The OTvest Weighted can Help Improve Awareness of Body Position for those with Apraxia and Problems with Motor Coordination through Increased Proprioceptive Input.
“Praxis” is the ability of the brain to conceive, organize, and ultimately, carry out a sequence of motor movements. A child with apraxia, which is a difficulty with motor planning or lack of praxis, will have problems with both fine motor and gross motor movements. Apraxic individuals may appear uncoordinated, drop things often, trip, and run into things. In infancy, the developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling, and walking, will be delayed or missed—such as never crawling. They may have difficulty learning to dress, trouble with bilateral skills such as skipping, throwing and catching a ball, riding a bike, or with handwriting and cutting out shapes.
How can we help children with apraxia? By wearing a weighted vest, such as the OTvest™!
The OTvest™ provides deep pressure therapy by applying dense, steel weights to the upper back and chest of the wearer. This deep pressure provides additional proprioceptive input to the brain. This proprioceptive input essentially tells our brain where our body is in space--knowing our arm is above our head when we raise our hand, without looking at it, for example. Persons with apraxia may have trouble receiving proprioceptive input information from the body, affecting balance and both gross and fine motor skills.
But because the OTvest™ provides additional proprioceptive input to the brain, the OTvest™ can be used to help gently, naturally treat apraxia, and holistically improve coordination.
Those with apraxia may also have difficulty with the oral motor skills of sucking, chewing, swallowing and the higher skills of speech and language development (verbal apraxia). As an infant, they can show problems of coordinating the suck, swallow pattern for nursing or bottle-feeding. Imitating motor movements, including how to position the tongue, lips, and teeth for speech, can be very challenging. In this case, the OTvest™ can be used as a gentle intervention to improve oral motor skills. This works because unlike other weighted vests, weighted blankets, or compression vests on the market, the OTvest™ stabilizes the trunk of the wearer. This trunk stabilization allows for a stabilized head, neck, and oral motor muscles, as well. When the trunk is stabilized, OTvest™ wearers can eat, chew, swallow, and speak more clearly, with better control.
Unlike certain neurodegenerative conditions, apraxia can actually be developed later in life. Adults can develop apraxia due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia.
Persons with apraxia often seek out excessive pressure because they need more of this input to provide the sense of body awareness. Children may jump a great deal, or push hard on objects or other people, bang into things, slap their feet on the ground, or generally use excessive force in movements. This can be dangerous for a child's peers, or family pets, as the apraxic child simply doesn't have the perception to know when roughhousing is too rough.
The OTvest™ weighted vest can provide deep pressure to help provide more kinesthetic information to the brain, or a greater sense of where they are in space or body awareness. The OTvest™ has strategically placed weight placement across the upper back and chest to provide an increased feeling of groundedness. Wearers of the OTvest™ have frequently commented on feeling “more grounded” and “finding their equilibrium” because of the deep pressure therapy and the added trunk stability.
If apraxia is affecting your daily life in a negative way, try the OTvest™! The OTvest™ can be a gentle, non-invasive treatment for apraxia, and help all aspects of everyday life.
Click here to order the OTvest™ and experience the increased body awareness and proprioceptive input the OTvest™ provides to help improve motor coordination.