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Calla Loadman, Keeley Pearlstein, Janet Preis, Ed.D.

Use of a Compression Vest and its Effect on Reducing Sensory Seeking Behavior

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Past research indicated contradicting results on the effect of using deep touch pressure to decrease sensory seeking behaviors. The purpose of this study was to determine if use of compression vest would reduce deep-pressure sensory seeking behavior. Participant was a 5 year, 11-month Hispanic male with primary diagnosis of Down Syndrome who demonstrated sensory seeking behaviors (i.e., requesting to be hugged or held). Using an ABAB design, a South Paw compression vest was used during four 60-minute speech therapy sessions during the treatment phase. The number of requests for sensory input (i.e., hug, or to be held) made by the participant were counted and compared to baseline phases (i.e., treatment sessions in which the compression vest was not used). The number of requests were variable throughout the treatment phase, with a slight increase from baseline 1 to baseline 2. Therefore, there was no observed trend based on the results of the study, regardless of implementation of the compression vest. However, a secondary effect was observed in the participant's behavior. Behavioral observations conducted during the study indicated a marked improvement in compliant behavior (e.g., increased participation and attention) during sessions in which the compression vest was used.

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