Here’s another way we can give kids with poor proprioceptive awareness a sense of where they are in space- giving them things to hold or carry that have significant weight.
Here are some easy examples:
1) Lifting and carrying heavy things: holding books, taking out the garbage, vacuuming, moving furniture, carrying heavy toys such as building blocks, bringing in groceries from your car and unpacking them.
2) Arm and ankle weight exercises
Goodbye to the crashing and thumping around. The child will actually be able to feel where he is in relation to the floor and won’t feel the need to thud his feet with every step he takes.
The weights pictured above are my favorite kind because they are adjustable- when your child has mastered one level, he can progress to the next. A terrific product.
3) A weighted vest
I’ve read so many testimonies from parents and therapists about the wonders of the weighted vest. After wearing this type of vest for a short while, a child is calmer, less willing to tantrum, better able to focus, less hyper, and participates beautifully in the classroom.
I didn’t buy one for my child because the OT didn’t think it was necessary but I sure would have, if it was. So many parents and OT’s swear by it.
I’ve pictured two types above- know there are many kinds out there. The more expensive ones are usually more flexible/ comfortable.
4) A weighted blanket
A variation of the weighted vest. Many children with sensory issues love to snuggle and feel the weight on themselves. Great for calm resting and short naps. Like the weighted vest, its benefits include better focus, less hyperactivity, more participation in the classroom, and a calmer child, less tantrums!
5) Weighted lap pads
Same idea as above- weight on the child’s lap reminds him to stay in place and sit nicely. It’s very calming, simultaneously promoting better concentration, less tantrums and hyperactivity, more participation in the classroom.
It is important to note that the weighted vest, blanket, and lap pad should be used only with a recommendation from an occupational therapist (OT). Because they come in different weights, a parent must get a specific kind according to the child’s needs. Also, these are not worn or used all day, there is a specific time limit, according to the individual child. If they are used in the wrong way, they could have an unwanted effect on the child.