A weighted vest is a vest which has had weight added and provides compression to the upper body or torso area. When an occupational therapist recommends adding a weighted vest in a therapy session or to a home sensory diet, it’s our goal to add more proprioceptive or heavy input (or “heavy work”). Heavy input impacts the proprioceptive system, which is read by our muscles and joints and tells our brains where our bodies are in space.
When an occupational therapist adds additional weight or work for the proprioceptive system, it can have a calming and organizing affect. It also helps to provide additional feedback about where our bodies are in space, which can help to make motor planning and coordination easier for kids with sensory processing difficulties. Weighted vests are beneficial for some children with sensory processing difficulties, but not liked by all of them! They are worn for short periods of time and their use should be guided by an occupational therapist.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of weighted vests and other pediatric therapy equipment, contact an occupational therapist at Child & Family Development in Charlotte.
We can create a sensory diet just for your child.