Welcome to AuSumness.
Today, we are looking into security blankets and those items that your children find security and comfort in. We'll answer these frequently asked question, Is this heathy? Are there advantages? When should you take it away?
Confession, I just threw away my blanket 2 years ago. Hehehe...I always had a blanket, for as long as I can remember. My parents were pretty ok with it. I suppose they had to be because there was no chance in hell I was going to ditch it. I didn't take it to school with me and when I was older, I would totally keep it out of sight. I just would stretch it across my pillow to sleep. That's it.
Now, my youngest (9) still has a blanket. I get a lot of grief from family and friends about it, but I tell them they just have to deal with it because I'm not taking my son's blanket away. He used to take it everywhere and always had it on his person, but recently he's cutting back. If he set it down somewhere, I would sneak it away and just lay it back on his bed. He was taking it in on the bus, but not into school. Recently, he leaves it at home. Yay! I've repeatedly warned him the dangers of losing his precious blanket if he always took it with him, outside of the house.
You may also be able to gauge how stressed your child is by how much they are using their blanket.
I'm so glad I thought to take his rather large blanket and cut it in fours, years ago. This way I could wash it very often and he would always have a blanket available. We have lost one so far, but we've got three more to go! He's been easing way back with it's use. I totally understood what it was like to have a blanket, what it felt like when I didn't have it and that awful feeling when someone picked on me for having it or even worse, when my brothers would tease me by taking it away. Ugh! JJ's big brother has been told just how evil this is and to never do it. Hehehe...
So, is it healthy to have a security blanket? You bet'cha!
Having the ability to form a deep attachment to people is really important and this is a great way to get started. These attachments leads the child to independence as well. My youngest is very independent as am I. We have no problems being alone and feeling comfortable with it.
Blankets, dolls or stuffed toys are a great tool to help with transitions as many of you may have experienced with your Autistic children, transitions can be very difficult. They certainly are for JJ and his blanket is there to remind him of the peace, joy and comfort of home. Having his blanket to hold, cuddle, smell and even chew calms him tremendously when we are out and about or in the car.
It is not recommended to take or exchange a blanket or doll if the child is not willing. Unlike a pacifier that can physically damage, a blanket or stuffed toy cannot. By doing this you would demonstrate that deep attachments are disposable.
If you breast fed your child, that blanket might help greatly with the transition of weening.
It's not often that you see the bride carrying her blanket down the aisle or your boss taking it out of his brief case before he starts his busy day, right? Let the child decide when it's time.
Thanks so much for joining us. We have a Facebook Group, if you'd like to be a part of the discussion. We'd love to see you there. Feel free to comment here as well.
Best of luck with your everyday dealings and Autism.
If you'd like to see more of our entries, feel free to scroll through the blog or visit our Autism Board on Pinterest for even more help.