Numerous studies showing the benefits of weighted vests in developing the physical abilities of children have been around for a while, and in fact several occupational therapists have been advocating the same and have reported mostly positive results. From the American safety guidelines, we know the 10-12% backpack weight to body ratio for school going children. In this article, we will be looking at the impact that weighted vests have on the attention of school children and draw some conclusions from that.
As truhugs.com focuses mostly on weighted blankets, we will use the multitude of data available for weighted vests (because the two are used for similar purposes) and try to find the correlation when it comes to weighted blankets and their effects on the attention spans of children. Why do most therapists tend to suggest weighted vests at the first instance of an attention deficit? Because they provide an easy way out of the conundrum. In the larger view of the issue, there are many more methods at the therapist’s disposal to deal with a child suffering from ADHD. They are listed below.
- Ensure that the child suffering from ADHD is placed near the teacher or the black board so as to minimize any distraction
- Utilize the tried and tested behavioral modification strategy which uses rewards for completed actions as a motivational factor for a child to start paying attention in class, and this has the benefit of being able to show the child the opposite aspect as well – the consequences of not conforming to the set level of expectation will see that they lose the intended rewards.
- Put the child in a desk that ensures spatial separation from the other kids (an enclosed desk) so as to aid in better concentration.
These methods should work: in theory. But in real life, it is impractical to implement these practices in a class where there could be anywhere from 20 kids all the way upto 60 kids, who all need to be taken care of as well. It is important to note that the tactics that can work for a few children will not work for others, as each child is unique and carries unique characteristics.
So, when it comes to performing research on weighted vests as well as in determining their effectivity for children, two main questions need to be answered before the outcome of the process to ensure that it is not done in vain – the first question being, who is most likely to gain from the use of weighted vests and the second, how can we effectively know the absolute limits of the effectivity of said vests, so that other methods can also be utilized to deal with the same symptoms.
It is with these thoughts in mind that the test was conducted on a group of students and evaluated later. The conclusion from this test was that since each student was different and they responded differently to the vests under different circumstances, it is very hard to generalize the results and to definitely prove that weighted vests can alleviate ADHD.