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Eileen Parker, a woman who has sensory processing disorder (SPD) and Asperger’s syndrome writes a blog about the topics that interest her and she feels that interest others like her. There are plenty of posts that offer tips, trick, and insights into the world for those like her. She also created the Cozy Calm weighted blanket.


After not liking the designs of other weighted blankets (it is tough for someone with an SPD to find something that is perfect), she created her own for herself and others like her. The blanket creates melatonin, naturally, which can help a person fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. Even someone with restless leg syndrome may find some relief using this blanket.


Ms. Parker was kind enough to answer questions via email:


Q: You said to me that you like helping other people understand people like us (those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)). Is that why you started to blog about experiences to begin with?


A: I wanted people to understand beyond the “What is Autism” or “The Symptoms of Autism” articles on medical sites.

There is a lot of talk on the internet from parents talking to each other about how to understand their autistic children. Also, adults in a relationship or with an adult family member try so hard to understand.

So, the best people to get close to explaining to parents and others what their loved ones could be experiencing are people who are on the spectrum. I wanted to show and tell. The “showing” is my inner life in my head and in my life. The “tell” is my blog and the book I’m working on in my “spare” time.

People didn’t understand me entirely when I was growing up right through my life today, so I want to help others understand themselves and for their loved ones to understand better. My hope is that the blog and book will bring people closer together.

Q: Your latest post offered tips to anyone who deals with autistic people including to pause during speeches and to not use hand gestures. Why do avoiding hand gestures help you?


A: When I’m doing my best to look a person in the face, concentrating on making the right amount of eye contact, trying to decipher body position and facial expressions, and trying to figure out their “real” feelings, the hand gestures are a visual distraction.

When someone uses hand gestures, it adds another element into my brain to an already confusing exchange.

Q: You also created the Cozy Calm Weighted Blanket, can you tell readers why?


A: I tried one in sensory integration therapy, which people on the spectrum often have, and I loved the weight. I bought many but they “weren’t right” so I invented my own. I created designs and had professional sewers make them for me. It was a long process, but after many design changes, I had a weighted blanket that felt, well, cozy and calming, hence the name of the company. I have a patent pending because it is unique.


Q: What size does the Cozy Calm Weighted Blanket come in? So many are so small they can’t be used as blankets on beds. Does your fit a traditional sized mattress?


A: All of them: child, twin, double, queen, lap cozys, and adult relaxation blankets. The fleece blankets fit the top of a mattress so it isn’t hanging over the side of the bed. Bigger ones will be available soon.
We have a number of new products developed that we will be unveiling at the Home & Garden Show in Minneapolis, February 24-28. You can find us two booths down from Select Comfort.

Read in Full:  http://www.examiner.com/x-10560-Special-Needs-Kids-Examiner~y2010m1d25-Meet-Eileen-Parker-Adult-with-autism-and-creator-of-the-Cozy-Calm-weighted-blanket



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