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Home > Muscle Coordination, Muscle Tone, and Strength > Weighted Vests, Heavy Pressure, Compression Vests and Weighted Blankets

Weighted Vests, Heavy Pressure, Compression Vests and Weighted Blankets

Deep pressure touch and weighted input = calmer more organized child

Remember your infant's sensory system and how it needed to be held or swaddled to calm?

Infants have immature nervous systems with hypersensitive touch systems.  Many children with SPD, Autism, and ADHD have immature nervous systems as well.  Deep pressure touch helps them to feel calmer and organized, rather than stressed or hyperactive.  

Similarly, an individual's system that is under significant stress or is immature in the way it is processing sensory input will also respond with relaxation to these deep pressure receptors.

This technique is often used successfully with individuals that are easily distracted, hyperactive or lacking concentration.

These individuals respond positively to the additional weight some products provide.

Depending on individual preference, some people prefer "tightness" such as bike shorts and LYCRA®-based wraps.

Others prefer the "heaviness" of beanbag chairs, backpacks filled to the brim and weighted products.

Some individuals prefer both deep pressure touch and weighted input in the form of compression weighted vests easily found on Fun and Function, Amazon, Autism Products and other sensory catalogs.

Pay attention to what your child is telling you about their sensory needs. Children that crave deep hugs, crashing into people and things, and love to rough house need this input.

Children that have poor trunk control and low muscle tone need weight or heavy pressure in the center of their body to feel more stable and it helps to increase their proximal stability for fine motor skills.  

Some ideas that help these children:

*Weighted vests, blankets, lap pads, shoulder wraps

*Heavy pressure hugs, massage, and squeezes throughout their day

*Vibration lower back massager with a move and sit seat wedge in chair 

*Massage, therapeutic brushing and hand hugs- see your OT for help

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