Guest Blog: SmartKnit Kids and Sensory Processing Disorder
For a kid with Sensory Processing Disorder, which can many times be associated with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, the right clothing and accessories can make a world of difference.
Sensory processing is how the brain organizes and interprets sensory input from the world around us. When these processes are not working well, the child may experience hyper-sensitivity meaning they are over-sensitive to certain things or hypo-sensitivity meaning they are under-sensitive.
Often times, children need to feel what is described as a “hug”. Gentle pressure can help them to feel comfortable, which in turn helps them to focus.
Many times this “hug” can be accomplished with a weighted vest. The vest is designed to provide consistent input and compression. This gentle pressure helps the child feel comfortable and less anxious, which in turn helps the child to focus.
Despite the true benefits experienced by many children living with Sensory Processing Disorder, there are also some downsides. The biggest downside is that a good weighted vest can be very thick and may be hot for the child to wear – especially if the child is wearing it in the summer or in a warmer climate.
SmartKnitKIDS Compresso-T is a perfect alternative to the weighted vest in that it is both economical and lightweight. Compresso-Ts are made from super soft, ultra-stretchy and breathable materials. Breathability helps to keep kids cool, while the ultra-stretchy yarns provide the gentle compression that is so helpful and comforting. The super soft materials and soft edging provide additional comfort.
Weighted Lap Pads and Blankets
Another great thing to try, especially if you are trying to help school age children to focus, is weighted lap pads. Children can cover their lap with the lap pad while sitting at their school desk, which will give them that comforting weighted feeling. Some will need something that covers more of their body with the consistent compression. A weighted blanket can help with this. It also helps with children having trouble sleeping at night.
Some only need a little bit of weight to feel comfort. Pocket weights are a great item for these kids. Small little pouches of tiny weights can fit right in the child’s pockets. Or, they can even be sewn into other unweighted clothes. They are basically like mini bean bags. You can also make these yourself. Just sew up a little fabric pouch and will with bee bee weights – just make sure that they are non-toxic for safety.
Other Weighted Items
There are so many other weighted accessories that can be helpful to children. We’ve seen weighted scarves, weighted teddy bears, weighted hats and weighted suspenders. Or you can use pocket weights to just about anything that may make your child comfortable.
Many children with Sensory Processing Disorder also have difficulty with seams – especially in socks and undergarments. Compresso-T is completely seamless like all SmartKnitKIDS products. Be sure to also check out SmartKnitKIDS socks, undies and bralettes.
About Our Guest Blogger: In 2003, SmartKnitKIDS, a brand of Knit-Rite, Inc., started receiving requests from parents for a completely seamless sock. It seemed that all the seamless socks available had a flat or handlinked seam across the toes. To a sensitive child, this was still a bother; there was still a toe seam. With over 90 years of medical textile expertise, Knit-Rite used parent feedback to create a patented 100% seamless sock with added comfort features for sensitive feet. This first seamless innovation has led to a line of seamless sensitivity products including seamless socks for big kids, undies for kids, a bralette and the popular Compresso-T.