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CapeAble Sensory Products – Cape / Lap Pad / Fidget Mod / Emotion Patches Review by Sheila QuachCapeAble Sensory Products
6411 Highview Dr,
Fort Wayne, IN 46818
Recently, I was introduced to CapeAble Sensory Products. This company was started by two Moms, Marna and Susan that saw the need for weighted products and garments that would be beneficial to a large range of people with autism, sensory disorders and many other special needs. They come with heartfelt wisdom and compassion as they experience the miracle of deep pressure Touch Stimulation first hand with their children. They both have children with Special needs, therefore their product line shows their commitment to not only their children, but all of their clients too. Their product line brings hope and comfort to people who live with stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression, chemotherapy, ADHD and sensory processing disorders just to name a few. Let me tell you what we tried, first when we opened our box it was like a Christmas. We received a Cape-Size Medium Sand Ziggy/Teal, a Lap Pad-Short Hooty Owl/Teal and two of their sensory enrichment tools, their Fidget- Mod Dot/Pink and a Set of Emotion Patches. They offer weighted blankets, lap pads, scarfs, neck wraps and sashes. All of these pieces are made with the lushest, minky fabric. They have colors and patterns that are fun, stylish and some that are more neutral and low key. So, there really is something for everyone. Not to mention all the pieces have magnetic closers and can easily attach to one another. For me that means no more snaps and zippers to become frustrated over and the bonus that all their products are reversible makes it nice to have choices depending where we are using the product.
My youngest son, Kaden was officially diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old. We knew from about a year old or so that there was something definitely different about him. He was very withdrawn, in his own little world. Extremely smart, highly sensitive to sound, but could cut a foot off and not even notice. There were many many things that were red flags for us. But, the one thing that we did notice back when he was a baby and to this day has not changed, is the extreme need for pressure. Kaden had a weighted blanket since he was little, we have multiple bulky objects we put on top of him every single day to sooth him. He literally cries out and begs for pressure. He even has a service dog that has been trained to apply pressure any time he asks for it. I had never heard of this company before, honestly my head has been in the sand and we just make do with what we have. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the different products that they offer. And the quality is out of this world and I’m honestly not exaggerating the truth here when I say this. Their wearables provide this amazing deep pressure touch stimulation that offers a relaxed, comforting feeling as it allows your central nervous system to take in all that positive input and your brain releases feel good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. This is an involuntary process that will just happen naturally as you begin to calm down and relax.
Kaden’s cape was the Sand Ziggy/Teal pattern. The cape fit nice and snug across the back of his shoulders, yet still gave plenty of room to move his arms. It was easy for him to put on himself, that was very important to me, because he is almost 11 years old and I still need to assist him in dressing every day. To see the confidence in his face was priceless. He said it felt like he was getting a warm hug when he had it on. I even tried it out, of course I would need a bigger size, but I still was able to understand the hug he was talking about. To me it felt like be snuggled in bed, I could understand what Kaden meant when he said it made him feel safe, like nothing bad was going to happen. Like I said earlier the products are reversible. The one side of his cape was a little shaggy with a zig-zag pattern, he constantly was rubbing it and loved the different textures. The teal was so soothing, I could paint my whole house this color. Kaden mainly wore it while on the computer, while watching television and even while riding his bike. Looking back at this now, usually doing these things causes him stress and anxiety. Kaden explained to me that he liked having the pressure on his shoulder area. When I had it on, I noticed this too. I would say not only did it feel comforting, but I felt a release in tension too. While Kaden struggles on an hourly basis I was able to see less agitation when transitioning between activities when he was wearing his cape. He also was able to sit through a program on tv or play on the computer without a huge meltdown within reason. So, I would say his overall experience was positive and worth us continuing to use it. I have no doubt that by using it on a regular basis he will start to recognize on his own that indeed he is safe and when he’s not feeling that calm feeling he can proactively put his cape on and achieve it independently.
The Lap Pad we received was super adorable in the Hooty Owl/Teal print. This product is very versatile, it is awesome around your neck, on your lap, legs, even your back during tummy time. And it’s perfect for car trips because you may need the pressure, but not necessarily the full cover up of a blanket. Kaden took this on the last three camping trips. Wow, what a difference! Usually he gets anxious and aggressive while we set up the RV and while driving, mainly due to the noise, transition and commotion. I could tell he felt a little calmer, his hands were busy rubbing the edges and fabric. Normally he wanted to pair it with his cape every single time. By having the cape on as constant pressure and him twirling or folding the lap pad in his lap he was soothing himself without even knowing it. I think that is one of the hardest things about Anxiety, Depression, problems sleeping and many other conditions that would improve with stress reduction and increased relaxation. How do you achieve it? That was my question all the time and now I finally have a solution. But, I need to quickly go back and point out that we have never been able to bring our prior weighted blanket camping with us before, because it wasn’t washable. Well guess what? All of CapeAble products are machine washable! It just can’t get any better than this! That lap pad has been everywhere with him and I have washed it six times. No problems at all with it getting damaged or not cleaned completely. My older daughter is 17 and has massive anxiety and depression. She has struggled for nearly 2 years now and she asked if she could try the lap pad. After Kaden goes to bed, most evenings she will take it and sleep with it across her chest. She said it makes her feel grounded and less jittery inside. Since using it she has reported to me that her sleep is better and deeper, and she hasn’t used a night light in weeks.
The other two products I received were what they call Sensory Enrichment Tools. The first item is the magnetic Fidget in a Mod Dot/Pink fabric. I cannot explain enough how magnificent this little tool is. Normally fidget type tools are obvious looking and can be kind of bulky. I love that this product can easily be folded up very small to fit in your pocket, purse or back pack. Because not everyone is a little kid that has a fidget sensory need it is nice that it’s inconspicuous, quiet and doesn’t cause any distraction to other people. That’s why I think it would be perfect to use in a school or work setting. This particular fidget is about 5"x15" and has 12 magnets, so there are endless possibilities for him as he easily folds it and puts it into different shapes over and over while we are doing school work. Kaden mentioned to me that he likes the feeling of the pull between the magnets. This tool not only works on his fine motor skills and allows him to concentrate for longer periods of time, but it also soothes him when he is extremely overwhelmed. I’ve noticed that he has taken his fidget everywhere, I need a few more honestly because he is always asking for it because everyone in the house has seemed to take a liking to it. Many nights Kaden takes it to bed while we read books together. And after having a night terror he pairs it with his cape to be able to go back to sleep. Another item I see that they have that is on Kaden’s wish list is their long 8ft Snake Around. This would be perfect for creating input around the body. Some people need that physical touch, it’s healing and comforting even if you are just recovering from the flu or from having surgery.
The final product I was able to try was a Set of Emotion Magnetic Patches. This was a product I didn’t know I needed. Gone is the day of getting a whiteboard in front of Kaden so he can circle how he is feeling. And depending on how he is feeling that whiteboard could be hurled at me or left blank. There are times though that he physically cannot tell me and by having him try and write or circle an emotion on a board sometimes creates even more frustration for him and myself. Now he has all 18 patches on a magnetic strip beside his desk and sometimes he will approach me with his cape and place a sad magnet on it or the hungry patch. We are also able to take them with us and he can attach them to his cape, fidget or lap pad. I have even used them to communicate with him myself to reinforce using them. We will role play and I will show the patch that says happy and then he will practice what he thinks happy looks like. He does struggle with facial recognition, so I like that there is a patch with a face and a patch with the corresponding word. And once again the fact that they are magnetic and work on all of CapeAble products makes it a great cohesive product line.
This company is offering us a product line that fills a massive need, it’s not just people with special needs or a diagnosis. I would say that any of the wearable products and blankets would be an amazing gift for someone who just had surgery, childbirth, just moved or going through a life transition. Think of the person who has stress in their life, trouble sleeping or simply could just use a tool to induce a little more relaxation in their lives. The CapeAble product line is fashionable, fun and effective. I look forward to adding more of their products in our home. There is a need for the simple comfort and security that these products provide, I have witnessed it with my own eyes as I’ve watched fear, anxiety leave my children’s faces and replaced with contentment. Take a look online at what CapeAble has to offer you and your family, because we all deserve to feel calm and at peace.
-Product review by Sheila Quach, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017