A weighted lap pad is an incredibly simple tool that can change your child’s life very quickly for the better. Weighted lap pads are becoming increasingly popular as a natural and affordable way to help both kids and adults relax and self sooth during the day.
Think about for a moment.
Is your child anything like this?
- Gets distracted easily
- Cannot focus on a lesson a school
- Fidgets all day
- Can’t sit still
- Easily irritated on long car/plane journeys
- Can’t focus or becomes agitated during story time before bed
- Can’t sit still during TV, or homework time
- Has a meltdown during a hair cut or at the dentist
- Anxious in social settings
These are all the signs of a child who can benefit enormously from a weighted lap pad.
Kids with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, hyperactivity find that a weighted lap pad is so beneficial that they never leave home without it.
Also kids who just simply have tons of energy and find it difficult to sit still and concentrate also gain tons of comfort and relaxation from using a weighted lap pad.
It tends to help them focus, help them settle and help them relax and stay calm.
To be honest even adults benefit from having a weighted lap pad.
I know for myself, if I have to sit down and do something like writing for a few hours, or my accounts or some other task, I have been surprised how much my focus and concentration is enhanced when sitting at my computer with my weighted lap pad on my lap.
I know it sounds crazy- I urge you to try it.
This is the one I use- its 7lbs.
But think for a moment how much the course of a child’s life can change if they go from being distracted all the time, not absorbing anything lessons at school, unable to focus on homework and not settling or sleep time, to the complete opposite.
If this same child can suddenly, with the help of a simple weighted lap blanket, have better concentration, improved focus, and better sleep, they will perform so much better in life, school and home that it could change the course of their life forever.
Let’s dive deeper into how weighted lap pads work…
What Are Weighted Lap Pads?
Weighted lap pads are smaller, more portable version of a weighted blanket.
They are generally smaller and lighter blankets and are perfect for placing across your lap when you are sitting at your desk, sitting in a plane, or car, sitting at school or watching TV.
The extra weight provides a huge sense of security and comfort.
And the soft, tactile minky fabric also provides all the comfort of touch therapy for people with sensory processing disorder.
Our weighted lap pads at Brilliantly Kalm are filled with finely ground glass which gives them their weight. It is so finely ground, they are like grains of sand on a beach. Glass is a perfectly safe, non -toxic substance.
In our opinion, these tiny glass beads are far superior to plastic pellets which can be lumpy and very noisy.
Simply place your weighted lap pad on your child’s lap when they are sitting at home, or school or in the car and watch it work its magic.
Who Would Benefit Most From A Weighted Lap Pad?
A ton of people benefit from a weighted lap pad on an every day basis- and because they are discrete, you my never even know!
Anyone with Sensory Issues
A sensory weighted lap pad is extremely beneficial for anyone suffering with tactile sensitivity. Research suggests that 96% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients report altered sensitivity to sensory stimuli- being either hyper sensitive or hypo sensitive.
This can manifest in different ways in patients: some ASD patients cannot wear certain clothing because of very specific tactile preferences.
ASD patients also often display tactile defensiveness, exhibiting behavioral and emotional responses that are negative and out of proportion to tactile stimuli that most people deem non-painful.
Anyone Who Finds Travel A Nightmare
Anyone who feels anxious when travelling, will benefit from a one of these lap pads, whether it is an adult on a plane or a child in a car or train.
Taking kids anywhere in the car can be a challenge. Whether it’s a short trip to the store or a long-distance road trip across the country to see the grandparents, travel with kids can be stressful and difficult.
A weighted lap pad is a godsend!
It is easy to take anywhere, and it often help your child feel more grounded, calm and less anxious in the car.
If your travel plans include flying, a weighted lap pad may also help reduce anxiety and the restless feelings kids (and adults!) can get when they’re confined in small spaces for long periods of time.
It is like being hugged the whole journey.
Anyone Who Works With Kids On The Autism Spectrum
Weighted lap pads are also extremely useful for school teachers, parents, occupational therapists and autism therapy centres to have on hand for when kids who are under their care need extra soothing, time out or some relaxation and comfort.
A weighted lap pad often helps them improve their behaviour and improve their learning.
Anyone Experiencing Anxiety
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects about 40 million people in the United States.
Anxiety is also a growing problem for kids and teens.
A survey conducted by the American College Health Association found that 62 percent of undergraduate students in 2016 reported feeling “overwhelming anxiety.”
Research has revealed that hugging, cuddling and similar forms of deep pressure cause the brain to release oxytocin — the happiness hormone.
Studies have shown a link between increased oxytocin and a reduction in anxiety in people with anxiety disorders. It’s usually not practical to hug or cuddle all the time, which is where a weighted lap pad may help.
A weighted blanket or weighted lap pad that mimics the firm but gentle pressure of a hug gives kids and adults all the benefits of hugging through the ease of a product they can drape over their legs anytime they want.
Anyone Who Can’t Sit Still
If your child is restless and fidgets during times when it’s appropriate for them to sit still, a weighted lap pad may help improve their ability to focus and concentration.
Parents may find that using lap pads helps children during mealtimes, study, haircuts, church and social settings.
By increasing “time on task” and enhancing ability to concentrate, a weighted lap pad will encourage better school performance and results in class.
Adults Benefit From Weighted Lap Pads Too
Adults also report huge benefits from using a heavy lap pad.
Adults with sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficit disorder ( ADD), autism (ASD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or with restless leg syndrome(RLS) find that whether at work or at home, they can concentrate better on the task at hand with a weighted lap pad, feel less distracted, feel less anxious and less scattered in thought.
A weighted lap pad is more discreet and portable for the workplace or class room and enables normal functioning.
Why Does A Weighted Lap Pad Work So Well?
Like weighted blankets, the benefits of a weighted lap pad results largely from deep pressure therapy. This is the sensation of hugging, holding and comfort that come from being hugged or using a weighted lap pad.
It is a sensory tool that offers proprioceptive or deep touch pressure to a person’s legs as it rests on their lap when in a seated position.
Weighted lap pads are particularly helpful for people with sensory processing disorder, attentional difficulties, and autism because proprioceptive input has a calming, grounding effect.
This deep pressure therapy has been found to increase the levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which contribute to improved relaxation, better mood and more relaxation.
Touch therapy results in improvements in the body’s biochemistry, including decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Emily Kuehn’s research from Harvard University has shown that weighted lap pads (and weighted blankets) help people with sensory processing challenges experience all the comforts of touch without feeling overloaded or overwhelmed.
Weighted blankets offer support in self-regulation, added deep pressure and sensory-integration regulation.
If you currently use a weighted blanket, or you have one for your child, you may have wished for a similar product that’s easier to take on trips in the car, or ideal for times when your child is sitting or performing a task.
Many parents keep a weighted blanket at home for sleep and a weighted lap pad for homework, travel or school.
Important Considerations When Choosing A Weighed Lap Pad
Look for one that is washable or at least has a removable cover. If you use a weighted lap pad at meal times, in the car or at school, it won’t be long before it is grubby and needs a wash.
Look for one that has a soothing fabric that your child (or you) will love.
Consider the weight- 5lbs is most useful for younger or small children. And 7lbs for larger children or adults.
Do not use on kids under 3 years old or on anyone who is incapable of removing the lap pad if they start to feel uncomfortable.
Occupational therapists generally recommend a weighted lap pad weight should be around 5-7 % of a user’s body weight.
Though generally lap pads are less prescriptive than a weighted blanket for sleeping.
Those who use the lap pad should not use it all day.
Just keep it to short periods like before bed time, during meal times, during a plane trip, when distracted at school.
Weighted lap pads can come in different weights, styles and sizes.
Our weighted lap pads weigh either 5lbs or 7lbs and measure 19.5in x 18in (50cm x 46cm).
A weighted lap pad is a fantastic sensory tool that promotes self-regulation, calming, concentration and focus especially when at home, school or travel. They also make a perfect gift for any one suffering with autism, ADHD, Aspergers or sensory processing disorder.
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.