Deep Pressure

Deep pressure activities provide a firm, deep, consistent pressure. Many are are activities that are done to the child. Some can be adapted so the child can do them to himself when needed. Like other forms of proprioception, deep pressure activities can have a calming and organizing affect on the child.

Deep Pressure Activities
  • Bear hugs - give a big hug, wrapping arms all the way around the child while maintaining constant and firm pressure
  • Mummy wrap - wrap the child up tightly in a sheet or blanket like a mummy tucking the ends of the material in.
    • Have the child walk around the room trying not to drop the material.
  • Wilbarger’s Brushing Protocol
    • Note: This must be done correctly and consistently to be effective
  • Joint Compressions
  • Lycra or net swing
  • Body socks
  • walk around the room
  • Play simon says
    • Use commands like "Simon Says jump up and down" or "do push ups," etc.
  • Play other movement games
  • Quadruped activities
    • Color
    • Do puzzles
    • Stack blocks or work on peg boards
  • Hot Dog and Sandwich games - squish the child with large pillows or mat (be careful not to apply too much pressure and watch for cues from the child)
  • Steam Roller game - with the child laying on the mat, roll a large ball or peanut over him while providing firm pressure.
  • Crab, Bear, and Wheelbarrow walks
  • Push-ups
    • standard, half, wall, chair, or couch


Activities Using Weighted Equipment
Limit the weight to about 5% of the child’s total body weight
  • Weighted vests or belts
  • Ankle and wrist weights
  • Weighted lap pad during seated activity
  • Weighted blankets
  • Play catch with or roll a weighted ball back and forth.