Weighted Items and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence


Weighted vest

Some people believe that specially weighted items, such as blankets or vests, can help autistic children cope better with a wide range of problems, such as poor motor skills, hyperactivity and sleeplessness.

They believe that the pressure of the weights helps to calm autistic children by changing how they process sensory information and by allowing them to better feel their movements and understand where their bodies are in space.   

Weighted items can be bought from specialist suppliers, bought second hand or made at home. They are made heavier by adding small weights, which can either be stitched into the fabric or put into specially designed pockets.

Our Opinion

There are a small number of scientific studies examining the use of weighted items as an intervention for people on the autism spectrum.  The evidence from those studies indicates no or mixed beneficial effect.

Because of this we cannot recommend the use of weighted items as an intervention for people on the autism spectrum. However we believe that another well conducted RCT is warranted to replicate the results of the Gringras study.


Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions

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24 Mar 2017
Last Review
01 Sep 2014
Next Review
01 Apr 2015