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The Weight of Weighted Vests

Students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are sometimes recommended to wear weighted vests by their occupational therapists. For children eligible for special education services, these weighted vests coupled with related services, such as occupational therapy have been known to reduce certain types of hyperactive or sensory seeking behaviors. But why would a weighted vest have any effect on a child's behaviors?

Certain children require sensory diets to address their hypo or hyper sensory seeking behaviors. Websites advertising for weighted vests say that these vests provide constant deep pressure satisfying the child's need for proprioceptive input. They often are cited as having a "calming" effect on the child and are advertised to decrease distractibility, hyperactivity and inattention. This seems far-fetched that a weighted vest could produce such effects, but research has proven that they are effective in reducing distractible and sensory-seeking behaviors.

A study in 2004, published in the Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics Journal found that therapists who used the weighted vests with their preschool and elementary clients found them to stay on task, stay in their seat, and have a longer attention span. A study in 2001, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy looked at the effectiveness of using the vest for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). In the study, they found that all participants displayed a decrease in distractible behaviors, self-stimulatory behaviors and any self-stimulatory behaviors that were still evident were no longer self-abusive. The participants also exhibited increased focus.

For students exhibiting distractible, hyperactive or sensory-seeking behaviors, school districts, service providers and parents alike therefore should keep in mind the use of weighted vests as they appear to have a positive effect on students' behaviors in the classroom.

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If you have any questions about your child's special education services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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Thanks for the information about the other personal development blogs.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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