come in to a stable sensory diet.

Weighted Toys Australia

The deep touch stimulation provided from the weight of an item such as a weighted blanket releases serotonin in the brain and signals to the individual that it's safe to calm down and relax. This is especially helpful if your child struggles calming down with other cues when it's time to sleep.

Due to their soft cuddly nature, the weight range is suitable for adults, school children or anybody looking to create heavy sensations for calming.

Some occupational therapists may recommend deep pressure touch therapy before a task that requires concentration to ensure that recipient calmed down so that the mind can take over.

Minimises Uncomfortable Symptoms

 Autism has no cure, and it doesn't necessarily need one. Many people find certain aspects of their neurodivergence are helpful in life.

Unfortunately, it also comes with some uncomfortable symptoms that children and adults may seek relief from. Weighted toys and weighted blankets can offer some of that relief.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Patients with autism have shown a preference for sustained, slow touch, which these toys offer by not moving at all and instead simulating the feeling of a prolonged press or touch.

The touch therapy offered by weighted toys has both long-term and short-term effects on the body and biochemistry. For example, studies have shown that using a weighted toy can reduce the amount of cortisol or the stress hormone in the body over time. As a result, your child will not only feel more relaxed in the moment, but they'll also be able to relax themselves more often naturally.

Weighted toys also increase the amount of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters which improves focus, movement, mood regulation, and impulse control. These are also known as the brain's happy chemicals, so your child will feel happier overall! 

Improves Focus

As mentioned before, releasing those neurotransmitters in the brain from weighted toys can help improve focus. This is a benefit not only to children with autism but also for children with attention disorders such as ADHD. 

By allowing them to have a weighted toy on their lap during a lesson, they'll be able to feel calm and focused enough to engage in learning.

Better Sleep

One of the most common uses of weighted blankets or toys is to improve sleep. Children with autism, ADHD, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome often find it difficult to fall asleep at the beginning of the night and stay asleep during the night. This is because their brains and bodies aren't good at communicating with each other that it's time to wind down.

Even children without this neurodivergence can benefit from a weighted blanket or toy. Children are quickly excited, and it can be hard for them to calm themselves down enough to get a good night of sleep every night. And sleep is so crucial for a child's development!

Weighted Blanket

Much like a deep tissue massage, a weighted blanket provides that deep pressure touch stimulation which signals to the body and mind that it's time to turn off your thoughts and relax. The blanket also provides a certain amount of restriction, which prevents the body from moving too much and expending energy during the night.

Explore our latest products and resources from Neptune Blankets that are huge in popularity.

More Portable Than Weighted Blankets

So why should you get a weighted toy instead of a weighted blanket? They're more portable! Weighted blankets are fantastic for bed time or relaxing, but they are large and bulky. It is a helpful friend that your child can take to every event, location, and challenge in their lives. A weighted toy can become more than just a therapeutic tool.

With any luck, this will become your child's go-to choice to make them feel more comfortable in unfamiliar settings. They'll know that they always have something to lean on and feel the soothing benefits before they've ever felt the weight.

Weighted Toys That Make A Difference

When you invest in weighted toys and things, you give them the gift of focus, relaxation, and better sleep. Find them a new friend and a valuable tool today.

Want some more advice about raising children with autism? Check out the other articles on our blog!

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