Hello everyone. Welcome back to SEG Center. Today we will be talking about weighted products specifically weighted blankets and weighted vests. I am sure you have either heard of this strategy, have seen a child with autism using a weighted product or your own kiddo uses weighted products. For those parents and caregivers that are unfamiliar with weighted products, this blog is for you. Weighted items are available as blankets, vest, belts, lap pads, stuffed animals, backpacks and shoulder wraps. The weight can either be stitched into the fabric of the product or have pockets designed specifically to insert weights within the product. Weighted products are used to apply pressure to muscles and joints. They are especially beneficial to ASD children with sensory integration dysfunction who have difficulty handling input from more than one sense at a time. The pressure the weights apply help calm ASD children and allow for improved attention to academic work, help decrease stereotypical behaviors, and improve sleep. What has Jayson tried? We have used various weighted products with Jayson. Specifically a weighted vest and blanket. The weighted vest has been
very beneficial in the classroom while the weighted blanket has really helped with sleeping. Jayson has been wearing a weighted vest since age 2 .It was a recommendation from the Speech Pathologist at Kennedy Krieger during his time at the Achievements program.
Benefits we saw in Jayson with weighted products
Weight products significantly helped Jayson with his attentiveness allowing him to participate in therapies. In the classroom, Jayson’s teacher employs the weighted vest when she feels or in the past felt it is appropriate but quickly removed it in order to make sure the use was significant and was not overused. Jayson uses his weighted pad during his circle time for reading their book in order to make sure he remains seated and still through the session or during the periods where the teacher/ABA tech is reading a story and really needs his attention. Below are pictures of the ones Jayson uses most often. Over time, we have realized that he doesn’t use the weighted vest as much because he seems to be balancing his need for sensory much better with age. For Christmas I bought a weighted neck/shoulder wrap that is being utilized at school. So far, no complaints, but in general I am very excited that weighted products exist and help “balance” our kiddos. Please leave a comment below letting us know if you have or plan on using any weighted products. I hope this is helpful to you and adds another tool in your autism toolkit.
God bless you all.