Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weighted Vest and Challenging Behaviors

Developmental Neurorehabilitation published a single case study that analyzed the effects of a weighted vest on the aggressive and self-injurious behavior of a young boy with autism. An ABAB design was used where the boy wore a 5 pound weighted vest or no vest. The results indicated that the weighted vest had no marked effect on levels of aggression and self-injurious behavior in the young boy with autism.

This study caused some interesting discussion across some social media outlets.  Some therapists felt it adds to the growing body of evidence that weighted vests are not an effective tool for sensory motor or behavioral outcomes.

Other therapists felt that using a weighted vest is beneficial for some children as indicated by increase in attention to task or a decrease  in certain behaviors.  Just as this study was a single case study design some therapists have seen success with certain students.

What is your opinion?  Do certain children benefit from the use of weighted vests?    

Reference: Tonya N. Davis, Sharon Dacus, Erica Strickland, Daelynn Copeland, Jeffrey Michael Chan, Kara Blenden, Rachel Scalzo, Staci Osborn, Kellsye Wells, and Krisann Christian. The effects of a weighted vest on aggressive and self-injurious behavior in a child with autism.  Developmental Neurorehabilitation 0 0:0, 1-6 doi=10.3109%2F17518423.2012.753955

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