Compression wear has numerous benefits and is worn around the world by athletes of all kinds. From runners to triathletes, cyclists and now thanks to Vivendi Apparel, equestrians. If you’re a regular reader of our blogs or simply follow us on social media, then you’ll be aware that the pressure qualities of compression wear can also help those with numerous conditions related to chronic pain such as arthritis and even fibromyalgia; but did you know that compression wear can also help those with autism and sensory processing disorders?
Before we dive into the why’s and how’s, let’s first look at exactly what autism and sensory processing disorders are.
What Are Autism & Sensory Processing Disorders?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), relates to a range of conditions which can be characterised through shared challenges with social skills, speech, non verbal communications and repetitive behaviours. While there isn’t one type of autism there is a number of subtypes, most of which are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD is a condition that affects the way the brain communicates with the rest of the body. A person with SPD will receive information via the nervous system, which the brain has trouble interpreting correctly and therefore signals non-typical reactions. As a result of the brain’s inability to interpret these signals correctly, an individual with SPD may experience social, emotional or even physical responses which may appear unusual to others.
So how are ASD and SPD related? It’s worth considering ASD and SPD as overlapping conditions. Consider them both circles. While each is self contained, the overlap between them is significant which sees many with ASD experiencing SPD also, usually a whopping 75% according to the SPD Foundation website.
The Benefits Of Compression Wear For Autism & SPD
The question is, how can compression wear help?
Well, research and studies around the world have shown that compression wear can significantly improve not only the posture of those suffering with ASD but their behaviour also.
A Vincent Guinchat carried out a study on compression wear and the benefits for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study itself explored whether the individuals with ASD (in varying degrees) would benefit from compression garments and their pressure qualities. The particular study involved full-body compression and focused on behaviours such as hypotonia, hypertonia, abnormal posture, motor control and even stereotyped behaviours such as spinning and even repetitive behaviours.
The study incorporated 14 children and adults, all of whom were deemed to have severe behaviour problems that didn’t respond to multiple types of treatment prior to the study. Participants were asked to wear the compression garments for at least one hour a day and in some cases, the whole day for six weeks. They were not however, to sleep in them. The results showed significant improvement in those who wore the compression garments with areas such as irritability, hyperactivity and lethargy specifically, showing the most improvements.
The benefits of compression garments for those with ASD and SPD are becoming so well known in fact that charitable organisations are now providing compression garments for children with these conditions. Overall benefits are said to include:
- Providing deep pressure for children who crave it most, helping them cope.
- Can provide immediate relief, in some cases, mere minutes to anxiety, temper, uncontrollable crying and aggressive behaviours.
- Compression wear can help provide more focus, much like a weighted blanket.
- Can help promote body awareness assisting with balancing and more.
- Can give the sensation of being hugged in areas where it’s most needed such as upper torso and arms.
Vivendi Apparel Compression Wear
Here at Vivendi Apparel, our compression wear is medical grade, offering a true compression quality, providing the pressure needed to help not only those taking part in extreme sports and intense workouts but also those who need the benefits of compression wear the most.
Our compression wear is available in sizes UK 4 - 22, and also comes in two children’s sizes, XXXS (aged 6-8 years) & XXS (aged 9-11 years). Find our entire junior wear by clicking here.
Source: “Compressive garments in individuals with autism and severe proprioceptive dysfunction: a retrospective exploratory case series,” Vincent Guinchat, Elodie Vlamynck, Lautaro Diaz, Coralie Chambon, Justine Pouzenc, Cora Cravero, Carolina Baeza-Velasco, Claude Hamonet, Jean Xavier, and David Cohen