Making a child with autism wear a weighted vest all day.

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by pete2770, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Apr 13, 2011

    I keep my mouth shut; I'm not a certified teacher yet.

    I just want to know from a current SPED teacher's perspective.

    I'm a para, and I have no problem with a weighted vest. The student I work with in the morning enjoys it, and when he wants it off I take it off (never leave it on for more than 20 minutes).

    Well, in the last few days he hasn't been very receptive of it, so I stopped using it. The general ed teacher saw a former student of hers wearing one in the hall and said "so and so wears a vest all day, and look it's changed him." (I work with that student in the evening, he only wears it occasionally...but I kept my mouth shut.)

    So today I'm in the room working and the SPED teacher comes in and says put the vest on him, and leave it on. My only second statement, though polite in nature, was he just keeps taking it off. To that she responded "keep putting it back on."

    Keep in mind, no bad anything between us, and I always do as I'm told. But from what OT's have told me, and my VERY LIMITED SPED classes have told me so far, it should not be on for very long -- and only when and if the student wants it.

    What are your opinions? (I'm not saying anything, again, this is just for my own exploration...so when I am a certified teacher I can make an informed decision.)
     
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  3. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Habitué

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    Apr 13, 2011

    I've always been told 20 minutes tops.

    While I wouldn't force a child to put it on, I would encourage them to try it. Maybe a minute to start? (with a visual timer set---"Keep it on for one minute, then you may take it off")

    By no means---unless OT has suddenly said something otherwise--would I keep a kiddo in a weighted vest all day.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 13, 2011

    We have some students who wear a weighted vest most of the day, but this is usually with parent, OT, and doctor referrals. Most of my students with autism generally get by with many little breaks and no vest.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Apr 13, 2011

    I used to wear a weighted vest due to balance issues.

    I'd wear it whenever we'd go out of the classroom, to help with my balance in the hallway.

    Regarding your post, pretty much what everyone else said.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2011

    The students that I have seen with weighted vest usually have a schedule such as 30 minutes on/30 minutes off (or something similar). I have never seen a student wear one for the entire day
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 13, 2011

    I have always been told 15 to 20 mins top.
     
  8. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Apr 13, 2011

    Thanks guys, I knew I had the right idea. (Again, I'm not saying anything. Just personal peace of mind.)
     
  9. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    According to our OT if they wear it for to long of a time period the kids get used to it and it no longer serves its purpose.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I don't work in your school culture and I know this is not the best advice because it may be overstepping boundaries but in my school I would have gone to the OT, politely asked questions and gently suggest that the teacher be made aware of it. Of course I would act like the teacher is really great and just may not be aware of this one thing. You know your school best.
     
  11. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Apr 13, 2011

    Correct. This is the reason that it's generally not advisable to use it for periods of any longer than 15-20 minutes. You simply adjust to wearing the vest and the sensory pressure is no longer a benefit.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    A student with Asperger's who I knew in high school began wearing sunglasses during Sophomore year.

    During Freshman and for around half of sophomore year, he would have meltdowns almost daily and act... odd (Would say things happened that never happened, like accusing a student of throwing paint on his car, when he doesn't drive)

    I believe it was determined that he was acting out due to being overstimulated visually, so he got special glasses, and the acting out lessened.
     
  13. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I remember being told that students shouldn't wear it for the whole day. I'm thinking I was told that they should wear it for no more than 30 minutes and that we were to only use it when it would be most useful for the student.
     
  14. Nate

    Nate Companion

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    I haven't used it for more than 20 minutes on a student at a time. If I was out of options for managing a behavior, and wearing the vest helped, I wouldn't hesitate to go outside those boundaries if it was OK'd by parents and other interested parties.
     
  15. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Apr 27, 2011

    You can find out more about the Irlen colored lenses here.
    http://irlen.com/index.php They do a diagnostic test to see if it will help and what colors will. I have not used them although I did have my son tested for their use. (He did not seem to benefit from them)

    I did not have the money at the time, but I think they may have helped me if I used them. I have a relative who got them for her son and they made an amazing difference.

    I am always willing to try new learning aids if they will not hurt and might help.
     

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