Types of Weighted Vests for People with Disorders and Autism –
A weighted vest is literally a vest with weights sewn inside or placed inside the pockets of the product.
There are weighted clothing that are used to add resistance in regular workout. Then there are those that are specifically design for people with special needs like children with autism.
These are not ordinary weighted jackets. The one that autistic children used has a combination of weighted and compression vest that calms them and provides a steady proprioceptive input.
Proprioceptive sense refers to the child’s “position sense.” This means his perception of his body in space and movement.
The idea of weighted vest autism is based on the sensory integration therapy technique of deep pressure. The added weight is often used to help children with autism or sensory disorders to calm and relax so that sensory stimulus can be processed.
It is true that children are active and can easily be distracted in nature. But there are those who are clinically diagnosed as hyperactive and lacking in concentration. These special children do respond positively to the additional load or pressure a weighted vest provides.
How A Weighted Vest Autism Can Help?
Weighted items such as jackets and blankets can be highly beneficial to some children with autism, sensory integration disorder, ADHD and other neurological disorders.
People with developmental disorders like autism or Sensory Integration Disorder have difficulties with sensory integration.
“Sensory integration” refers to the way your mind processes input from the world around you. This process is also called Sensory Integration Therapy.
In other words, children with SID are unable to properly process sensory stimuli from his environment. They have extreme sensitivity or they are hypersensitive to sensory information such as lights, noises and certain textures. Either way, these can make them very uncomfortable, impair their learning and create a threatening situation such as increased anxiety.
This is where autism weighted vest can be useful. The pressure from this product can provide the sensory input necessary to calm the wearer, and interpret and respond appropriately to stimuli.
Weighted clothing for autistic kids, for instance, delivers a squeeze onto the body called deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS). For many patients, this type of therapy product helps them stay calm and focused by stimulating their muscles and joints though deep pressure.
The therapeutic vest is very effective in giving a feeling of security. It tightly hugs to the body and is perfectly weighted, as if there were arms hugging the child.
What are the Benefits of a Weighted Vest Autism or Pressure Vest?
There is limited research in the area of weighted vest therapy. However, many therapists working with children with autism or SID are recommending the use of products inserted with extra weights.
Since sensory weighted vest provides a constant and even deep pressure, the child is receiving the sensory input he craves. He is more aware of her body’s position in space and can better control his movements. This means his motor coordination and spatial perception improves.
Some therapists also found weighted vest autism is helpful with reflex maturity, balance, eye/hand coordination, and in hearing and speaking skills.
Moreover, your pressure vest also:
- Provides Calmness
People with sensory integration problem are often struggling to calm themselves when they are overwhelmed. Compression vest can provide the needed calmness.
The feeling of having extra weight can help people with difficulty of calming down and concentrating. Parents of autistic child often wrap their kid in blanket or hold them close when they need this kind of calming effect. But that is not always practical for older children and adults. A weighted vest autism for autistic children provides that calm and comfort that they need anytime, anywhere.
- Helps to Focus
Children and adults with autism or sensory problem may also have difficulty focusing on tasks in school or in work.
Some may have the urge to move constantly, known as sensory seeking. This makes it harder to complete everyday activities. People who are sensory seeking may want to do things that require their large muscles to move, such as jumping.
A therapeutic vest provides that same sort of muscle pressure while the wearer is sitting still or working. This will allow focus and concentration on the task at hand.
- Provides Conveniency
A weighted vest autism really comes in handy. It can be worn discreetly along with regular clothes. It allows you to do your usual activities while still getting the sensory input that you need. You also do not need the assistance of another person when wearing it.
It is also convenient for people who require deep sensory stimulation for an extended period of time. For example, a child can wear the weighted vest autism at school without taking it off.
In comparison with a weighted blanket, vests are more portable especially if you often travel with your child. It is very effective in giving a feeling of security.
In addition, it is also easy to take care of. It is completely washable and highly durable. Before washing, remove all weights and secure all closures. Weights may be wiped off with a damp cloth. If the product has steam weights, avoid soaking them. The steal will begin to rust.
How to Choose the Best Therapeutic Vest?
Your child’s occupational therapist will determine the proper weights and the proper schedule for wearing the vest.
Most weighted products available today offer flexibility in weight. Additional weight packs are offered to give the user greatest flexibility.
However, keep in mind that you have to first consult with your therapist if you want to increase the load of your child’s clothing. It is highly recommended that you begin with the smallest amount of weight possible, especially with preschool or younger children. Increase the weight only if recommended by your therapist.
For weighted products, the rule of thumb is 5% to 10% of the user’s body weight.
When it comes to sizes, it will depend on the profile of the person or body shape who will wear it.
You may also look at items that feature an easy-to-wear and sleek design that looks like ordinary clothing and not like medical clothing.
The vest can be ordered pre-fabricated from special companies or can also be sewn at home.
If you want to buy a pre-made vest, here are some of the best weighted vests for autism patients.
Fun and Function Weighted Compression Vest in Red for Girls
Fun and Function boosts its autistic weighted vest for comfort. The company guarantees a compression vest but it does not interfere with the user’s movement.
- It can wear under a jacket or a shirt.
- Calms and provides steady proprioceptive input
- Weights are safely positioned in pockets inside the vest and can be added or removed
- Includes Two 1/2 Pound + Four 1/4 pound weights. Machine Washable
- Machine washable
- Offers removable weights inserted into outside pockets.
- Weights are cushioned comfortably against the body of the wearer for pressure yet softness and complete comfort are guaranteed.
- Made to fit each child individually and comes in different sizes, not one size fits all.
Review Summary: Parents love this Weighted Vest Autism for their kids with special needs. The price is great and the vest is well made. The only down side is that if your child is very skinny make sure you order one size smaller as you would buy normally…
Check out the Weighted Vest Autism for Girls and Click here for current price information.
Fun and Function Weighted Compression Vest BLUE for Boys and Girls
This is a perfect compression vest for children on the autism spectrum, with sensory processing disorder, or hyperactivity.
- Provides adjustable pressure and functions as a reassuring deep “hug” to help kids focus and stay calm.
- Great price, starts at $64.99.
- Made of soft neoprene shell for comfort, air-conditioned mesh sides and pockets to place adjustable weights.
- Best for kids as well as adults with special needs.
- Provides deep pressure; gentle, calming and reassuring squeeze.
Also check out the Fun and Function’s Small Motorcycle Weighted Compression Vest for Boys.
If your child or an adult is having sensory processing disorders using a weighted blanket maybe an alternative to a weighted compression vest.