Weighted Vests for Kids with Autism? Check with your OT first, Jefferson Expert says

Called a portable hug, NBC’s Today.com says that families are experimenting with weighted vests for children with autism. The news site featured a mom who is sewing the vests for free using recycled military uniforms.

The writer checked in with autism expert Roseann Schaaf, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in Jefferson’s School of Health Professions.

Dr. Schaaf said that larger studies are need to validate the benefits of weighted vests, but current thinking is that additional sensation on muscles might calm down behavior and relax people.

The article points out, “In you’re interested, get more guidance first: Schaaf urged parents to check with their occupational therapists and get a thorough assessment before trying a weighted vest on their child.”

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