The effect of the wearing of weighted vests on the sensory behaviour of learners diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder within a school context

Fransli Buckle, Denise Franzsen, Juanita Bester

Abstract


Purpose: Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have sensory processing difficulties. Therefore, they find it difficult to function optimally in the classroom environment. This study investigated the effect that wearing a weighted vest has on their in-seat behaviour, task completion speed and attention-to-task.

Method: A longitudinal experimental research design was employed with 30 foundation Phase learners from a remedial school in Gauteng; cross-over of treatment was implemented. Data on in-seat behaviour was measured by recording the period of time participants were able to stay seated. Task completion speed was assessed by timing how long participants were able to stay seated during literacy periods. The Conners’ Continues Performance Test II was used to measure participants’ attention to the task.

Results: The Phase group effect for in-seat behaviour and attention-to-task indicated a statistically significant difference when learners wore weighted vests. This was not true for task completion speed.

Conclusion: The weighted vests improved the in-seat behaviour and attention to task of learners diagnosed with ADHD in a classroom context.

Key words: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), weighted vests, sensory modulation, school-based occupational therapy


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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