Have you tried a weighted vest?

Weighted products like blankets and vests are often recommended as non-medicated tools to help reduce anxiety and promote calmness in children on the autism spectrum. Weighted vests are the portable option for children who need the reassurance of deep touch pressure at school or on an outing.


What is a weighted vest?

Weighted vests are specifically designed to give deep touch pressure which has a calming, organizing effect on children with autism experiencing difficulties with self-regulation or a sensory processing disorder. Simply, it’s a garment worn over clothing that has additional weight in the fabric lining or sewn into pockets. An Under Wraps weighted vest is versatile: it can be taken off and put back on with ease. The garment is comfortable, not cumbersome, and comes with Velcro straps that can be adjusted for a perfect fit.


This is how a weighted vest can help

The idea with a weighted vest is to give children sustained deep pressure input to their joints and muscles. This is called proprioception and it is known to be calming and organising. Occupational therapy programmes for children with autism will often recommend use of a weighted vest for the following benefits:

  • The comforting deep pressure stimulation has a calming effect
  • The calmness helps to improve concentration and focus in a classroom setting
  • Deep pressure can also help to decrease stereotypical behaviours such as stimming
  • The vest can decrease hyperactivity and reduce anxiety
  • Comfortable deep pressure improves body awareness and can assist with self-regulation

The right weighted vest for your child

While the vest is worn over clothing, it’s still important to choose the right fabric and design. Opt for the type of fabric and colour that appeals to your child.   If they prefer tight, body-hugging clothes, then keep this in mind when choosing a design.


How do I introduce the weighted vest?

Discuss a schedule for vest-wearing with your occupation therapist as every child differs. Generally, it’s recommended to introduce the vest during your child’s favourite activity. Remember to remove the vest for the same amount of time that it’s been worn, for example: 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off as this allows for a reset of the nervous system. Under Wraps vests are designed and made to your child’s exact measurements, so it will be 5-10% of her/his weight – the object is to comfort, not overload!

If you want more information please contact Under Wraps – we look forward to hearing from you. 

Source: https://www.nationalautismresources.com/benefits-of-a-weighted-vest-for-a-child-with-autism/