The Wonder of Weight
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
What is the benefit of using weighted materials?
Many children with sensory processing disorders crave constant proprioception and deep touch pressure to enhance their sense of body position in space. They may generate this type of input by inadvertently bumping into other children or crashing into walls or objects. One way to proactively provide proprioception and deep touch pressure is through the use of weighted materials.
Constant deep, even pressure is calming and organizing, which can help to decrease fidgeting and in-seat movement. Consequently, children often show improved attention to the task at hand as their sensory needs are met in a systemic fashion.
• In conjunction with your child’s occupational therapist, create an individualized schedule for wearing weighted materials.
• Children will benefit most from wearing something weighted during their most challenging times of day, such as starting the day, circle time, and homework and sleep.
• Weighted materials should be used with the guidance of your child’s occupational therapist.
• Weighted vests can be purchased with varying amounts of weight to best suit the needs of the individual child.
• Use the least amount of weight necessary to achieve the desired results.
• Children often wear a weighted vest for 30-60 minutes during an activity, with at least one hour off in between wearing.
• Weighted pencils provide the proprioceptive input to enhance a child’s sense of their fingers to enhance writing ability.
Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR & Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR, Director of POTS