The OTvest is a simple, non-invasive intervention that can do so much! Please read Kim Grosline’s letter, in “testimonials” of the experience wearing the OTvest had for her son–and for others with sensory processing disorders, including those with autism and ADHD.
Sensory processing disorder is often referred to as sensory integration disorder, or sensory modulation disorder. Think of someone pressing gently but firmly down upon your upper back, and front of your shoulders. It feels good and has a wonderfully calming effect. We naturally do that to others when we see that they are anxious or over-stimulated, and might even say, “Calm down” as we do it. A calming, focusing effect is what the OTvest provides for those with a sensory processing disorder, and the OTvest can be worn throughout the day, discreetly, inexpensively, without the need of another individual providing the deep pressure. Persons putting the OTvest on for the first time almost always spontaneously say, “It feels good!”
Just as runners say that running gives them a “natural high” because of the increase in dopamine, deep pressure changes the chemistry in our brains and can create a calming effect, focusing effect through the increase in neurotransmitters that deep pressure touch therapy stimulates. Use of the OTvest offers a holistic treatment option.
Problems of sensory processing disorder can be seen in those who show:
- Hypersensitivity to movement or hyposensitivity to movement (under responding such as never getting dizzy upon continuous spinning, and always having to be moving, OR the opposite–being over overly sensitive to movement such as avoiding escalators and being fearful of going up steps (such as a bus), and only wanting to participate in sedentary activities. The OTvest can help with body awareness because of the proprioceptive feedback sent to the brain as joint compression occurs, thus making one more comfortable with movement.
- Hypersensitivity to touch or hyposensitivity to touch (avoiding touch from others, inability to stand close to others like in a line, strong reaction to tags in clothes, the feeling of fabrics, walking on toes to avoid touching the floor, hating to have hair cut or teeth brushed, strong reaction to textures of foods or things on hands OR the opposite– craving touch and seeking it out, having to touch everything, not feeling touch unless with great, excessive force so that they love “roughhousing” and may hurt pets or children because they can’t gage how hard they are touching, may prefer very messy play.
- Poor coordination so that gross motor and/or fine motor skills are not appropriate for their age level, such as difficulty writing, coloring, cutting, buttoning or catching a ball, jumping, climbing stairs when age appropriate The increase in body awareness and body position that can occur from wearing the OTvest helps improve coordination. Fine motor skills often show improvement through increased focus and awareness of arm, hand,
finger positioning and trunk stabilizing across the shoulder-girdle area.
- Hyper or hypo sensitivity in the mouth May avoid putting normal things into their mouth or always putting things into mout, show need for constant chewing, may have very limited foods they will eat or can’t tell the difference in tastes and wants very spicy. For those with feeding problems due to oral motor sensitivity, the trunk stability provided by the OTvest can help isolate the oral motor muscles and increase the effectiveness of oral motor exercises (to increase or decrease oral sensitivity). The calming generated by the OTvest helps decrease the mealtime stress due to sensitivity. Tip: Wear the OTvest for restaurant outings for a calmer dining experience.
- Over response or under response to sounds, smells, visual input such as inablilty to find a specific item when among other objects, inability to see a word on a page of other sentences or pictures, can’t concentrate when there are background sounds. May need to smell objects, can’t tolerate normal household or cooking smells. Calming from the OTvest can reduce this stress and help increase visual attention-to-task (functional activity).
- Problems with self-regulation such as difficulty calming oneself, unable to fall asleep by oneself, very difficult to wake up from sleep, inability to adapt to daily changes in the environment, being easily overwhelmed. The use of the OTvest, weighed vest can help improve self-regulation as one learns what calmness and focus feels like, one can better learn to self regulate or modulate one’s own arousal level.
- Difficulty with language Having difficulty putting thoughts into words, unable to follow the sequence of directions, difficulty locating where someone is who is calling their name. The OTvest can help reduce the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed that language impairment can create, and increase focus and calm for improved function.