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Schools and Weighted Vests w/special needs children

Posted by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:14 PM
  • 34 Replies

Does anyone have any experience with schools using a weighted vest to help your child "focus and sit"? I did not even know they were using this on my son until I got his progress report yesterday. Any thoughts?

I am more upset about the fact that they didn't tell me they were using this on my son. If it helps him then I am okay with but at least show a little decency and inform the parents first

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:14 PM
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Replies (1-10):
bmw29
by Buttcrackncornchips on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM

My son had a vest and a lap pad. It did wonders and even though we are homeschooling now he still has a weighted lap pad and he sleeps with a weighted blanket.

frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I havent heard of this yet.  I would take another look at the papers they give on what will be done to help child . A few schools around here got in trouble for having safe rooms available to students who need alone time due to parents not understanding the use of them.

Alyssasmommy412
by Silver Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Depends on the type of program, when I worked in the autism program we did have a weighted vest that was used on some children.I would look on his IEP, other progress reports or even the special education evaluation that states things that they use within the program.  A weighted vest is a helpful tool and not something that will hurt him.

LucyHarper
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

They have never used them on my kids because they don't have a need for them, but they do use them in our school. Its very therapeutic for some kids who need that touch and pressure to really concentrate.

LadySaphira
by Bronze Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

My son used a weighted vest when he was younger and it was great! Is he in OT? Maybe they didn't inform you because it is part of his OT. My son's therapist didn't inform me of everything she did with him until regular parent meetings. Then she would tell me what different things they were working on at the moment. I had a general idea beforehand but got specifics in the meetings.

Bonita131
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

I'd be looking into suing their asses off for daring to use any object on my child without my consent. With this kind of bull shit going on, they could put your son in a straight jacket without telling you. It is a freaking school, not a mental hospital where they have full control.. Your son is a student, he is not a child in an institution. You need to speak up for your child right away. This is total bullshit what they are doing behind your back. My god, does it not make you wonder what else they might be doing to your son that you have no idea of?  I would be livid, absolutely livid if they touched my child in any manner shape or form without my permission.

 

You want information about weighted vests that are, by the way, being proved to be useless, here you go. Link to the website which has links to more information is below.

ABC Therapeutics Occupational  Therapy

We have precious little evidence that weighted vests do anything at all for children - and the lack of evidence is reflected in the fact that this intervention is barely mentioned in some common pediatric occupational therapy texts. However, given the formulaic and mythical popularity of the intervention you might think there would be more supporting research!! Now we have a series of recently published articles that when considered in total indicate very little evidence for using weighted vests.

For additional background reading please also reference Hodgetts, Magill-Evans, & Misiaszek (2011); Leew, Stein, & Gibbard (2010); and Stephenson & Carter (2009).

In the AJOT study the authors Collins and Dworkin used an intervention and control group in a blinded and randomly assigned design to measure the impact of wearing a weighted vest on attending behaviors. They used a clever model of removing the weights from the vests in the control group and inserting insignificantly weighted Styrofoam that replicated the appearance of the weighted vests for the data collectors.

The authors were unable to find evidence that weighted vests had any effectiveness for improving attending behaviors. The study was limited because of small sample size and a need for ensuring consistency in coding/recording methods. These limitations are significant enough to warrant the label of 'pilot study.'

The findings of this pilot study are consistent with previous studies and although there are some limitations in the research design there are some other strengths of the study and its confirmation of previous studies is compelling.

My analysis of this is that we should probably make attempts to confirm this with a more tightly controlled design and a larger sample, but based on these results and the consistency of these results with previous studies there is very little support for using weighted vests with the expressed purpose of trying to improve attending behaviors.


References:

Collins, A. & Dworkin, R.J. (2011). Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of Weighted Vests. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(6), 688-694.

Hodgetts, S., Magill-Evans, J., & Misiaszek, J. (2011). Weighted vests, stereotyped behaviors and arousal in children with autism. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 41(6), 805-814.

Leew, S., Stein, N., & Gibbard, W. (2010). Weighted vests' effect on social attention for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Canadian Journal Of Occupational Therapy. Revue Canadienne D'ergothérapie, 77(2), 113-124.

Stephenson, J., & Carter, M. (2009). The use of weighted vests with children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 39(1), 105-114.

http://abctherapeutics.blogspot.ca/2011/11/thoughts-about-use-of-weighted-vests-to.html

TiffanyMarie80
by Silver Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM
4 moms liked this

I have worked in a self-contained special ed room with severely autisitic students, and in an ebd resource room with students with learning and behavioral problems.  In both rooms, weighted vests were used as a sensory therapy, and they worked extremely well.  Weighted vests are often used in occupational and behavioral therapy, and "suing their asses off" because they tried a technique that has proven helpful with so many other students, and has zero potential for harm, is beyond absurd.  A weighted vest is not a straight jacket - it is not restrictive or confining, and does not change what a  student is able to do, so comparing it to puting a child in a mental institute is also ridiculous.  As for that extremely limited "study" you referenced, I've seen enough positive results even in my limited time with the special ed program to know that your study is basless and faulty. 

Quoting Bonita131:

I'd be looking into suing their asses off for daring to use any object on my child without my consent. With this kind of bull shit going on, they could put your son in a straight jacket without telling you. It is a freaking school, not a mental hospital where they have full control.. Your son is a student, he is not a child in an institution. You need to speak up for your child right away. This is total bullshit what they are doing behind your back. My god, does it not make you wonder what else they might be doing to your son that you have no idea of?  I would be livid, absolutely livid if they touched my child in any manner shape or form without my permission.


You want information about weighted vests that are, by the way, being proved to be useless, here you go. Link to the website which has links to more information is below.

ABC Therapeutics Occupational  Therapy

We have precious little evidence that weighted vests do anything at all for children - and the lack of evidence is reflected in the fact that this intervention is barely mentioned in some common pediatric occupational therapy texts. However, given the formulaic and mythical popularity of the intervention you might think there would be more supporting research!! Now we have a series of recently published articles that when considered in total indicate very little evidence for using weighted vests.

For additional background reading please also reference Hodgetts, Magill-Evans, & Misiaszek (2011); Leew, Stein, & Gibbard (2010); and Stephenson & Carter (2009).

In the AJOT study the authors Collins and Dworkin used an intervention and control group in a blinded and randomly assigned design to measure the impact of wearing a weighted vest on attending behaviors. They used a clever model of removing the weights from the vests in the control group and inserting insignificantly weighted Styrofoam that replicated the appearance of the weighted vests for the data collectors.

The authors were unable to find evidence that weighted vests had any effectiveness for improving attending behaviors. The study was limited because of small sample size and a need for ensuring consistency in coding/recording methods. These limitations are significant enough to warrant the label of 'pilot study.'

The findings of this pilot study are consistent with previous studies and although there are some limitations in the research design there are some other strengths of the study and its confirmation of previous studies is compelling.

My analysis of this is that we should probably make attempts to confirm this with a more tightly controlled design and a larger sample, but based on these results and the consistency of these results with previous studies there is very little support for using weighted vests with the expressed purpose of trying to improve attending behaviors.


References:

Collins, A. & Dworkin, R.J. (2011). Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of Weighted Vests. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(6), 688-694.

Hodgetts, S., Magill-Evans, J., & Misiaszek, J. (2011). Weighted vests, stereotyped behaviors and arousal in children with autism. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 41(6), 805-814.

Leew, S., Stein, N., & Gibbard, W. (2010). Weighted vests' effect on social attention for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Canadian Journal Of Occupational Therapy. Revue Canadienne D'ergothérapie, 77(2), 113-124.

Stephenson, J., & Carter, M. (2009). The use of weighted vests with children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 39(1), 105-114.

http://abctherapeutics.blogspot.ca/2011/11/thoughts-about-use-of-weighted-vests-to.html


RheaF
by Sweet Insanity on Jan. 8, 2013 at 5:08 PM

 We use a weighted blanket for my 4 year old to help him sleep, and I have looked into the vests/shoulder wrap for him while he does his schoolwork. They really do help! However, I would be upset that I wasn't consulted first. Are they helping?

 

To let you know, the weight is based on your child's weight, so they are not too heavy for him. They also do not restrict movement at all. They look like vests.

Docgirl2000
by Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM
I agree TiffanyMarie. My son has one and he loves it. He will ask to wear it. He's never forced into it and the small amount of pressure he feels while wearing it is just enough to help him settle down and focus. Ir kind of reminds me of swaddling an infant in a blanket, they like and need that close "wrapped-up" feeling.


Quoting TiffanyMarie80:

I have worked in a self-contained special ed room with severely autisitic students, and in an ebd resource room with students with learning and behavioral problems.  In both rooms, weighted vests were used as a sensory therapy, and they worked extremely well.  Weighted vests are often used in occupational and behavioral therapy, and "suing their asses off" because they tried a technique that has proven helpful with so many other students, and has zero potential for harm, is beyond absurd.  A weighted vest is not a straight jacket - it is not restrictive or confining, and does not change what a  student is able to do, so comparing it to puting a child in a mental institute is also ridiculous.  As for that extremely limited "study" you referenced, I've seen enough positive results even in my limited time with the special ed program to know that your study is basless and faulty. 

Quoting Bonita131:

I'd be looking into suing their asses off for daring to use any object on my child without my consent. With this kind of bull shit going on, they could put your son in a straight jacket without telling you. It is a freaking school, not a mental hospital where they have full control.. Your son is a student, he is not a child in an institution. You need to speak up for your child right away. This is total bullshit what they are doing behind your back. My god, does it not make you wonder what else they might be doing to your son that you have no idea of?  I would be livid, absolutely livid if they touched my child in any manner shape or form without my permission.




You want information about weighted vests that are, by the way, being proved to be useless, here you go. Link to the website which has links to more information is below.


ABC Therapeutics Occupational  Therapy


We have precious little evidence that weighted vests do anything at all for children - and the lack of evidence is reflected in the fact that this intervention is barely mentioned in some common pediatric occupational therapy texts. However, given the formulaic and mythical popularity of the intervention you might think there would be more supporting research!! Now we have a series of recently published articles that when considered in total indicate very little evidence for using weighted vests.

For additional background reading please also reference Hodgetts, Magill-Evans, & Misiaszek (2011); Leew, Stein, & Gibbard (2010); and Stephenson & Carter (2009).

In the AJOT study the authors Collins and Dworkin used an intervention and control group in a blinded and randomly assigned design to measure the impact of wearing a weighted vest on attending behaviors. They used a clever model of removing the weights from the vests in the control group and inserting insignificantly weighted Styrofoam that replicated the appearance of the weighted vests for the data collectors.

The authors were unable to find evidence that weighted vests had any effectiveness for improving attending behaviors. The study was limited because of small sample size and a need for ensuring consistency in coding/recording methods. These limitations are significant enough to warrant the label of 'pilot study.'

The findings of this pilot study are consistent with previous studies and although there are some limitations in the research design there are some other strengths of the study and its confirmation of previous studies is compelling.

My analysis of this is that we should probably make attempts to confirm this with a more tightly controlled design and a larger sample, but based on these results and the consistency of these results with previous studies there is very little support for using weighted vests with the expressed purpose of trying to improve attending behaviors.


References:

Collins, A. & Dworkin, R.J. (2011). Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of Weighted Vests. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(6), 688-694.

Hodgetts, S., Magill-Evans, J., & Misiaszek, J. (2011). Weighted vests, stereotyped behaviors and arousal in children with autism. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 41(6), 805-814.

Leew, S., Stein, N., & Gibbard, W. (2010). Weighted vests' effect on social attention for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Canadian Journal Of Occupational Therapy. Revue Canadienne D'ergothérapie, 77(2), 113-124.

Stephenson, J., & Carter, M. (2009). The use of weighted vests with children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, 39(1), 105-114.


http://abctherapeutics.blogspot.ca/2011/11/thoughts-about-use-of-weighted-vests-to.html



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A_McCool
by Bronze Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I don't know, but I really want a weighted blanket.  I sleep under a pile of blankets year round, and my husband makes fun of me.

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