Sensory integration disorders impede children’s proper development and socialization with their peers within the group. Excessive nervousness (or the opposite – apathy and constant fatigue), outbursts of anger, weak psycho-motor coordination – these are only some of the symptoms that indicate such problems. Fortunately, there are methods of therapy that can be both universal and safe. Thus, the therapy can be used in nearly every child and under nearly every circumstance. Sensory vests regulate the functioning of the prioperceptive system and enhance the body’s sensory integration.
Better perception of stimuli
Sensory integration disorders are problems of senses to properly perceive and interpret stimuli. The prioperceptive system is responsible for this. It is located deeply within muscles and tendons which undergo high pressure when the weighted vest is placed on them (and directly on the abovementioned system). Thus, this limits the hyper-reactivity (or hypo-reactivity) of child’s body, calms the child down and creates an impression of a gentle massage.
The world of science has been dealing with this concept for a long time now. Scientists such as S.D. Farber and T. Godin study the influence of pressure on the body. The results are highly positive. Patients are recognized with an increase of relaxation and drop of tension as well as improvement in both concentration and cognitive abilities. By triggering deep pressure, weighted vests stimulate the body to increase the production of serotonin, which is often referred to as the hormone of happiness.
Research on sensory integration take place in Poland as well. Zbigniew Przyrowski conducted a study on a group of 30 children with developmental disorders. The results are more than satisfying. The therapist noticed improvement of well being among all patients. Furthermore, communicativeness, concentration and focus improved as well while agitation and the tendency to outbursts plummeted.
How the vest is made
The construction of sensory vest includes several elements: material, filling (the weight of the vest), as well as cut and attractive look. All these elements are important during therapy. It is worth underlining the fact that weighted vests ought to be treated neither as an element of child’s garment nor a “special unit”. They ought to be treated by the child neutrally.
The material out of which the vests are made cannot be stretchy. This is very important due to the fact that the vest needs to have an appropriate cut and proportions that will not be disrupted by the weight. One ought to remember that using the vest should take place only upon therapist’s recommendation and watchful supervision!
Improperly used or adjusted vests can bring a result opposite to the one expected. They can irritate the child instead of calming the little one. Despite the universal character, weighted vest is a form of therapy. Therefore, it ought to be perfectly adjusted to the child. The first step should consist of scheduling consultations with a person who is responsible for managing the rehabilitation. Afterwards, one can proceed to select the store that offers sensory accessories.