There is no harm in trying a weighted vest on a child who has ASD. 4.7 out of 5 stars 3,746. Sign up for our weekly newsletter on special needs! A weighted vest is just that: a vest-like garment that is worn over clothing, with some additional weight either sewn into pockets or embedded in the fabric lining. It is believed that when the central nervous system is well regulated, all physical processes are taking place more effectively. So, what is the takeaway as a parent when looking at conflicting research behind a recommended treatment approach? • An examination of research for quality using What Works Clearinghouse standards indicates that weighted vests for students with autism spectrum disorder is not an evidence-based practice. What Testing Can Help Diagnose Learning Disabilities? If you are unfamiliar with the basics of what a weighted vest is, it’s not overly complicated! Consider how often your child will be changing in/out of the vest and the easiest way to do that: snaps, zippers, velcro? Citation for this article: Moran, K. (2011). Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Here are the 10 benefits that have been reported by weighted vest wearers, therapists, and parents: The theory behind weighted vests is to provide the child with sustained deep pressure input to his/her muscles and joints (proprioception) as this type of sensory input is known to be calming and organizing. This can be done with the help of your child’s Occupational Therapist or teacher. The  STAR institute estimates, based on their research, that 75% of children with autism have “significant symptoms of sensory processing disorder.”. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors with her family and their dog Kolana. Thank you for this informative article. Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP is an Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Practitioner with over 15 years of pediatric experience. If the child should wear the weighted vest for the 20-40 minute activity, be sure to remove the vest for the same time period to allow the nervous system to reset. It is important to work with an occupational therapist to explore a number of sensory motor strategies to help your child achieve their goals and access their environment more independently. It is very possible it could provide some benefit. As with any sensory strategy or tool, be sure to consult your child’s occupational therapist for an individualized approach to making it all work as part of your child’s comprehensive sensory diet. On a potentially relatable level, it resembles a firm hug, without the emotional connotations! It comes in 6 sizes, ranging from very small child to adult. 95 ($59.95/Count) In our article, What You Need to Know about Sensory Issues & Autism, we outlined the statistics and connections between sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Research review: Review of use and of the efficacy of weighted vests. 99. Additionally, three of the four students often asked to wear the vest other than during the observation times. Since the design and purpose of weighted vests and compression vests target the proprioceptive system by increasing the amount of input, it is logical to make the connection that the positive findings of DTP research would also be the case in product-specific research. Having moderate weight evenly distributed over the body naturally calms the nervous system, often allowing an individual to pay attention more closely or fall asleep more easily. Due to this belief, the benefits of weighted vests may even extend to the child’s internal processes, including processing food more effectively, encouraging better sleeping habits, and impacting interoception (the sense of the internal conditions of the body including hunger, thirst, body temperature, etc.). Observe Your Child While Wearing Their Weighted Vest. Weighted put vest or simply weighted vest, is a new accessory in the exercise related industry. Schedule 2-3x per day (one morning, one afternoon) for no more than 15 minutes per wearing schedule. 1% of every sale at Harkla goes to the University of Washington Autism Clinic to help fund research and therapy for local children. A lot of studies show that the jury is still out regarding the effectiveness of weighted vests. by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP January 20, 2021 33 Comments, by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP January 19, 2021, by Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L November 24, 2020. Should your child require additional, more consistent input throughout the day, consider adding a tight-fitting undershirt (lycra-based). Typically, the vest is 10% of the person’s body weight, which means it can apply deep pressure to muscles and joints. If you know what to look at, you’ll be better able to speak to your child’s response to a weighted vest. The fabric of the weighted vest is just as important to consider as the wearing schedule and weight factors! A weighted vest is a wearable garment with the capability of holding weight, typically a vest with sewn internal pockets where small ½ or ¼ pound weights can be placed. However, subjective data from parents, therapists, and children is overwhelmingly positive and warrants an individualized approach to exploring weighted vests as sensory tools for your own toolbox. Identify a simple way to measure the effectiveness of the weighted vest. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information throughout their day. However, in cases where it is calming, often it can be taken off and the child will remain calm. The most popular color? Welcome to another article on an autism weighted vest and inattention. Courtney Shea is a pediatric occupational therapist at the NAPA Center in Boston. Sensory needs constant change, and it may be worth putting it back into the mix down the road, while trying other tools or strategies! Harkla’s weighted compression vest for kids with sensory issues, autism, and ADHD combines the sensory input tool with a wearable by applying pressure to sensitive areas of the body. A Canadian school-based fatality attributed to improper use of a weighted blanket on a child with autism in 2008 led the Autism Society of Canada to issue a warning about weighted blankets. Weighted products promote calm for those with autism or sensory processing disorder. Keep in mind what you identified as the “why” behind choosing a weighted vest. by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP February 14, 2018 2 Comments. Simply place the vest over your child's clothing, and watch your little one return to feeling grounded and in control. Due to limited scientific evidence marking the effectiveness of weighted vests, it is important to consistently observe a child with Autism when wearing this item. For children who are non-verbal, it is even more important to be observing and noting any displays of physical discomfort or distress. Deep Pressure Vest Why your therapist will recommend a weighted vest for your child with autism The use of a weighted vest may or may not be a tool that helps meet your child’s sensory needs but is likely worth exploring. The weight should be evenly distributed as much as possible. Some Alternatives to Consider and Discuss with Your OT: Compression garments (may be worn for longer durations, provides consistent input, does not shift like weighted vest might). What is a weighted vest? The STAR Due to this belief, the benefits of weighted vests may even extend to the child’s internal processes, including processing food more effectively, encouraging. A 2001 study published in American Journal of Occupational Therapy by Nancy L. VandenBerg, found that on-task behavior increased by 18-25% in all four subjects when a weighted vest was worn for tabletop fine motor tasks. It may work for 6 months consistently and then completely lose its appeal! We'll take a look at ASD and SPD first, then show you what exactly a weighted vest is, the science behind them, and what the benefits are of weighted vests for autism. Additionally, other mentioned benefits include improvements in: It is believed that when the central nervous system is well regulated, all physical processes are taking place more effectively. Weighted vests provide proprioceptive input using deep pressure which sends signals to the brain which, as a … Read this article to learn everything you need to know about sensory diets! Weighted vests are a frequently recommended practice for students with autism spectrum disorder. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information throughout their day. The vest is weighted based on the wearer’s total body weight - a concept similar to a weighted lap pad or weighted blanket. Weighted Vest for Kids with Sensory Issues(Ages 2-4, Small) – Weighted Compression Vest for Children with Autism, ADHD, SPD, Sensory Overload, Includes 2lb Removable Weights 4.5 out of 5 stars 7 $59.95 $ 59 . For autism affected individuals these can be the go-to comforting zone for additional warmth and support. Sensory Diets can help kids with sensory processing challenges and SPD. A weighted vest is no different! We’ll talk about this controversy and why I still believe that weighted vests are an option worth trying. Occupational therapists often recommend wearables that provide deep touch pressure as part of a comprehensive sensory diet to help children with autism who have sensory processing disorder or self-regulation difficulties. For more information on weighted vests, and different weighted vest options, check out our article here. Therapeutic benefits include: General sense of … Weighted compression vest. The Best Weighted Vest for Autism Reviews. Colorful lap pads with tactile interest are great for younger kids who benefit from proprioceptive input during circle time. First and foremost, the use of a weighted vest with a child on the Autism Spectrum is merely a tool in the toolbox. What does your child naturally gravitate towards when choosing his/her clothes? This vest comes with all the features and benefits of a weighted vest but also with compression. $38.99 $ 38. However, whilst some exists, there’s currently limited weighted vest research to scientifically back up the claims. Do you have any experience with this application? First and foremost, the use of a weighted vest with a child on the Autism Spectrum is merely a tool in the toolbox. A weighted compression vest is the “best of both worlds” because it has the added weight within the vest, but at the same time provides the tightness needed for sensory input. The OTvest, Weighted Vest Applies Calming, Behavior Organizing, Deep Pressure Therapy for Autistic Persons When we feel better, we do better -- and that is exactly what happens in those wearing the OTvest™! weighted vest is ‘ ‘ … a vest that typically has 10% of a person’s body weight evenly distribut ed around the vest.’ (Olson and Moulton 2004b , p. 53 ). Weighted Vest Research: Final Thoughts. The benefits can occur in a very wide range with the most frequently reported being increased attention, focus and concentration as well as an increased sense of calm and reduction in anxiety. For adults and kids with autism, a weighted vest is said to be a sensory instrument to help increase focus, concentration, and self-regulation. In a 2001 study in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, on-task behavior increased by 18% to 25% for all four students who participated in the study, while wearing a weighted vest. Studies on Weighted Vests. , and impacting interoception (the sense of the internal conditions of the body including hunger, thirst, body temperature, etc.). 5% coupon applied … Some parents and educators feel that the compression vests are helpful during especially stressful times (i.e. If you have a child with autism, his/her occupational therapist may have recommended a weighted vest to help with hyperactivity, focus, and/or self-stimulatory behaviors. Nicole from Harkla. to engage during family game time), etc. A weighted vest for autism can help you and your child manage anxiety and behavioral issues, and offer sensory input. Know what you want to see change with your child. There are 223 weighted vest autism for sale on Etsy, and they cost $66.86 on average. Unfortunately, the research on the effectiveness of weighted vests has been inconsistent through the years and additional research is necessary to build consensus. A tool that is used frequently in therapeutic settings on children with ASD is a weighted vest (WV). Deep touch therapy, via weighted vests, has been used by therapists, for some time, to help children with autism and attention deficit disorders calm down and focus better. These can be that remarkable exercise extension that will boost the output. Weighted Vests and Autism: What You Need to Know. You should only use a weighted vest with a child when you are attempting to help them focus or calm down. Science in Autism Treatment, 8(1), 17. A Sensory Diet is designed to give the child sensory input at different times throughout the day through specific sensory activities. We would only be able to recommend that you speak to your child’s therapist about the possible benefits of using a weighted vest. This weighted vest for kids with autism is completely portable. A weighted vest is an article of clothing that adds and distributes 10% of the individual’s body weight to the rest of their body. If you’re a parent of a child with autism, you know that not every tool, strategy, or approach works the same for every child. Lastly, it may seem unimportant to you buying the vest as a parent, but what would your child choose to wear if he/she were doing the selecting? as these tasks require increased attention/ focus. Thanks for reading our blog. First and foremost, the use of a weighted vest with a child on the Autism Spectrum is merely a tool in the toolbox. to explore a number of sensory motor strategies to help your child achieve their goals and access their environment more independently. Many autistic persons have a sensory processing disorder, which causes them to have difficulty functioning because of either over-responsiveness or under-responsiveness to […] Additionally, 3 of 4 subjects asked to wear the weighted vest beyond the testing periods. This is important as you do not want to overstrain their bodies with more weight than what is safe. Use our recommendations to choose the right weighted vest for your child. That being said, it’s important to consider the material/texture of the vest as well as some of the properties of the fabric: Weighted vests can be a helpful sensory strategy for children with autism when used appropriately and in-line with specific student needs. Do all children with autism need one? Rear-closing for adult-only fastening or front-closing for independence? Similar positive outcomes were noted in the 2001 study published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy by Doreen Fertel-Daly, Gary Bedell, Jim Hinojosa that looked at the positive effects of weighted vests on attention to task and decreasing self-stimulatory behaviors in preschoolers with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. 10 Benefits of Weighted Vests for children with Autism originally written for and published on Harkla.co Sensory Processing & Autism In our article, What You Need to Know about Sensory Issues & Autism, we outlined the statistics and connections between sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Alescia founded Adapt & Learn, LLC on the mission that children of all abilities can play, learn, adapt, and develop with the right therapeutic, family, and educational supports. You can get more information on Alescia and her practice at www.adaptandlearn.com. You want the vest to have a positive impression so any way you can dress up the vest to be a preferred sensory tool, do it. By developing a progress monitoring tool that is specific to your child, you will know what works and what doesn’t! So directly after wearing, you will likely see a benefit as well and then your child will again, get used (habituate) to the feeling without the weight of the vest. The positive benefits of a weighted vest usually happen while the child is wearing the vest. A lap pad is a portable sensory solution that helps kids, teens and adults feel grounded. Start light and slowly increase weight! However, it is important to be working with an Occupational Therapist who has evaluated your child and can provide additional support through exploring this tool. Whether used at school, home, or in an office space, weighted vest, lap pads and blankets have been proven to soothe symptoms of autism. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have. For people with autism, sensory processing dysfunction can manifest in language delays or deficits, fine and gross motor delays, strong sensory interests, sensory aversions, an inability to interact with people and objects, an inability to stay within an interaction, repetitive sensory stereotypies (stimming), and much more. While you might be aware of the use of a weighted vest for sensory issues in children, it can also be beneficial for balance and gait training with adults. A weighted vest provides deep touch pressure (DTP), or proprioceptive input, which has a calming, organizing effect on the child. The research behind deep touch pressure is supportive for promoting physiological regulation (respiration rate, heart rate, blood pressure) and reducing anxiety. Having your child wear the vest during times where they are passively watching TV or using devices would not be beneficial. A weighted vest is just that: a vest-like garment that is worn over clothing, with some additional weight either sewn into pockets or embedded in the fabric lining. Alescia strives to help children by fostering a love of learning and supports families with her parent-friendly, informative blog posts. Would the vest have a picture or pattern of a favorite character? Choose fabrics that are preferred and suited to the activity level of your child. Be a certain favorite color? The whole concept of weighted vest just turns the picture totally around. A good weighted vest for running needs to be snug enough that it doesn’t bounce up and down as you’re setting a new personal record, but not so constricting that you can't move comfortably. If staying local she enjoys long distance runs along the Charles River alongside her husband taking turns pushing their son in a jogging stroller! Everything you need to know about sensory diets, Using Augmentative & Alternative (AAC) Communication for Autism, 7 Tips for Potty Training Kids with Autism. It is estimated that 10% of the population experience some type of learning disorder. Unfortunately, the research is inconsistent in giving a clear guideline for wearing schedules, however, it is recommended to initially introduce the weighted vest during a preferred activity. by Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L, What You Need to Know about Sensory Issues & Autism, Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil for Autism. Most weighted vests come with removable weights, so that kids with autism or sensory processing disorder can wear the amount of weight that feels best for them. Choose timing of wear schedule wisely. The weight and compression delivered by the vest provides proprioceptive input using deep pressure to the muscles and joints which sends signals to the brain helping a person feel calm and focused. Fun and Function’s Blue Weighted Compression Vest. Avoid habituation: have your child wear the vest for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Observing the child to see any changes in their self-regulation or attention or listening to any reports of “feeling good” or “I like it” may be the evidence needed for continued use of this tool! Frequently, occupational therapists will advise people with autism to wear these vests only during specific activities or at certain times of the day. Keep in mind that removing the vest is just as much of a sensory experience as donning it in the first place. Please consult your OT for details regarding above mentioned fitting as well as wear schedule for your child in order to optimize safety and functional use of this tool. Task Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES), difficulty processing and integrating sensory information. Set up your child’s weighted vest so that it is 5-10% of their body weight. Weighted Vests. Similar to rotating toys or other sensory strategies, using a weighted vest may come in handy sometimes, and may not be beneficial at other times. It is most appropriate and effective to implement the use of the weighted vest during times where your child may be completing activities such as school work, crafts, eating, playing games requiring communication (. Having a learning disability go undiagnosed can contribute to life-long challenges. Weighted Vests and Autism: What You Need to Know. The most common weighted vest autism material is cotton. There’s a lot to consider when selecting the right weighted vest for your child so please let us know if you have any questions or feedback! So, if your child is 40 lbs, the vest weight would be 2-4 lbs. Henkelion Weighted Vest Weight Vest for Men Women Kids 4 6 8 12 16 Lbs Weights Included, Body Weight Vests Adjustable for Running, Training Workout, Jogging, Walking - Black Grey Pink Blue Purple. school assemblies, doctor’s appointments). Weighted Hoodie - Get the lowest price and the largest selecion on Weighted Sweatshirts and Heavy Hoodies at Autism-Products.com. Typically, the vest is 10% of the person’s body weight, which means it can apply deep pressure to muscles and joints. After treatment for #musculardistrophy, Charlotte now has “hope for a happy life.”, Copyright © 2021 NAPA Center - All Rights Reserved, Weighted Vests and Autism: What You Need to Know, First and foremost, the use of a weighted vest with a child on the Autism Spectrum is merely a tool in the toolbox. The review is limited by the paucity of studies on weighted vests but indicates that weighted vests are not a recommended treatment at this time. A weighted vest is a vest with weights sewn into it. If you're researching CBD oil for a child with autism, read our article to learn about what CBD oil is, how it works, and the benefits CBD oil might have for kids with autism. I am curious about use of weighted vests with children with PTSD. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information throughout their day. The compression feature offers a sense of security – like a big hug. Let us know if you have any other questions. The use of a weighted vest may or may not be a tool that helps meet your child’s sensory needs but is likely worth exploring. Weighted lap pads (especially for older children who may be reluctant to wear a vest that is “different” from their peers). The weight should be evenly distributed throughout the vest, around the midsection (pockets sewn on the interior circumference of the vest with ability to add/remove weight when needed) and the vest should be snugly fit to your child’s body. There is a lot to learn and we can help! The vest should end up being no more than 5-10% of child’s body weight. A weighted vest is on my must have list of tools. Weighted vests are designed to be worn on top of a child’s clothing. That being said, maybe the most important source of information regarding this topic is the child! Our weighted vests for kids are popular because of their stylish designs and thoughtful features. Following approximately 15 minutes of wearing, a child will habituate to this newly imposed sensory input and it will no longer be an effective tool. They aren’t universal champions of the sensory world though. With an adjustable strap and ergonomic design, this one from Henkelion gets the job done. This is why weighted blankets and weighted vests have been utilized in the autism community for years. Below are some tips to ensure the safety and comfort of your child while wearing this kind of vest. Add it to your child’s school sensory integration products and bring it on car rides to improve travel for your little sensory seeker. When it comes to the benefits of weighted vests for autism, it's important to first understand the relationship between weighted vests and sensory processing disorder. She is often caught overpacking for weekend getaways and adventures. Kozie Clothes Girls Sensory Weighted Vest - Sofia For Children with Special Needs/Proprioceptive Therapy for SPD . We'll take a look at ASD and SPD first, then show you what exactly a weighted vest is, the science behind them, and what the benefits are of weighted vests for autism. More research is needed to better understand and measure the observable changes with these products - from sensory, behavioral, attention, and social-emotional perspectives. Maggie has a new Weighted Vest that was sent to her by Harkla and she loves it. While weighted vests are a common recommendation by occupational therapists, the research behind these sensory tools is inconsistent depending on the targeted outcome. Additionally, for any child who is anxious, this added input may be more anxiety provoking and may not be the right tool to utilize. Learn how you can recognize the signs of a learning disability and how to work toward a diagnosis so the right accommodations can be made. The use of weighted vests for children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities is a common practice as part of sensory integration therapy programs. If your child weighs 50 pounds, then the vest should be no more than 5 pounds. What is the intended purpose of the weighted vest - focus, attention, body awareness, staying seated? When it comes to the benefits of weighted vests for autism, it's important to first understand the relationship between weighted vests and sensory processing disorder. If they avoid denim or corduroy at all costs, don’t expect a weighted vest made of those materials to be welcomed! Comments will be approved before showing up. Generating a weighted vest wearing schedule should be done in consultation with your child’s OT. She specializes in educationally-relevant interventions with a focus on sensory integration and assistive technology supports to learning.