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Thread: autistic weighted vests

  1. #1
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    At my church this family has two boys both are autistic. The elder boy is really far on the spectrum and the younger is more functional. I was wanting to make a weighted vest for the younger one because many times during his therapy sessions they put a weighted vest on him. Well I don't know how to make one for him. Was wondering if anyone had any idea or had a pattern for one. I figured that it was probably just a simple vest pattern with a bunch of pockets with zippers to put the weights in. Anyone that could help please let me know. thanks. any help is appreciated.
    I was going make the vest out of a couple of different materials. have to go to Jo Anns tomorrow to check them out.

  2. #2
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    Your post interested me so I read this article:
    http://www.otvest.com/

    Sorry I cannot help with designing one of these, sounds pretty unique.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet
    Your post interested me so I read this article:
    http://www.otvest.com/

    Sorry I cannot help with designing one of these, sounds pretty unique.
    Thanks for the link. I have and austic niece and I am wondering if my SIL has heard of this treatment method.

  4. #4
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    The trick to weighted vests is that all the weight does not fall to the bottom, but distributes evenly. If you can get the therapy vest in your hands, you'll have a better chance of re-creating it. Tactile sensory stimulation is also a factor, so choose your fabrics carefully.

    I'm sticking to weighted lap pillows. Much easier!

  5. #5
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    I've made weighted lap pillows and put beans in them. It is important not to make them too heavy or too light depending on the weight of the child. In fact, I had a "therapy lap dog", a stuffed dog that I stuffed with beans.

    If you google sensory motor integration, there are lots of resources for information about weighted vests and the like. It would be worthwhile to find out more about sensory motor integration before making either a vest or lap pad. Sensory motor integration issues are complex. Sometimes the weight helps and sometimes it doesn't.

    (some of the commercially made ones I've seen have interior pockets to add the weights----since some kids need more pressure and some benefit from less)

    (retired Sp. Ed. PreK teacher)

  6. #6
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    Here is a link to a tutorial for weighted vests. It's very labor intensive, but purchasing a weighted vest is pricey. Hope this provides some help. http://crapivemade.blogspot.com/2010...-tutorial.html

  7. #7
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    When I taught autistic kids, the weighted vest we used had large washers, like you would find int he hardware store, in pockets all the way around them. You could add or take out washers as appropriate. Worked really well for us int eh classroom.

  8. #8
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    thank you all so much for the links. I know that the vest will be good to make because he uses one already. The mom would like to get one some time but it is not in the budget for them yet.
    I had planned on making a series of pockets to put the different weights in so that as the child gets bigger they can add more weight or less weight depending on his needs.

  9. #9
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    Sorry I can't help without seeing what they use. I hope u find one because it is a tragic thing to happen to a child

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My niece would have to have it made with tshirt or sweatshirt like material, that is the only thing she will wear on her upper body. It has to do with the "feel" of the fabric. Jeans are only tolerable on her legs during the coldest winter months, and then she has to wear long johns with them.

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