Benefits of compression clothing for ADHD kids?

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    • #71262
      Susan Jennings

      Does anyone know of a study/report about using compression shirts with ADGD children. Are there any benefits? Any harm? Has anyone used compression clothing with their ADHD child? If so, what are the results?

    • #71276

      Oooh! Good topic! We have not tried this with our son (10yo, ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive type) nor do I know of studies/reports on this topic.

      In fact, I have only recently heard of a “weighted blanket” for ADHD, etc. I think this is the route we are going to try. For years, we noticed that at bedtime our son liked to have tons of blankets and stuffed animals piled on top of him. Or he would like us to lay on him (not with our full weight, of course.) He would breathe an audible sigh of relief at bedtime when a ton of blankets were on him!

      Once I read about a weighted blanket, I realized it made sense! The weight was comforting to him! But, these blankets are rather cost-prohibitive. As a low-cost alternative, we were strolling through Costco when my son saw this huge stuffed bear that he liked. As it turns out, “bear” serves the same purpose as all of the blankets! My son likes to lay bear on him at night these days. Lol. Keep in mind, he is old enough and strong enough to push bear off of him at will.

      Following to hear other responses!

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by TaurusMoon.
    • #71284

      I don’t know of any studies offhand, but anecdotally I know a lot of kids with sensory issues who have benefited from compression clothing and weighted blankets. Weighted blankets are cost prohibitive to try on a lark — especially if you’re not sure it will help — so I made one for my son. The cost of materials was under $30! If you can sew, try searching for a pattern online.

      If your child likes the feeling of “being smooshed” or likes tight hugs, heavy blankets, etc., I’d give compression clothing or a weighted blanket a try. They provide the sensory input kids need to feel more regulated. It helps them feel calm and, in a way, organized. The blankets help kids settle down faster at bedtime. There’s no reason not to try them, IMO, other than cost. Good luck!

    • #71289

      kelly where did you find your pattern for your son’s weighted blanket? What did you use for filling, etc? I am an okay sewer (usually just scouting patches on uniforms) but this would be a nice project to try! Thanks in advance!

    • #71302

      I just did a google search. This is the pattern I followed:

      How to Make a Weighted Blanket Sewing Tutorial (Sensory Friendly)

      It’s filled with plastic pellets I bought at Joann Fabrics. The pattern explains how to determine the weight of the blanket (it’s based on the weight of the child you’re making it for).

    • #71531
      Penny Williams

      My son has worn compression shirts in the past and uses a weighted blanket when sleeping or upset. The scientific information to back it is in the Occupational Therapy world. It’s a replacement for a poor proprioceptive input sense. An OT could offer great insights on this for you. Also, google “joint compressions” — it’s another strategy for this. Poor proprioceptive input is common in hyperactive kids.

      Also, you can read about Temple Grandin’s squeeze machine she built herself to help with her autism — it lead to the great additions she’s made to the treatment of cattle in that industry actually. Very fascinating stuff!

      3 Great Products for Sensory-Seeking Kids

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #71619

      I have ADD and hate compression clothing. I always end up looking a bit sloppy because my clothing has to be loose and comfortable Nothing fitted, or it drives me nuts. It’s different with blankets at night. I like them to be heavy and usually pull them into a tight cocoon. I can see using compression clothing for kids with autism, but it sounds counterproductive for ADD.

      • #71893

        I can see where you are coming from. However, not all people with ADHD have the same sensory issues or needs. I hate tight clothes too. I find them uncomfortable and distracting, but I also love the whole buried under blankets thing too.

    • #71698

      Research from ONE database:

      Hung-Yu, L., Posen, L., Wen-Dien, C., & Fu-Yuan, H. (2014). Effects of Weighted Vests on Attention, Impulse Control, and On-Task Behavior in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. American Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 68(2), 149-158. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009365
      Concluded “Although wearing a weighted vest is not a cure-all strategy, our findings support the use of the weighted vest to remedy attentional and on-task behavioral problems of children with ADHD.” This study used 110 children with ADHD and measured with the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II) task.

      Stephenson, J., & Carter, M. (2009). The Use of Weighted Vests with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities. Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 39(1), 105-114. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0605-3
      This study was a literature review that stated that continued research should be conducted but that weighted vests were not recommended as a treatment option. Further it was argued that the wide use of weighted vests were not found to be supported by enough evidence to continue the practice at the risks it could cause to growing bones/spine.

      Buckle, F., Franzsen, D., & Bester, J. (2011). The effect of the wearing of weighted vests on the sensory behaviour of learners diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder within a school context. South African Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 41(3), 36-42.
      Studied 30 students, over time, and found that weighted vests were not effective in task completion but “improved the in-seat behaviour and attention to task of learners diagnosed with ADHD in a classroom context.”

      Lin, H., Lee, P., Chang, W., & Hong, F. (2014). Effects of weighted vests on attention, impulse control, and on-task behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The American Journal Of Occupational Therapy: Official Publication Of The American Occupational Therapy Association, 68(2), 149-158. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009365
      The abstract: “OBJECTIVE. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of using weighted vests for improving attention, impulse control, and on-task behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHOD. In a randomized, two-period crossover design, 110 children with ADHD were measured using the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II) task. RESULTS. In the weighted vest condition, the participants did show significant improvement in all three attentional variables of the CPT-II task, including inattention; speed of processing and responding; consistency of executive management; and three of four on-task behaviors, including off task, out of seat, and fidgets. No significant improvements in impulse control and automatic vocalizations were found. CONCLUSION. Although wearing a weighted vest is not a cure-all strategy, our findings support the use of the weighted vest to remedy attentional and on-task behavioral problems of children with ADHD.”

      Ok, I have to go, but there are probably more. I need to be working on my own research. 🙁

      Hope this provides some insight.

    • #71699

      UGH… the first and last one are the same study. 🙁 Sorry, but I actually don’t see any others during the past five or so years. I could look again later, but honestly I will probably forget without a reminder. 🙁

      Back to work with me.

    • #71704
      Lauren B.

      It depends on the person and sometimes even the day. I have found it to be helpful somedays while utterly painful and annoying other days.

      The weighted blanket issue…….Yes they can be pricey but there are a few alternatives. I use a heavy afghan my grandmother made for me. Sometimes I will also use heated rice bags which are super easy to use.

      I find that most days something weighty or compressing will calm the need for constant movement.

    • #71707

      I have used a weighted blanket for my 9 year old son with ADHD for several years with great success. I use a smaller version on his lap for long car rides and/ or if he has to stay seated for an extended period of time (seat work for school). Each night at tuck in time I place his largest weighted blanket over him on top of his covers and it helps calm him into a peaceful sleep. I believe a lot of kiddos and adults could benefit from this simple and effective tool. Give it a try… you will be surprised !

    • #71716

      Plastic pellets are available on line in bulk. There is a company in western Canada that I used. MUCH more reasonable than craft shops. I bought enough for two blankets, numerous small fidget bean bags and some lap weights, and spent under $40

    • #71895

      I have ADHD and I’ve always loved being smooshed in hugs and under heavy blankets. One lady her mentioned how her kid loves being buried under stuffies and that was me too as a kid… now I just borrow into piles of pillows. Until my diagnosis just a couple of years ago, I just thought I was a weirdo who was some kind of ultra creature of comfort.

      As for compression CLOTHES, I’m not sure. It would depend on whether the child (or even adult) as any deeper sensory issues like Sensory Processing Disorder. Some peeps with ADHD have a stronger sensory processing issue and hate things like tight clothes. I have a bit of that and I hate hate hate tight clothes, and find them distracting. But I’ve worked with lots of special population kids and adults, and no two people are alike. There are definitely some peeps with ADHD that LIKE compression clothes or a weight vest to help “ground” them. It boils down to the individual and which issues they struggle more with.

      When I’m having a tough day at work I often like to put one of those “heat therapy” things you can pop into the microwave to warm up a little then drape across your shoulders. The heat and weight often help more with my anxiety than my muscles.

      In general, when starting something new, I usually start small and go from there. 😀

    • #116454

      I recently ran across compression sheets for ADHD children. They are similar to weighted blankets but much simpler and cheaper to make. They may also be handy during warmer months when weighted blankets might be too warm.

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