Health

Spencer's Sensory Shop: A Business Blanketed with Disability Research

Always creating or making something, Karen just happened to fall into creating weighted blankets as a way to help her autistic step-son, Noah.

When the AmeriDisability Services team met Karen Spencer, at the Family Cafe 2017 event, it was obvious that her story was one that had to be shared with our readers along with her incredibly affordable products. Karen is the owner, creator and designer for Spencer’s Sensory Shop where you can purchase weighted blankets, lap pads and wraps for every family member at a fraction of the normal retail price.

Blanketed with Disability Research

Always creating or making something, Karen just happened to fall into creating weighted blankets as a way to help her autistic step-son, Noah. She remembers trying so many different remedies but nothing was helping with his meltdowns or excessive crying due to being overstimulated or upset. As she researched, like many parents do, she came across weighted blankets and learned the numerous effects of using one for not only children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but also for those dealing with many other health challenges.

Weighted blankets, lap pads, and wraps are therapy tools that utilize the science of Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) to generate the feeling of calmness and almost a hugging sensation as it distributes a light pressure equally across the parts of the body that it covers. According to LiveScience.com, weighted blankets and deep touch pressure helps calm the “arousal level in the system” as well as “helps with self-regulation.” It is like the ultimate teddy bear!

Many benefits of DTP have been shown to help people of varying ages who deal with ADD/ADHD spectrum disorder, Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder, sensory disorders, sleep disorders, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, as well as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s disease.  The list goes on and virtually anyone could truly benefit from having a weighted blanket or pad.

After reading about the benefits of weighted blankets, Karen knew she had to purchase one for her son, but quickly realized that they came at a high price, one that her and her large family were not able to afford. So, she put her skills of making tutus’ and hair bows to use by making a weighted blanket that would provide her son access to this much needed form of therapy. Karen shares that now, when Noah is over stimulated or upset, his weighted blanket or vest helps him tremendously.

The Ability to Create a Disability-Serving Business

It was soon after making her first weighted blanket that she had an ah-ha moment. She realized she needed to make these for other families who were in need of a tool but could not afford it.  On that very day, she chose to change her business from creating custom tutus’ and hair bows to making weighted blankets.

What differentiates Karen from other weighted blanket companies is not only her affordable price tag but that she customizes each and every blanket.  Every customer has the opportunity to choose their fabric and color or pattern!  Being a mother of nine, she knows what patterns, animated characters and colors would best interest the user.  She is always changing her selection to meet the unique tastes and needs for each of her customers. Using the latest character crazes help kids instantly fall in love with their blankets! Lastly, she sends every blanket off with a prayer to serve its new owner with the comfort they deserve and require.  

Karen’s attention to detail and optimal customer experience has helped to grow her online business into a loving community with customers who are beyond pleased with her work.  Customers have used them at home, in their classrooms, and even for themselves!  One such customer shared, “Spencer's Shop weighted blankets work wonders for my son who needs that extra comfort to fall asleep.  She [Karen] was very attentive on what I wanted and always kept me up to date with my order. I would recommend her for all your sensory needs.”

Spencer’s Sensory Shop’s main objective is “Anyone who needs a weighted blanket is going to have one.”  Karen lives up to that promise by offering layaway options.  You can also pay for your weighted therapy tools with a healthcare savings account associated with your health insurance!  

Currently, you can order the blankets online through Karen's Facebook business page, https://www.facebook.com/SpencersSensoryshop/ and be sure to follow her page to receive information about the latest sales, patterns, and give-a-ways! You can also contact her directly by emailingkarmelspencer@yahoo.com. Support a small business and grab your affordable, multi-purpose weighted blanket today!

Article photos courtesy of Karen Spencer.

Photo below, Discovery Kit, Spencer's Sensory Shop, courtesy of Karen Spencer.

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