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Friends autistic son is going to have to wear a weighted jacket???

(9 Posts)
Blossomhill Sun 10-Apr-05 22:37:55

He is so manic/hyper and has very severe autism (he is 5 and a half). I saw his mum today and she said he was going to have to wear a weighted jacket to calm him down.
Just wondered if anyone had heard of this before. I am wondering why they are not considering giving him meds to calm him down???

jmb1964 Sun 10-Apr-05 22:43:27

Yup, have come across this idea before - sensory issues stuff. Our ds1 (AS) was assessed by OT for this, and amongst other suggestions was to get him to wear a heavy rucksack when sitting down at his desk to do written work at school - vetoed by teacher, health and flipping safety...
But he does like to feel sort of surrounded by what he's wearing, and chooses to wear his thick fleece all day long, it has to be prised off him at the end of the day
So, this isn't as barmy as it sounds, and if it were my child, I would rather try this sort of thing before medication.

kama Sun 10-Apr-05 22:57:03

Message withdrawn

colditzmum Sun 10-Apr-05 23:00:35

I must say though kama, that the 15 year old in the book mentions that he likes to squeeze into small spaces, because it's comforting. I know it is fiction, but the author seems to researched it well.

Maybe the weighted jacket is not to hold the child down, but to provide comfort for a child that does not like to be touched?

coppertop Sun 10-Apr-05 23:04:04

It sounds as though the weighted jacket could be more of a sensory thing than a way of physically slowing him down IYSWIM. Both of my boys love very firm pressure. Ds2 will also literally bounce off the walls to get the sensation he craves. It sounds as though (and this is just a guess) the purpose of the jacket is to give the boy a feeling of pressure. I know that when my ds1 's sensory integration therapy started to pay off he really calmed down a lot.

pixel Sun 10-Apr-05 23:20:04

My Ds loves to be held very tightly and it does have a calming effect on him. He often can't settle to sleep unless he has his hands or feet squeezed and he sits crouched with his hands behind his knees a lot of the time. He was always climbing into small spaces like toy cookers when he was at playgroup and now he is ruining our settee because he insists on getting in behind the heavy back cushions. If we sit on the settee and lean against them he likes it even more and will go to sleep quite quickly.

So yes, pressure can play a part. I've heard that some autistic people can only sleep if they are under their mattress instead of on top of it.

jayzmummy Mon 11-Apr-05 04:00:47

When J was about 4 the OT suggested a weighted jacket for a trial period. It is a "sensory thing" to do with the proprioceptors in the body needing deep pressure so the child has a feel for where they are in space.
We started our SID programme and by wrapping J in a quilt really tightly and applying firm pressure we were able to avoid the jacket....I knew he would refuse to wear it!!!

heartinthecountry Mon 11-Apr-05 09:41:53

Co-incidentaly I was looking through one of our SN equipment catalogues yesterday and saw these. Guessed they must be some kind of sensory thing. They looked just like waistcoats made from wetsuit type fabric but I guess it must be extra heavy. I don't have any experience or knowledge but if it was me I think I would want to try it before meds too.

Davros Mon 11-Apr-05 09:58:42

I don't think there's any evidence they work though.

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