When I was a child, I had a security blanket. It was hand-crocheted by my aunt when I was a baby, and I had it (or remnants of it) up until I was 19. It was bamboo green with large, loopy stitches that I could squeeze my fingers into. I happily scrunched it and clutched it every night of my life until there were literally just a few twisted threads left of it.
I figured that my own children would also have their own security blankets, but they, doing their own thing from the beginning, preferred stuffed animals as their security items. I can certainly understand the allure of stuffed animals, having had many myself while growing up. I’m sure many others have as well – teddy bears or favorite dolls. Tigger, in Nigel’s case.
But there’s something so universally comforting about a blanket. Project Linus began in 1995 after Karen Loucks was inspired to make blankets for her local children’s cancer center. It has since expanded greatly, with 405 chapters nationwide. Volunteers give handmade blankets to various facilities and organizations for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.
And I’m very excited to say that the “otherwise in need” part now includes weighted blankets for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, including those on the autism spectrum. Many local chapters are now featuring special handmade blankets with Velcro pockets, which have folded remnants of fabric placed inside to provide the weight. The fabric remnants are removable so that you can easily wash the blanket. You can also add more fabric remnants into the Velcro pockets if your child needs more weight in the blanket. These handmade weighted blankets are amazing works of love.
Click here to find a Project Linus chapter near you. If your nearest chapter is not able to offer weighted blankets, my local chapter does, and they have offered to ship a donated blanket anywhere it needs to go! They even generously offered to donate weighted blankets to AutismCare Nepal, where I helped with the awareness workshop this past July. Thank you, Project Linus!