The benefits of compression garments for your sensory kid…

 

*This is a sponsored post, which means I was compensated to write it- but all opinions are my own, and I never write a sponsored post unless that product is AWESOME! 

“I finally got all the kids ready to walk out the door, and I turn around, and she’s in her bathing suit!

The exasperated mom pulled the scarf from her neck. It was December. Definitely not appropriate weather for bathing suits.

Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were wide with concern. “Her behavior makes absolutely no sense!”

Patty was a mom of four kids who had brought her 6-year-old daughter Emma into the sensory gym for an Occupational Therapy Evaluation. For years, she had assumed that Emma was just “acting up” when she pulled these behaviors. But her sister, a special ed teacher, had been telling her about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

Patty was at her wit’s end. “I need to do something”, she said.

Going over her daughter’s evaluation was very enlightening. Patty thought that her daughter was simply being “quirky” or misbehaving by putting on her bathing suit as the family was leaving for a party.

The truth was that Emily was actively seeking sensory input. Bathing suits and leotards are tight, which can be comforting to children who experience sensory processing difficulties.

(You know how swaddling a baby makes them calm and comfortable? This is because it provides them with a soft pressure over their whole body.)

In the school system, Occupational Therapists often recommend “compression vests” to help children who seek pressure from tight clothing, hugs, or other forms of “deep pressure” or “tactile” input.

The list of Benefits of Compression Garments for kids

  • Compression vests have helped many children who seek even pressure over their body.
  • It helps kids achieve a sense of calm
  • Increases focus
  • Decrease other sensory seeking behaviors

The drawbacks of popular compression vests

But, there are a few drawbacks to the “typical” compression vests you see out there.

    • Compression vests or weighted vests can “look different” than typical clothing, making socially aware children self-conscious.
    • The neoprene fabric of standard pressure vests can also be very stifling and hot. Children may be adverse to wearing them, even though the sensory input that it would provide would make them feel better.

benefits compression garments

Kind of like when your kid doesn’t want to take their medicine because they’re too sick.

In instances like these, I love to recommend pressure garments that can be worn UNDER a child’s clothing. Rather than putting a child’s sensory needs on display, compression garments similar to undergarments are just like an undershirt.

benefits of compression garments

What’s so different about an undershirt?

Nothing.
Except that this undershirt, the “Compresso-T “by SmartKnitKIDS®, provides a “sensory kid” with the input they need throughout the day WITHOUT announcing it to the world.

Recent research shows the use of sensory and adaptive approaches, such as wearing a pressure garment,  increases attention and promotes adaptive behaviors (Polatajko
& Cantin, 2010; Haar, 1998; Olson & Moulton, 2004). This type of external sensory support is often used by parents and service providers for calming the child and reducing anxiety to prepare them for learning and task engagement.

A recent study explored parental perceptions of their child’s behavior while wearing a seamless pressure garment during daily life activities. The caregiver survey indicated that caregivers support and are more satisfied with wearing of pressure garments in all occupation areas, especially during play, community outings, and learning experiences. It is believed that increased sensory inputs are available during play and community outings, which supports the positive perceived survey responses.

SmartknitsKIDS® is the same company who invented the fabulous seamless sock for kids to help children who struggle with getting dressed. The seams and the bunching of typical socks make getting dressed each day a chore.

Imagine if you had to get up every day and put on your itchiest prickly sweater? 

 Wouldn’t that be the WORST?!

That’s how children with tactile defensiveness and other sensory issue feel every day. 

Can you blame them for putting on their bathing suit? That’s the equivalent of us (as grown-ups) taking off our uncomfortable clothes and shoes at the end of a long day, and putting on our most comfy fuzzy socks and robe.

The Compresso-T is just one product in a line of wonderful, seamless and soft compression garments from SmartKnitKIDS®.   Made with seamless, super soft and breathable material, the Compresso-T is the ultimate in comfort for sensory challenged kids.  It’s breathable but also contains moisture wicking yarns to help pull moisture away from the skin and help keep the wearer cool.  Seamless finishing eliminates uncomfortable pressure points.

FINALLY NO MORE SCRATCHY TAGS! 

When I went over Emma’s sensory Profile with her Mom, it became very clear that Emma avoided certain sensory input.  Certain clothes, costumes, face paint, tags and even an unexpected tap on the shoulder really bothered Emma.  When her Mom saw it spelled out like that – it became obvious.

Emma craved pressure, dislikes certain materials/fabrics, and is super sensitive to tags.

The Compresso-T was the perfect place to start.  Emma was a bright girl and didn’t want anything “different” from her girlfriends.

Wearing a compression garment under her clothes provided an extra source of sensory input that helped Emma feel secure and calm.  This made transition times (leaving the house, getting ready for school, etc.) and overwhelming situations (crowds, parties, etc.) more bearable.

After a few weeks, Emma’s mom also decided to try out SmartknitKIDS ® undies and socks, too.   Before, Emma would insist on wearing a particular kind of socks and underwear.  Her mom, Patty,  would have to make sure that that exact pair of socks or underwear was clean – which was tricky because Emma was always wearing them!

Wearing SmartknitKIDS seamless clothing underneath her regular school clothes helped make the family routine much easier.   Emma was able to get dressed on her own and didn’t put up a fuss about “scratchy” socks and “itchy” underwear.   Patty reported that Emma still struggled with tactile sensitivities.  But wearing compression garments was a big help.

Would your child benefit from compression garments?  

If your child demonstrates any of these behaviors, you may want to consider trying pressure garments.

Melting down in the  morning about clothing choices

Displaying an extreme preference for certain textures or articles of clothing

Preferring tight clothing like bathing suits, old clothes that are too small, tight leggings or leotards.

References:

1. Polatajko, H. J., & Cantin, N. (2010). Exploring the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions, other than the sensory integration approach, with children and adolescents experiencing difficulty processing and integrating sensory information. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(3), 415-29. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/503270117?accountid=143111

2. Olson, L. J., & Moulton, H. J. (2004). Occupational therapists’ reported experiences using weighted vests with children with specific developmental disorders. Occupational Therapy International, 11(1), 52-66. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/71879068?accountid=143111

Don’t Forget!  Get 20% off the entire line of SmartKnitKIDS® products until May 31st with the promo code: MISSJAIMEOT

Other Smartknit Kids Products:

The benefits of the Compression clothing

Compresso-T

compression clothing, seamless clothing, seamless socks

Seamless Socks

compression clothing, tween sensory, SPD

Bralette

compression clothing

Compression Seamless Undies

Related Posts:

adhd, core strength, posture

 

Please like & share:
Bluebee Pal

Bluebee Pals – for children who love to learn, play, and interact!

 

What should a parent do when their child isn’t interested in reading?

What if they aren’t prepared for kindergarten?

Will they ever learn their letters?

I just found the perfect solution to the disinterested child. A Bluebee Pal.

As an OT and a newly certified Assistive Technology provider, I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate interactive technology into to my sessions.  I often recommend educational apps and games to parents to help with follow through at home. Let’s face it: Kids love technology.    It’s important for them to still manipulate and play with toys, games, and puzzles, but a tablet or cell phone can be used in any location to work on almost any goal.

Continue reading

Please like & share:
unique teacher gift ideas

Teacher gifts that won’t break the bank


thanksteach

The holidays are here! The holidays are here!  Think of all the parties, the presents, the …stress!

Teachers are going nuts trying to get report cards done and review for tests in the middle of half days, plays, and holiday concerts.  Parents are going crazy arranging childcare for the week off, planning holiday dinners, decorating the house, and finding the perfect gift for their family members.

Who has time to think of a teacher gift?

First, it is absolutely not necessary to give a gift to any teacher or professional that works with your child. They are simply doing their job and they get paid to do so. However, when your child has a special connection with a staff member, or you know that someone has gone out of their way to help your child, some parents like to give a little something to say thank you.

Continue reading

Please like & share:

“Get Dressed!” How to modify your child’s dressing routine

 

“Get Dressed!”  How to Modify Your Child’s Dressing Routine  is part of a year-long blog hop called Functional Skills for Kids.  Each month, I will be working with other pediatric OTs and PTs to post on different developmental topics that impact functional skills for kids. I’m so honored to be working with some amazing pediatric bloggers to bring you a well-rounded blog hop that will ultimately result in a BOOK!

*This post contains affiliate links

This series will be a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and therapists to learn about all the different activities a child performs each day.  Every month, each therapist will discuss different aspects of functional skills.  Each childhood function will be broken down into developmental timelines, fine motor considerations, gross motor considerations, sensory considerations, visual perceptual considerations, accommodations and modifications, activity ideas, and more.

April’s topic in the  “Functional Skills for Kids” blog hop is DRESSING, so check out the landing page for the rest of our posts and information on all things related to “Getting Dressed!”

#functionforkids

WHEN SHOULD A CHILD LEARN HOW TO GET DRESSED?

Continue reading

Please like & share:
Play and attention

Using Play to Increase Attention

#FunctionalSkillsForKids

*This post contains affiliate links

This month’s topic in the  “Functional Skills for Kids” blog hop is PLAY, so check out the landing page for the rest of our posts and information on all things related to play skills!

what is play?

Play is defined as an activity that a person engages in for recreation and enjoyment.   For children, play is crucial to their development and learning. A child’s primary occupation is to play, learn, and socialize  (AOTA, 2015).     As a child plays, they develop the ability to problem solve, learn new skills, and use coordination and motor skills.   (AOTA, 2011).    It is important to remember that children learn best when they play with toys that are geared towards their developmental level  (raisingchildren.net).   Encouraging play with toys that are above your child’s developmental levels can lead to frustration and distraction.  

why is PLAY important for children to learn?

Play is an important component of childhood learning.  It fosters the development of motor skills, teaches children how to use their bodies, and helps children learn about the world around them.    When a child “plays”, it can be a structured game with rules such as kickball, free play (building with blocks), or engaging with a toy or another person.   Although play is perceived as “fun”, it is also a vital part of childhood development.

For example, an infant may “play” by cooing and giggling with mommy.  That baby is developing the ability to make eye contact, socialize, and form a relationship.   A toddler may play with blocks or toy trains.  He is developing the ability to use his two hands together to connect the blocks, visual skills to line them up properly, and imagination to decide what he wants to build.  As he plays on the floor with his train, he is crawling on all fours, using his body to bear weight,  and using eye-hand coordination to keep his train on the track.  A school-age child plays a board game with a friend.  Although socializing and forming a friendship with a peer, he is also learning to follow rules, take turns, and cope with losing/ or learning to be a good sport.

As children grow older, the activities they participate in as “Play” activities change.  So do the benefits and acquired skills of the activity they are engaging in.

When a child’s attention limits his ability to play for extended periods of time, it also interferes with his ability to develop the skills that naturally emerge from playtime.   So, as you can see, PLAY IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Continue reading

Please like & share:

Puzzle Art Therapy

 

 

 

I always say how much I love being an OT. I also love to learn. I’ve been so lucky that  I’m still energized and excited about my profession.

However….. sometimes you need to shake things up a bit.

Last year, I became certified in PuzzleArt Therapy Systems, a form of therapy that combines Perceptual, Oculomotor, Binocular and PuzzleArt Therapy Sensory protocols using hands-on art.   I’ve always been interested in the vision aspect of Occupational Therapy, so I was really eager to learn new ways to incorporate PuzzleArt Therapy into my Occupational Therapy sessions.

PuzzleART2

Professionals learning how to assess visual tracking, convergence, divergence, and accommodation

What is PuzzleArt Therapy?  PuzzleArt Therapy is a program designed to assess and remediate problems with visual motor integration, visual perceptual skills, oculomotor skills, etc.

The course is taught by International  PuzzleArtist Alli Berman and Dr. Susan Fisher, a respected Optometrist in Westbury, NY.  Occupational Therapists Linda Telford and Serena Zeidler also helped to design the materials to give a therapist’s perspective on the program.

If you are an OT, this course is accredited by NYSOTA and NBCOT.  You can get a certification in PuzzleArt Therapy Systems while getting your CEU’s all in one day.

Continue reading

Please like & share: