Effects of Using a Weighted or Pressure Vest for a Child with Autism

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Conference Poster

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The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a weighted vest and a pressure vest on increasing attention and decreasing self-stimulatory behavior in a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Weighted or pressure vests are a commonly used intervention practice by occupational therapist in both school and clinical settings for children who exhibit self-stimulation behaviors and very little research substantiates the usefulness of this intervention. The research hypothesis was that the use of either a weighted vest or a pressure vest would increase attention to task, and decrease self-stimulatory behaviors in children with sensory seeking behavior. This single subject study utilized an alternating treatment design with a four-year-old boy attending school in a self-contained classroom with autism. Results showed that neither the weighted vest, nor the pressure vest significantly increased the childs attention, nor were they effective in decreasing the childs self-stimulatory behaviors from the baseline condition.


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