To see on CBC News :
Autism device hidden in designer vest
A Vancouver entrepreneur’s start-up company is hoping to put « the squeeze » on autism. (Click on picture for video)
Lisa Fraser, a recent graduate from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University, has designed a special medical vest that helps children cope with the disorder and made the device — the SnugVest — look just like a sleeveless jacket with a hoodie.
An air bladder inside the vest puts pressure on the torso with the use of a hand-pump. Studies have shown the squeezing effect it produces has a calming effect on autism sufferers.
Fraser says the idea came to her when she worked with kids with autism who wore vests with shoulder weights.
« Children with autism … don’t like being necessarily touched, » Fraser says, « But they crave the sensation of pressure on their body to feel calm and to allow them to complete their daily tasks efficiently. »
Fraser is now taking pre-orders for the $300 vests on her web site and hopes to launch the product fully next spring.
Forbes magazine has listed the device on its Entrepreneur’s Gift Guide.
Fraser plans eventually to make the vest for high-stress people also needing a hug.