If you have a relative, either an adult or a child, that has autism or ADHD, your might've noticed it's not always easy to get their attention. You might give them a simple task, like drawing a simple stick figure, but somehow they just cannot stay focused.
Do you find this behavior familiar? We have a tip that might help you and your relative out, at least a little bit. The answer as you might've guessed it, is a weighted vest for autism.
Can a weighted vest help autistic children & adults?
While all children and adults with autism will respond differently to a weighted vest, the majority respond in a very positive manner. These vests are your not typical weighted vest, but rather specially designed to be used for autism in mind. These vests are considered to be a sort of therapy and fall under the category of "sensory integration".
Autism vests are constructed to weight about 10% of the bearers total body weight. There are however sensory weighted vests that are much lighter, these are specifically made for preschool children and will weight about 2-3% of the total body weight.
So how do they work? Studies have shown that people who struggle to stay focused are suffering from sensory overload, in other words they're getting too much information at once. A special weighted vest for autism will put constant pressure on the child or adult, calming them down. This compression provides the bearer with something called deep pressure stimulation. The stimulation helps the central nervous system to keep things in check so to speak. For some, the vest will also stimulate other systems, like the limbic system. A stimulated limbic system will decrease excitement, thus helping the child or adult to process different changes in their nearby surroundings.
While there haven't been too much scientific research done on this subject, there's plenty of evidence coming from autism therapists all over the world. A weighted autism vest can change how the body reacts to information in a positive way, typically improving problematic behavior.
How does a weighted vest for autism work?
In order to fully understand how a weighted vest for autism works, we need to take a look at what's causing children and adults with autism to act differently. People with autism have problems with their proprioception, it's basically the system in our brain that helps us know where we have our limbs at any given time. When I raise my right hand over my head, I know it's there because of a fully functional proprioception.
Proprioception works together with the receptors located in your tendons and muscles, together they work to tell your brain what your body is doing. People with autism can have a hard time controlling their limbs, luckily theses proprioception receptors will responds to stimulation. They are stimulated by either physical activity or compression. That's where the vest comes into play, by hugging the body tightly the receptors will be stimulated.
Another issue autistic people face is hypersensitive skin. The receptors located on the skin informs your body of changes in your environment. They are the receptors that informs your body if there are any dangerous changes. As you can imagine, someone with autism will overreact to these changes, a slight gust of wind or a sudden change in temperature will have twice (if not more) the effect on an autistic person. Normal responses to this is to either become irritable or start erratic behavior where violence may come into play.
These kinds of vests only have benefits to them
If you've come this far, you probably realized that there's only benefits to these types of autism vests. If you have a kid or a loved one that has autism, a weighted vest can be a great choice. They aren't expensive and will drastically improve their well-being, isn't that worth a shot?