Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals

Scott Gurfein
Updated: 31, July, 2020
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By Temple Grandin, PHD (Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 1992)

Some of the earliest research on DTP and weighted blankets was produced by Temple Grandin. A noted animal scientist, Temple, herself, was on the autistic spectrum and one of the first people to publicly share insights from her own personal experience of autism.

These insights led her to invent the ‘squeeze’ or ‘hug box‘, a device which exerted deep touch pressure to its users.

A study of the box discovered that deep touch pressure was of benefit to children with autism and ADHD, acting to both calm and reduce stimulating behaviours.

As for the specific benefits of a weighted blanket for sleep, Temple’s study reported that:

‘A high functioning autistic woman stated, ‘I need heavy blankets on me to sleep well, or else my muscles won’t calm down.’

And in Temple’s own case she ‘used to crawl under sofa cushions and have my sister sit on them’.

Link to study

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