Last week the Minister of Education was down at The Institute for a symposium on Education and Enterprise. I arrived early enough to get a free cup of tea and start ripping into the micro-croissants that are served at such events. Apropos of appreciating the free food one of my younger female colleagues said, (a little ruefully) "Hey Bob, you have a good figure, you can eat what you want". I don't think I could have said anything like that to her - it's not in my nature and also breaks the current rules of taboo discourse. Whatever, the words were spoken and I laughed them off explaining that my once-and-future sweater was like a corset . . . but stopped myself from continuing ". . . and you should see me when I take it off". Now that would be transgressive.
This-all is an, off-centre, introduction to a cunning plan out of Germany for helping / handling ADHD - which I heard about from "Rissoles" Hayes when we dropped in last weekend. A couple of years ago, I wrote of my qualified admiration for Temple "think like a steer" Grandin. Dr Grandin almost finished up rocking quietly in a corner of an Institution but instead secured multiple degrees, a TED talk, and a successful consultancy. She is out there on the autistic spectrum and talks of the relief she felt when constrained in a hugger-suit: a cross between a garment and an iron-lung that would make me, and possibly you, feel super-constrained and claustrophobic - especially if were both in there simultaneously. This relief by compression is not unique to Dr Grandin.
pink R] to calm them down [Grauniad]. Not to be confused with the Michelin Man [prev]. Those who believe [Hallelluia!] think the intervention helpful - others start to rail about stigmatisation and making comparisons to strait-jackets. Doubtless someone will carry out a 'controlled' scientific experiment; matching kids off and giving half of then a sand-vest and the other half a regular jacket. I'm not hopeful that you can get a statistically convincing result without a huge sample-size. Even then, I'm not convinced that ADHD is one condition rather than a suite of behaviours that disturb other people. If it's a spectrum, especially if multi-dimensionally variable, then it's possible that some will respond and others won't because you're not comparing like with like.
Whatever the efficacy, there is now product. Apparently these things weigh up to 5 kg and cost somewhere North of €150 ! Holy sewing-machine, Robin. I've got a heap of sand in the yard, if your kid needs one, I'll run up a little jacket from sand and fertiliser sacks that will be just the ticket, €50 should cover it.
Whatever about a cure for ADHD, I heard recently that wearing a tight sweater when going out to dinner can help the obesity epidemic. It's to do with the feedback loops that are in each of us to control appetite. One system involves a homeostatic balance between two hormones leptin and ghrelin. The former says "I'm stuffed' the later "I'm starved". Another, parallel, system monitors whether the stomach is full. A real tight six-pack framing shirt can trigger this latter system into believing it is full. Just sayin'! Probably even less data on that than the ADHD vs sand story.