Weighted Blankets, Special Yoga Classes Tailored for Special-Need Kids
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Early intervention can improve learning, communication and social skills, as well as underlying brain development, but there is no known “cure.”
This has left many parents feeling alone and searching for answers. One local mother, Sarah Maness, owner/operator of Spectrumtalk Inc., decided to do something with these questions and come up with some proactive solutions. Here, Sarah discusses her special weighted blankets, her one-of-a-kind yoga exercises for children with autism, and her work as an autism activist.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I’m a special needs mom to a high-functioning ASD kiddo and I own and operate SpectrumTalk, Inc. My business has morphed and added different things along the way, but the overall mission has always been to provide services, products and a voice for the special-needs community.
What are weighted blankets? Where have you sold them?
Weighted blankets are a therapeutic tool that have been shown to help with sleeping issues, pain and anxiety, among many other things. They are basically blankets with added weight to add pressure when it is on the user. I have sold weighted blankets all over the United States, but primarily in Oklahoma and the surrounding Midwest states. International shipping costs have made it difficult to ship to my clients outside the States.
How do you go about ordering a weighted blanket??
You can order on our website, SpectrumTalkWithSC.com, or directly via our Facebook page. I usually like to talk with the client as they order because the weight and everything ranges depending on the purpose they want to use it for, age and weight, etc., but a good starting rule of thumb is about 10% of the user’s bodyweight.
Tell us about the special-needs yoga you teach.
I specialize in special-needs kids’ yoga for ages 2-12. Working with kiddos with special needs is VERY different than any other kids’ yoga program and requires a passion and specific training. Being a special-needs mom helps a lot, and of course I’ve taken several training and certification programs specific to special needs and yoga practice.
Programs are specifically designed to help the kiddos recognize their own greatness, boost self-confidence, build social skills, coping skills and most importantly better their emotional control so that they can better understand their emotions and deal with them in a healthier manner. My classes are very unstructured, but there is a deeper, more important level of structure to them other than a flowing sequence of poses.
How can people get involved in either your yoga program or in purchasing a weighted blanket?
The best way to inquire about any of our programs is on our website, SpectrumTalkWithSC.com, or on our Facebook page.
Tell me about your ASD Advocacy.
At this point, I am deeply involved with most of the special-needs programs and communities in the state. Part of that is for my son and his involvement and the other part is for support and to help be a voice for those that aren’t always heard, no matter how loud they are. I’ve made full orders of blankets for special needs school classes and programs and I’ve been able to offer special-needs yoga to schools, pediatric clinics and others. It all starts with stepping up and either offering something or helping to get something offered for the special-need’s community, as it’s not always easy to find things specifically for them. I have a lot of future plans of advocacy that will be direct from SpectrumTalk.