Interested in Weighted Vests

by B. Army

I work with children diagnosed with autism, and I am interested in using weighted vests as a therapy. Could you give me some information about your product? Why does the weighted vest work? How is it used? What kind of vest is appropriate for children with autism?

Thanks in advance for any information you can send me.

B. Army

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information about using a weighed vest
by: Nancy VandenBerg, MS OTR

This comment is in response to Amy's question about using a weighted vest. I am an occupational therapist who has worked with children in the public schools for over 35 years.

I was on the diagnostic team for the district, evaluating children with sensory processing disorders, ADHD, autism and those on the spectrum, such as Asperger's Syndrome.

As an OT, I understood the calming effect that deep pressure can have on one's nervous system. I had suggested to teachers that they press gently down on students upper back (shouder-girdle area) and they told me how effective this was in calming the student.

I wanted to be able to duplicate this with more students in an easy and cost-effective manner--so in 2002, I created and patented the OTvest, weighted vest. On our web site, there is a great amount of information that answers the questions you have posed.

My research, published in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, is also linked on the web site, that details more information about use of weighted vests. I initially put weights high up in a vest--but realized that the weight needed to lie DIRECTLY UPON THE BODY ITSELF--not hanging in pockets inside of the garment. The weight in the OTvest lies directly upon the wearer's body, lying directly upon the sensory receptors of the body.

WHERE THE WEIGHT IS PLACED IS IMPORTANT in the design of a weighted vest so that not as much weight is required to be effective. Also, weight lying in pockets can lie on the stomach, hips, or chair when seated--so that they do not provide any deep pressure--and is, therefore, ineffective! Please visit

OTvest, weighted vest
by: Nancy VandenBerg, MS OTR

It is very important WHERE the weight in placed in a weighted vest. Many weighted vests on the market today have weights that are only hanging inside of pockets or in the hem of the garment.

The OTvest, patented weighted vest has weights that are strategically placed to lie directly ON the body of the wearer--not on top of the shoulders--which can be uncomfortable--but across the upper back and upper chest. The weights lie on the sensory receptors of the body itself.

With the positioning of the weight as in the OTvest, not as much weight is needed to be effective in producing a calming, focusing effective to help increase attention-to-task, and help calm the wearer before bedtime to help with sleep.

Please visit our web site at

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