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Our story

With one simple weighted blanket, Ethan’s life changed - the effect for the family was truly miraculous.

As a parent, all you want in life is to have happy, healthy children. When my son, Ethan, was diagnosed with Autism in 2003, little did I know how much effect it would have on my family and the long, eventful journey ahead.

After Ethan was diagnosed with Autism, I assumed things would change as interventions such as Speech & Language Therapy were introduced and I became more familiar with the condition. In addition to the typical autistic traits, Ethan displayed other behaviour that I had difficulty understanding.  He hardly slept and was constantly on the go – running up and down the hallway, spinning, swinging his arms and generally banging and crashing into everyone and everything. He couldn’t tolerate certain noises such as the vacuum cleaner; he appeared almost in physical pain whenever it was turned on. He really hated trips to the barber. I didn’t know it at the time, but these were all classic signs of Sensory Integration Disorder.

The lack of sleep and failure to find an appropriate solution to ease Ethan’s upset was really starting to affect my whole family. In 2005, when things had still not improved, I began looking harder for a solution that was going to generate real results.

Ethan had been prescribed different forms of medication, and although they helped a little, I didn’t want to become reliant upon them, so Ethan’s Paediatric Consultant suggested a Weighted Blanket. I remember hearing this and thinking ‘what on earth is a Weighted Blanket’? At this stage I was blissfully unaware of how life changing that Weighted Blanket would become.

Ethan settled quicker than usual and only woke up once

The making of Sensory Direct

Sensory Direct’s principle drive and values are based on wanting to help and support others find their solution.

Back in 2005, at the time when Ethan needed a weighted blanket, it was hard to find any reference to them and I could only find a few companies in America selling them, which frustratingly made buying one unaffordable. The research showed such promise of a solution, so I was determined to find a resolution. This is where Ethan ended up with a homemade ‘make-shift’ blanket made from remnants bought from a rag market and 6lbs of value rice. To be honest the DIY project and the concept struck me as strange and I didn’t hold much hope for any positive results because it was all so new.

The first night Ethan had his Weighted Blanket he settled quicker than usual and only woke up once. The next night he slept right through for the first time in 5 years – the effect for the family was truly miraculous. The remarkable results were passed on enthusiastically to Ethan’s consultant and I was asked to make one for the Occupational Therapist. The OT was so impressed they kept it and started loaning it to other parents. It was thrilling to be in a position where there was a prospect of being able to help others in a similar situation and from this point forward– Sensory Direct was born.


We pride ourselves on our Customer Service

We want to be the friendly voice on the end of the phone to help you find your own solution

Fast forward to 2020 and I am so incredibly proud of the journey that my son has been on and continues to follow. Ethan is an incredible young man and is truly my inspiration to get up and ‘go for it’ every day. He changed the lives of my family, made us all evaluate our way of thinking and in doing so Sensory Direct was founded on the experiences I gained as the parent of Ethan. Sensory Direct’s principle drive and values are based on wanting to help and support others find their solution.

Sensory Direct aims to provide that friendly voice at the end of a phone that understands first-hand the challenges faced with living with ASD. We understands the financial burden that can be faced when purchasing products that come with no guarantee for success -that’s why we offer a hassle free returns policy for all our customers.

We strongly believe in our products and ensure that the same love and care that went into making my son’s first Weighted Blanket, goes into every handmade product we produce here in Worcester. We pride ourselves on our Customer Service and we will do our utmost to find you a solution that works – even if, on the rare occasion, it means directing you elsewhere.

I hope that mine and Ethan’s story inspires you to try something new with Sensory Direct today – you never know, it may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Andrew Caws and all at Sensory Direct