Occupational Therapy Assistant
I have worked with children with autism and ADHD for 12 years in the school setting and in a hospital clinic, where I am currently employed. When deep input is needed to organize a system that cannot process incoming sensations, normally, weighted vests are a wonderful tool to use along with other interventions.
Over and over, I have seen children who could only circle around the room, slow down and notice their environment. With regular use, appropriate engagement with that environment becomes possible. Learning is enhanced because they can stop long enough to focus on things rather that struggling to process all the information coming at them.
I heard, at an autism workshop several years ago, a comparison of sensory processing with an elevator. A normal system's 'elevator' stops at the floors as it goes to the top, allowing the information to be processed and filtered correctly. An ASD child's elevator goes straight to the top, not allowing for filtering, hence the overreactions to bright light, loud sounds, light touch, etc.
Unfortunately, not all medical professionals approve due to limited research, but in my experience, weighted vests have consistently proved to be very beneficial.