Sensory disturbances

A sensory disturbance makes it difficult for the brain to process and filter the sensory input, that we constantly receive. Having a sensory disorder can lead to anxiety, insecurity, lack of body awareness and a violent and inappropriate behaviour. Sensory integration is defined by the ability of the brain to filter and organize the sensory input. For some people, it works without giving it any attention, for others, help is required to make the sensory system work. Nobody has a perfect sensory system, and it is important to be aware of the individual sensory profile for a better every day – both for the patient, the relatives and the care takers.

By working systematically with sensory integration, we can either increase or decrease the reactions of the sensory system. The proprioceptive sense, informing the brain about movements in muscles and joints always has a calming effect and it particularly relevant in this respect.  By working systematically with sensory integration, the proprioceptive sense informs the brain about activity in muscles and joints, which implies a calming effect and reduces the stress level in the brain. People with mental disorders are often under stimulated on the proprioceptive sense and will therefore naturally seek movement to enhance the body perception. In this way, sensory stimulating aids can have a calming effect and provide security for psychiatric patients.  The Protac Ball Blanket® was originally developed specifically for psychiatric patients and had a sleep-improving effect from the beginning. Some people have a need for constant movement to maintain their body image, and when the body is completely still during night time, the body perception decreases. The body misses proprioceptive stimulation to maintain body perception. Instead of seeking it by active movement, the stimulation can also be achieved passively by lying under the Protac Ball Blanket® with large balls. The balls move every time the body moves a little or during deep breathing. The movement and deep pressure of the balls sends a calming signal to the brain, enhances the demarcation of the body and alleviate the need for constant movement. In this way, both body and brain feel at ease when falling asleep. 

For a better understanding of sensory integration and the effect of the Protac sensory stimulating helping aids please watch this short video


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."


65-year-old woman, suffering from cancer and severe sensory disturbances

The woman expresses that she is happy to have slept with the Protac Ball Blanket® Granulate. When I (the woman's physiotherapist) offer to take it away, she says she would like to keep it; it provides her with “a feeling of greater calmness in her body”.


4-year-old boy sith sensory disturbances

"When he was an infant, he was very sensory sensitive. He screamed when touched and never slept long at a time. With the Protac Ball Blanket®, he sleeps when we put him to bed, and he sleeps until four in the morning. This is a big improvement over the past. It has had a great impact on family life. He loves his blanket and often sits with it on the couch. No one else is allowed to use it”.


10-year-old boy with sensory disturbances

“The first time he tried the Protac Ball Blanket® we were going to see a movie in the evening. He always used to lie upside down on the sofa with his legs up and his head down towards the floor or move restlessly around on the sofa. With the Protac Ball Blanket®, and he sat completely still and relaxed for the duration of the TV show. Over the next six months, we reversed the situation so that he had the energy and focus to master toileting skills and to almost keep himself free from conflicts in school. Previously, he ran into major conflicts, which he refused to get the adults' help to resolve, but we did not see them anymore as he began to sleep better. If there is a hard day at school, he lies under the blanket when he comes home - and calms down. He has the Protac Ball Blanket® with him everywhere, and he sleeps with it every night. Now he sleeps peacefully all night and today he can tell us about the dreams he has had during the night. He never did that before.”


6-year-old deaf-blind boy

The boy had a hard time finding rest when he went to bed at night. His body was constantly bombarded with sensory input that were hard to process. He tried sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket®. It swaddled his body and had a very calming effect on him. He now still wakes up occasionally at night, but the blanket causes him to fall asleep again and sleep all night, so he is rested the next day .


52-year-old woman with sensory disturbances and concentration issues

"When wearing the Protac MyFit® ball vest, I can feel that I can concentrate for longer than usual. And my breathing gets deeper ".


6-year-girl with sensory disturbances and concentration issues

From the first day, the girl can sit much more calmly. After a few days, it is evident that she can both concentrate for a longer period and sit quietly on her chair. Now she no longer lies on the table. The girl can even sense that the ball-cushion is doing her good. When she arrives in the morning, she is usually the first to sit in her seat. Should she play computer or sit somewhere other than usual, she brings her chair and Protac Ball Cushion® with her.


Protac® BallBase reduces frequent nighttime wanderings

Therapist at the residence: "We find that the man sleeps through the night, and we even have to wake up the resident in the morning. The resident rarely stomps on the floor or shouts loudly, which used to be frequent before trying the mattress pad. The man has not engaged in self-harm and generally seems more well-adjusted than before the trial period. We chose the to try BallBase mattress pad for safety reasons to avoid any potential falls from using the Protac Ball Blanket®."


Two boys with motor unrest in kinder garden

We have two boys who especially benefit from the foot cushion . They concentrate better and can finish an entire melting beads design, which they otherwise never do. We also use Protac GroundMe® for assembly, which always takes place on the floor. When they sit on the GroundMe® cushion, they can remain seated with the rest of us, without having to run around, and they participate more actively.


9-year-old boy with school anxiety

The boy is upset about going to school and he can’t manage to do individual tasks assigned to him. He does not thrive at home because his "battery" is completely flat when he comes home from school. A Sensory Profile evaluation of the student has been completed, which shows that he has tactile defensiveness to a moderate degree, and he has a low threshold for sensory input from his own body and the surroundings. When he is stressed at home, he often sits under his blanket to shield himself from light and sound. He seeks out the bedroom where there is no noise. At home, he is good at finding self-regulatory strategies, but it is difficult for him in school. He has a Protac KneedMe®, which he uses every morning when he comes to school. It helps him to become calmer. He is comfortable with the knee blanket and it helps him to be able to focus on the planned school activities. There is a need for close cooperation between home and school in order to be able to adapt the activities so that he is not overwhelmed. We experience that the knee blanket in combination with suitable strategies help the student to calm down.


1-year-old boy with several nightly awakenings

Our son has had challenges with sleeping through the night - this is probably not much different than many other families with small children have experienced, but we thought it might be interesting to try the Protac Ball Blanket ®. Already the first night we saw a clear improvement. He only woke up one time, where we had to go into his room and comfort him. In the past, it was not uncommon for him to wake up 8-10 times during a night, and it could take a long time to get him to calm down again. It seems that the blanket gives him peace and security. We have experienced that we can hear him waking up and making a little "squeak" sound, but then quickly falling asleep again. In the past, he seemed to wake up completely in these situations and would need to be comforted and tucked in again. At present he wakes up a maximum of two times a night, and many nights he sleeps completely through, which was extremely rare before we used the blanket.


9-months-old boy with severe motor unrest

Nine-month-old boy who has always been fussy, physically restless, and heedless. He only briefly explores toys and needs to be constantly entertained. He is not able to calm himself and gets panicky, for example, when he must take a bath. It takes a long time to get him to sleep, he sleeps very uneasily, and is disturbed by even faint sounds. He is very restless, bangs his legs on the mattress and thrashes around with his arms. When he tried the Protac Ball Blanket® Baby, a change was already seen after a few nights. He now sleeps some nights without waking up at all and if he wakes up other nights, his parents can quickly get him to sleep again. He has become happier and less frustrated during the day and has more able to relax and cuddle when sitting with his parents. He is starting to be able to take a bath and is also starting to experiment with and explore toys for a longer period.


10-year-old boy woth motor unrest and sensory disturbances

The boy has been subjected to massive neglect in his first years of life and has major sensory integrative challenges. He is very a great degree of motor unrest and has specific learning difficulties. The boy's adoptive parents say that they have difficulty getting him to sleep, that he sleeps very restlessly and that he often wakes up at night. After testing the Protac Ball Blanket® Calm, they also say that the boy, after a few days of getting used to it, now sleeps all night. After a few more nights, it also becomes much easier for him to fall asleep.


Experiences from Snoezelen house

An Occupational Therapist says: "I use the Protac MyBaSe® mattress on the stable side, where the user can sink deep into the balls and just float on the mattress. Mostly it is used with a projector / film and some calm music. I find that the user completely relaxes. Those who have tried it before often seek it out as the first thing when they come back. One user stopped her continual flow of speech as soon as she got down in the mattress. She typically chatters non-stop; I interpret her response as a sign of feeling safer. The therapists use it on the stable side and often in combination with the Protac Ball Blanket®. A woman with anxiety and brain injury needed help to calm herself, and Protac MyBaSe® was the only place where we could help her relax and actually get in physical contact with herself without having to constantly focus on her anxiety. "


50-year-old man, former soldier and with severe PTSD

The man rarely finds peace in everyday life, and therefore enjoys coming to the Snoezelen House, where he wraps himself in the long Protac SensCircle® pillow, while lying on the waterbed with built in music. Here he completely relaxes and ”recharges his battery”.


4-year-old girl with mental and motor unrest

The severe motor and emotional unrest that characterizes the girl's daily life decreases a lot once she has been sitting in the Protac SenSit® ball chair. She seeks it out spontaneously in the therapy room, as one of the first things she does. After 4-6 minutes, where she sits completely covered by the wings of the chair and silent, she begins to communicate. Her speech is clearly more cohesive and organized. The sensorimotor activities that ensue are performed much more calmly than before she was introduced to the chair. Tasks are often performed that require eye-hand coordination while sitting in the chair, which promotes the quality of her performance.


6-year-boy with motor unrest

After trying the Protac SenSit® ball chair  a few times in occupational therapy treatment sessions, the boy says: "You have to tell my mother where to buy such a chair". The boy enjoys being hidden under the neck pillows; the side pieces are draped over him and he also wants to have a ball blanket over him in the meantime. When the parents see the pleasure that the chair brings, they try to create seating that is similar. The mother says, "we must own that chair”. Nothing else gives so much peace to our son."


Woman with sensory disturbances and pain due to traffic accident

“When I wear the Protac SensOn®, I can relax better. I find peace and get my thoughts together. Mentally, I feel more calm and secure. Physically, I can nestle my head into it, and the warmth and weight give me peace of mind. I feel that it helps me to position my neck and neck correctly, that I can sit up straight, and I can look out toward the world. I can concentrate and find peace to relate to what I am experiencing. My posture is corrected and can breathe better. When I am in pain, the collar helps me stay better focused, find some calmness, and gather my thoughts. Socially, I can better concentrate on talking to people, I can laugh and feel present. The collar helps me to be able to handle contact to others, and I get a better sense of myself so I can respond to my pain signals. When I cook, I can better stay focused and perform the tasks in a logical order, where I otherwise have a hard time not "jumping" between the tasks. I also wear it when I need to relax. I quickly find peace.


Relaxation and mental energy

I lay in the Protac SenSack® when I return from school to relax with my computer. The moving balls in the sleeping bag and the fact that the sleeping bag embraces me, make my body and mind relax. After half an hour, I feel ready to focus on homework, sports, family, and friends.
(14 year-old-girl, born prematurely and very sensitive)


See other cases:

Press enter to search