snug vest

You may have heard of Temple Grandin. This remarkable woman has autism, and among other accomplishments, developed new designs for corrals that help reduce the stress in cattle. At the age of 18, she invented a “hug box” that would apply pressure to her torso, which would calm her down when she was anxious or over-stimulated. A Canadian company has advanced that idea, creating the “Snug Vest.”

This is a piece of clothing that contains an inflatable section on the back and sides, while an elastic strip down the center does not place pressure on the stomach or chest. The vest is used for “Deep Pressure Therapy” which has been shown to be effective for individuals with autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD), cerebral palsy, and other conditions, especially when they are hypersensitive to the touch of other people. The pressure can be applied easily, and just as easily released so that the subject doesn’t become habituated to the pressure (which would reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.)

Best of all, the vest looks like a stylish piece of clothing, so it does not call attention to the wearer’s condition. The vest uses velcro patches to connect the different parts, making it possible to adjust it for different sizes. This is especially important for children, as it can be adjusted as they grow. The device is an approved medical device in Canada, and the British Columbia government will cover the cost for children with autism.