Creating Your Own Sensory Pillows

By Janessa

The majority of the children who are diagnosed with autism are afflicted with a Sensory Processing Disorder which makes it difficult for them to process the sensory signals or information that they receive. Moreover, those who are affected with the Sensory Processing Disorder may find it challenging to organize the sensory information into appropriate responses.

To help your child manage his Sensory Processing Disorder, you can provide him a sensory item or material for him to use. There are many sensory items available so you are sure to find something that will be right for him. Many of these items can also be made and customized to your child’s needs and preferences.

One example is a sensory pillow. If you have basic sewing skills, you can create a sensory pillow for your child. It is simple and easy to make. You can do it either with the help of a sewing machine or you can even do it by hand.

To make a sensory pillow, you need to gather different tactile fabrics which you will use to create your patchwork. You need at least nine different squares of fabric. If you want to make a bigger pillow, you can always repeat some of your fabrics to create a pattern. Satin, fleece, boucle, faux fur, burlap, scratchy wool and corduroy are all great fabrics which you can use to create your sensory pillow.

Once you have collected your fabrics, you need to cut each fabric into four and a half inches square. Create three rows of three squares each. Position the fabric squares into your desired pattern. It is recommended that you position fabrics with smooth textures beside fabrics with rough textures. Pin your fabrics together and sew them. Always use a one-fourth inch seam allowance for assembling your work.

Once you are done sewing the fabrics together, you need to select a twelve and a half inches square fabric for the back panel of your pillow. Place the patchwork and back panel piece with their right sides together and pin along the four edges. Stitch the four sides of the pillow using a one-fourth inch seam allowance. Do not forget to leave a three-inch opening so you can put in your stuffing.

Once you are done sewing the sides, turn the pillow cover inside out. Instead of using your regular pillow stuffing, it is recommended that you use a textured item such as rice or beans to fill it. This will add to the tactile nature of the pillow. You can sew the opening of the pillow once you are done filling it up.


  1. I have a friend whose son is autistic. He was diagnosed as autistic when he was two years old. Today he’s 30 years old and still needs care round the clock. Someone from an agency stays with him for only four hours a day then his mother takes over. She can’t find full time help for him , if she could she’d be able to look for a full-time job. I ‘m all for Moms for Autism, they get my full support.

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