Valencia, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2007
Occupational Therapists working with children with autism have successfully used The Original Bean Blanket to calm and comfort children with special needs. Now the same calming and comforting benefits of this weighted blanket can be enjoyed by anybody who simply needs a hug.
The added pressure of the weighted blanket helps children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder the ability to feel their bodies in relation to their environment. As a result, they are able to remain calm and still for longer periods of time, which greatly helps with in-class learning.
According to Sheila Monger, a special education teacher working with children with autism, "I used the blankets with my students who have sensory integration needs and saw immediate results. One little boy in particular, who had previously had problems staying still and concentrating on lessons, became very still and calm when he wore the blanket. He was able to focus on learning and not fidget."
Occupational Therapists have discovered similar benefits. Kary Vander Borght, OTR/L, says of The Original Bean Blanket, "Not only are they calming and helpful for the children with sensory difficulties who I work with, they are so cute and soft, no one would suspect that they can serve a very therapeutic purpose."
The Original Bean Blanket, filled with tiny plastic pellets which can add an additional 9 pounds or more, allows the soft fleece material to mold itself to the body, giving the person the sensation that they are being hugged.
And while the weight of the blanket has benefits for children with special needs, it also has benefits for anyone who just needs a hug.
Hugs have recently been proven to not just have emotional benefits, but physiological benefits as well. Clinical research has shown that getting a hug causes the brain to release a chemical called 'oxytocin' - also referred to as "the bonding hormone."
The research was conducted by a team from the University of North Carolina, which studied the effects of hugging on 38 couples. The study showed hugs increased levels of oxytocin, and reduced blood pressure - which cuts the risk of heart disease.
According to Keith Zivalich, founder and president of The Original Bean Blanket Company, "The first thing people say when they try The Original Bean Blanket is that it feels like they're getting a hug. It really is kind of amazing. It makes you feel good. One woman told us that it's her 'security blanket.'"
Mr. Zivalich goes on to say, "We first developed our blanket so that everyone could enjoy the feeling of getting a hug. We were totally surprised and extremely gratified that our blankets could also have such a dramatic effect on children with special needs. As a result, we're now a Proud Supporter of Autism Speaks. 10% of every sale will go to them. Our goal is to bring the benefits of a getting a hug to every home in America and help find a cure for autism. That's something that will make a lot of hearts feel good."
The Original Bean Blanket is sold exclusively online at http://www.beanblanket.com.