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 B OT, M OT
Occupational Therapist at School of Achievement
Denise Franzsen B SC (OT), M Sc(OT), DHT
Lecturer, Department Occupational Therapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand
Juanita Bester B OT, BSc Hons Med Sciences, M Phil Higher Education, Post Grad Dip Monitoring and Evaluation
Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Division Occupational Therapy, University of Stellenbosch
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 had 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 the School of Achievement; 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.