School can be a very stressful, loud and unpredictable place for kids that have difficulty processing stimuli. As parents it's scary sending our child to school, especially if they don't have a positive view of going! Believe it or not, something as simple as a weighted lap pad can help. Let me explain why and how you can use it.
Why a Weighted Lap Pad Can Help:
The weight from a weighted lap pad or blanket helps to regulate the proprioceptive system. The proprioceptive system is located in our muscles and joints. It provides us with a sense of body awareness and detects/controls force and pressure. The proprioceptive system also has an important regulatory role in sensory processing as proprioceptive input can assist in controlling responses to sensory stimuli.
How to Use a Weighted Lap Pad at School:
It's a great idea to talk to your child's teacher about what a weighted lap pad is and its benefits. More than likely, their teacher will be thrilled to have a tool to utilize. The weighted lap pad can be used on their lap, chest or shoulders. You can also put it in their backpack for added weight; wearing the backpack the traditional way (on the back) or reversing it to the front. Here is a list of activities that would be most beneficial for your child to use during the school day:
- during learning activities that require them to focus and be seated
- circle time
- when changing activities. Carrying something heavy, such as a lap pad, will also tap into their proprioceptive system
- transitioning from classes
It's important to give the child the option of using the weighted lap pad, as well as making it readily available. Storing it in the child's desk or backpack are ideal places for the school setting.