How a Boyne business is helping people with autism
BOYNE Island's Leanne has been taking the weight off disability carers' shoulders by creating weighted pads.
She runs the business Wheat Bags and Sensory Weighted Products, creating exactly what the title says.
The business started with just the wheat bags, but after a time researching and a request from a teacher in Biloela, she expanded into sensory weighted products.
"The majority of (the teacher's) kids had a disability of some sort,” Leanne said.
"I started getting the feedback on how they worked, that was when I started to take it a little further.”
The weighted lap mats work by putting pressure on deep pressure receptors which release natural calming chemicals. The mats are known to benefit people with ADHD, autism, psychiatric disorders and sensory processing disorder.
Four years on and business is booming for a product Leanne says is "required” not just in Gladstone, but Australia wide.
"The word got out and people started contacting me and I just made more and more and did more research,” she said.
"Quite often someone will take my product away and I'll get a phone call saying I need two more of those.”
Leanne sells her products at a low cost to make them affordable for families.
"Having a child or and adult with a disability is hard enough, let alone adding that 'disability tax',” she said.
"I just like to help people, there's nothing better than the satisfaction of putting the weight on somebody and seeing the immediate release it brings.
"I've had kids run up to me and just hug me because they remember me from their lap mats saying 'there's the wheat bag lady'.”
Leanne currently sells her products at markets across the region or by direct order.