Neurological disorders - ataxia
Spasticity, 13 years old
From a mother: My daughter is 13 and a half years old and suffers from spasticity, and has always woken up several times in the evening and at night because she has spasms and needs to be turned over. When I picked up the ball blanket, I thought at first that I would never be able to lay it on top of my fragile little daughter. But...… it turned out to be lovely and great and relaxing and just so much more. She uses the ball blanket when sitting and relaxing in her bean bag—in fact, often her, her younger sister and I all sit under the blanket together and relax.
At first, I would take the blanket from her when she woke up around midnight, but afterwards, she slept with it for most of the night and sometimes all night long. I'm seeing for the first time since I've had her that she sleeps from the time she lays down in bed until around midnight or 1:30 a.m. There are some exceptions, of course, such as when she is sick or something else happens, but twice in the last week she has slept all through the night. It was strange for the alarm clock to go off and her not be awake at all. Fantastic—there's only one reason for this, and it's the ball blanket"!
Delayed injury after car accident.
A young man gets brain damage following a car accident. He is restless and has a very poor feel for his body and its use. The ball blanket helps him calm down and get sleep so that he can focus his energy toward concentrating on his rehabilitation.
Brain haemorrhage - hemiplegia
An elderly man has hemiplegia and is very restless as a result of a brain haemorrhage. He uses the blanket to calm down and feel the limits of the body.
Martin is 12 years old and has a brain injury. He is in care, was born prematurely and has suffered several brain haemorrhages on his first day. Martin is also a grossly neglected, emotionally abused child. This means that Martin grows very rigid if someone hugs him and pulls away from any physical contact, among other things. Complains that it hurts to be touched, e.g. if someone puts their hand on his shoulder.
Martin sees an occupational therapists where he learns recognise his own body and what it can and cannot do. After being advised by our occupational therapist to get a ball blanket, we've now got one as a trial.
Before getting the blanket, Martin had a very hard time sleeping and settling down at night time. He called for us all the time, saying he was thirsty, he needed to go to the bathroom, he felt hot, he felt cold—there was always something that wasn't right.
After getting the blanket, Martin falls asleep in two or three minutes after saying "goodnight", and he has even been lucky enough to fall asleep sitting in front of the TV while watching cartoons. This would have been unthinkable before we had the blanket. Martin has really profited from getting this blanket, and we hope that we can receive it through a grant. Martin is very happy with the blanket and thinks that it is wonderful. He doesn't kick the blanket off anymore either. He's gotten calmer. We are very happy to have the blanket and Martin loves it. It's still too soon to say whether it is going to change his sense of touch.
- Martin's mother
A brain-injured woman uses the ball blanket to alleviate her involuntary movements. The blanket helps her feel the limits of her body and feel calm all throughout. It makes her feel calm so that she can sleep. Before she had the ball blanket, she would only sleep for one hour at a time.
A young man with a traumatic brain injury is very restless, yells, has anxiety and is aggressive. After a week of acclimatisation, he started going for the ball blanket himself and pulling it on top of himself when he laid in bed.
Users with neurological problems in general
The ball blanket is used on children and adults with spasticity, patients suffering from the effects of brain trauma or apoplexy. Many people with congenital or acquired brain damage have been able to change their perception of their own bodies, spatial and directional disorientation or sensory disturbances. This change in body awareness can create uneasiness and feelings of insecurity. The ball blanket can help users to better "notice" themselves. It promotes calmness, creates a sense of security and gives the user a feel for the physical limits of the body.
The ball blanket is currently used for treatment in the acute phase of conditions in many neurological and medical unites, as well as at treatment and aftercare centres for children and adults with spasticity, trauma patients and those afflicted with apoplexy. There have been positive experiences with using the ball blankets on patients who used to be calmed with large amounts of medication. The blanket calms them without the side effects. The ball blanket is also used on patients with multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease, for example.