Using a Weighted or Pressure Vest for a Child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
One must understand the important relationship between weighted vests and sensory processing disorder in order to see how a weighted vest can help a child with ASD.
The Star Institute estimates that 75% of kids with ASD have “significant symptoms of sensory processing disorder.”
Autistic people exhibit sensory processing dysfunction in gross and fine motor delays, sensory aversions, language deficits or delays, repetitive sensory stereotypes, an inability to stay within an interaction, and an inability to interact with objects and people.
An occupational therapist might have recommended a weighted vest to address issues such as hyperactivity, lack of concentration, and self-stimulatory behaviors.
A 2001 study by Nancy L. VandenBerg learned that on-task behavior improved by 18 to 25% in 4 areas when wearing a weighted vest for tabletop fine-motor tasks. Further research regarding deep-touch pressure supports the premise that weighted vests promote physiological regulation like normal heart rate and decreasing anxiety. Do not think for a moment that a weighted vest won’t help your autistic child. Here are 10 solid reasons why to use one regularly:
Top 10 Ranking Benefits of Wearing a Weighted Vest
Increases focus and attention span.
Increases seated time-on-task.
Reduces self-stimulatory behaviors.
Promotes calmness and organization.
Helps with self-control.
Reduces bouts of sensory overload.
Improves sense of body awareness.
Boosts therapeutic carryover of activities related to sensory diet.