Vermont Sensory Store
Allyson and Gage Sironi
A few years ago, I began to foster (and later adopted) two high-needs children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Very quickly, I discovered they both benefited greatly from having their senses stimulated. They were both fascinated with smells and textures and wanted to wrap themselves up tight in blankets.
I have worked in the clothing and sewing industry all my life and seeing my kids so happy got me to start thinking about designing things specifically to help them. Having FAS, my kids often struggle to keep a calm mind and body. Sensory objects, specifically ones that apply weight or hold them have had an astounding positive impact on their lives.
My first purpose-built creation was a funny-looking monster stuffed with rice and lavender. I put it in the microwave and handed it to one of my kids who struggles to sleep. He took it, snuggled right up to it, and was asleep the whole night.
Through trial and error, I have further developed my designs. I have now begun to design weighted blankets and hammock chairs that hug tight to the user (both my sons use them to have a closed space to themselves). I also have another stuffed monster sitting in the freezer to act as a cold pad. It is great for helping small injuries and calming nerves. It's also not too shabby at helping with menstrual cramps!
My products are not only for kids. My eldest son (who is not high needs) is 23 and used a weighted blanket to help him sleep at night in college. The monsters can be used as heating pads, cooling pads, or just a huggable for someone with anxiety.
35 Keene Road
Marshfield, VT 05658