Children and adults with autism often experience an increased sensitivity towards sensory input and they often live with a constant overload of sensory input. The behavioral reaction for those with autism can occur in different ways, for some it can be very prompt and intense - for others the reaction is delayed, but often the reaction emerges differently than what is expected from the people around them.
It is often seen that children and adults with autism react with reduced sensitivity to the primary senses (including smell, sight, and hearing) and with increased attention from the secondary senses (tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular senses). This means, that an autistic sensory system quickly can be overwhelmed and that calmness, structure and recognizable surroundings are highly preferred and that changes of all sorts require planning and adaptation.
10-year-old boy with autism and severe ADHD
The boy experiences significant motor and psychological unrest, substantial concentration challenges, and is easily distracted. The boy exhibits stress reactions and suffers from anxiety. Additionally, he faces significant difficulties in sensory modulation and integration.
We unpacked the mattress pad together; the boy lay down on it and immediately expressed that it felt comfortable. Since then, he has used it during all his breaks, often when playing on the floor and when lying on the sofa. The boy reports, and we observe, that he can relax much better, his body is rested, and he can concentrate more effectively on his activities. His body remains much more still, and he does not change positions as frequently. We also notice that he engages in activities for longer periods compared to when he is not using the Protac® BallBase.
In the evening, the boy has always struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep even though he is used to sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket®. The boy is very restless both physically and verbally when trying to sleep, and it can take a long time before his body, thoughts, and concerns settle. The top mattress has made a significant difference for him. He lies still, talks less, and may only change position a couple of times before falling asleep, whereas before he could lie in numerous positions and sit up, trying to fall asleep. This has reduced his falling-asleep time from over 60 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes.
Both we and the boy notice that he wakes up more rested and benefits more from his breaks throughout the day than he did before having a Protac® BallBase. The boy uses both sides of the top mattress—he has mostly slept on the extra soft side and has used both sides for relaxation.
12-year-old boy with autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, and OCD
The boy experiences significant motor and psychological unrest. Additionally, he has many tics throughout the day and faces substantial challenges in sensory modulation and integration. The boy's body becomes very restless physically and verbally when tired, overstimulated, unsure of what to do, or under pressure. He is fully homeschooled and is at home all day. The day is highly structured and predictable, including the breaks. The boy often sits in his SenSit chair during breaks and/or when using the iPad. The BallBase has been a valuable addition because it stimulates the body differently, is easier to move, and can be used in a bed and on the sofa. The boy primarily keeps it in his sensory room and actively seeks it, which is something he usually finds challenging. He can feel that it helps him. He typically sits on it for 10-15 minutes.
"Usually, I sit in the SenSit chair during breaks, but I have used the mattress pad in my gamer room. I have sat or lain on it in my bed when taking a break or when my body has become too restless."
"I relax much better in my body when lying on it. I am calm and I also fall asleep much faster. The mattress pad is good for relaxation. In general, it makes me more relaxed, and it feels great to lie on it."
5-year-old boy with autism
Our 5-year-old boy with autism and, consequently, motor unrest and sleep disturbances. He has benefited from sleeping on Protac® BallBase; he falls asleep faster and sleeps more deeply and better. He uses it during the day for resting and relaxation and sleeps on the mattress pad at night.
Equal terms provide more quality of life
As a mother, I have experienced that the Protac-sleeping bag has resulted in a more calm and present behavior for my son. In situations where he previously felt insecure and restless, the sleeping bag makes him feel safe and calm – especially in situations outside our own home. It is very helpful that the Protac Sensack® is easy to bring along and it has made it possible for our son to participate in sleep-over events equally with his friends – this means the world to his quality of life.
(Mother to a 10-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome)
4-year-old boy with ADHD and atypical autism
Previously, Mikkel woke up at night, and it was not unusual that he was awake by 1:00 am, after which he often had self-destructive bouts lasting 3-4 hours. Since he started sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket® Classic , we have experienced a completely different and significantly easier everyday life, and he can now typically sleep until 8:00 the next morning. It is obviously a huge relief for the whole family. Thanks to the improved sleep, Mikkel has changed his behavior when he is awake - where he used to be extremely hyperactive, he can now be described as active. He literally no longer “swings in the lamps” and destroys everything around him and he is less rough with his sister. Mikkel’s special-needs kindergarten and respite family have noticed the same positive change. As parents, we feel convinced that the change is due to the blanket, as no other parameters have been changed.
8-year-old boy with autism
The boy has a great degree of physical unrest and runs around a lot. He has difficulty sitting quietly and listening or doing activities. Sensory-wise, he has tactile defensiveness, sensory seeking behavior and poor body awareness. He is generally fond of deep touch-pressure, and techniques such as brushing. He also wears a Protac MyFit® ball-vest a few times during the school day. He even requests the Protac KneedMe® knee blanket when the class has assembly. He sits down on a stool with the blanket over his lap and participates in a discussion about "what’s happening today’" - more focused than usual. With the knee-blanket , he can sit for 20-30 minutes on the couch, alone with a book or with another student. He never did that before he got the knee-blanket.
Children btw. 8-17-years-old with autism
Protac SensCircle® pillow is widely used in common rooms and TV rooms in a center for children and youth with autism. Several of the children need sensory stimulation and find a lot of peace by sitting with the pillow during sedentary activities such as using an Ipad. The children can better concentrate and remain focused on an activity, and the Protac SensCircle® pillow is used several times a day for approximately 20-40 minutes at a time
9-year-old- boy with autism
The boy uses the Protac SensCircle® multi-functional pillow during all breaks while at school. He spontaneously chooses to use the pillow as a calming spot to take a break and he likes to stay in it for over an hour. The multi-functional pillow gives the boy peace of mind . He is so happy for it that he does not want to leave it again.
Children btw. 8-17-years-old with autism
The center has had two Protac SenSit® chairs for one year. One chair is placed in a study-room where it is used by the center’s exam-preparation class when the pupils need to read and concentrate. Pupils who use the chair are pleased with its effect. It gives them peace of mind and significantly improves their concentration when it comes to learning new subject matter. The second chair is moved around as needed. It has been placed in the activity-café area, but the staff has requested that it be moved as the young people gravitate to the chair and become so relaxed that they fall asleep and do not participate in the activities that are occurring. At present it is used in a quiet room where one can withdraw when in need of peace.
Children btw. 8-17-years-old with autism
The children quickly established a cozy space around the Protac SenSit® chair , which was explored and tried out with curiosity by all the children. They found it comfortable to sit in either alone or with their best friend. Even the most restless children calmed down in the chair and enjoyed being cuddled with its wings around them. The chair allowed them to have a gathering place and a steady, safe, base outdoors.