Mom Makes Affordable Weighted Vests Out of Military Uniforms

weighted military vest

When South Carolina mother Crystal Lyons began to notice her son John’s speech abilities regressing, she came up with a creative and patriotic solution.

No longer did she hear “mama” or “dada” and described experience as being similar to “walking backwards.” Soon after, 3 year old John was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Like any parent, Lyons was determined to provide her son with best tools and education to overcome these obstacles.

The toddler had an especially difficult time paying attention during his sign language classes. It was suggested that John try using a weighted vest, a therapeutic tool used for children with autism, sensory integration disorder, ADHD, to other neurological disorders. Weighted vests have been successful in reducing hyperactivity, distractibility, and self-stimulatory behaviors in patients using them. However, they can be quite costly at about $50+ a piece and Lyons’s insurance would not cover the expenses.

This story is all too familiar for parents with autistic children who struggle to cover the costs of therapy. However, Lyons was inspired to seek an alternative way to help her son and decided to make her own vest. She used her husband’s old military uniforms as the fabric and rolls of pennies for the weights.

After just one month of wearing the vest, John was making major progress. He was more attentive, learned more than 50 signs, and even started to talk again. Lyons was overjoyed with the accomplishments her son had made and decided that no child in need should go without one.

She soon created the non-profit organization Vests for Visionaries. Her goal is to provide these weighted vests for children and families at little to no cost at all. She has been receiving overwhelming support with donations from local companies and the general public. Many people from around the country have also been sending over old uniforms that that have clearly been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. From a $100 sewing machine, Lyons was able to provide an affordable tool to help not only her own son but for many other children as well. Now, she has shipped over 130 vests for kids in need around the world and is still continuing.

Read the original article from USA Today.

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Written by Raiza Belarmino

This entry was posted in Autism Action Alerts, Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Causes, Autism News, Autism Symptoms, Autism Therapy, Autism Treatment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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