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ADHD and Weighted Vests

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Children diagnosed with ADHD have a harder time with school tasks and may make succeeding in school difficult. Occupational therapists can implement a few strategies to help a child who experiences this challenge. One being a weighted vest. These vests can decrease sensory modulation dysfunction by changing levels of arousal in the central nervous system, thereby resulting in positive functional and behavioral outcomes which then can help a child succeed better in school. According to evidence-based research, “deep-touch pressure input provided by weighted vests indeed improves three aspects of attentional performance, including inattention, speed of processing and responding, and consistency of executive management, and three types of on-task behaviors, including off task, out of seat, and fidgets.” If you are wanting to try a weighted vest, this article suggests using a vest weighing 10% of the child’s body weight. Although this may be a great strategy for a child diagnosed with ADHD, there are many other options to try out for a child as well, always consult with an occupational therapist before beginning a weighted vest wear schedule.

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