A vest helps special-needs children

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun

Level 3

Lisa Fraser is 24 years old.
She is a Vancouver designer.
She has a company.  It is called Squeezease Therapy.
Lisa’s company makes vests to comfort children
with special-needs like autism and ADHD.
The name of her vest is called “Snug Vest”.

What is a Snug Vest?
Lisa’s Snug Vests hug the body.
The size of the vest is adjustable.
The vests can put different kinds of pressure on the body.
The pressure is adjustable, too.
So the Snug Vest can give different kinds of hugs.
Lisa says hugs can calm the mind.
Hugs can also help people with stress and anxiety.

Lisa’s past
In the past, Lisa worked with special-needs children.
She taught these children how to swim.
She also volunteered in a classroom.
Sometimes the children became upset.
Lisa wanted to comfort them. So she hugged them.
The children calmed down.

Lisa’s education
Lisa studied at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
One day, she got an idea to make a hug vest
that could give someone a hug.
In 2010, she made her first vest. Later she improved it.
She made about 100 vests before she made the right one.
Parents with special-needs children tried the vests.
They tested the vests on their children.
The vests worked. The children felt calm and relaxed.
Parents were happy. They are not always there
to hug their children.
Parents and therapists wanted Lisa to continue making
her vests to help their children.

What is deep pressure therapy?
Lisa’s vest uses “deep pressure therapy”.
Pressure is like a hug.
When someone gives a child a hug, it puts pressure on the body.
Some therapists and parents may roll children in a blanket.
Others hold, squeeze, or massage a child.
Sometimes they put weights on a child’s body.
But sometimes weights can hurt a child’s body.
Lisa’s vests do not use weights.
Her vests use air to put pressure
on the shoulders, back and sides of a person.
It feels like a big hug.
These vests have a pump to add more or less air.

Other reasons people like Snug Vests
The vests look good.
One father says the vest is very fast-acting.
It helps his son feel good right away.

One great thing is that the vest is not medicine,
so it does not have side-effects.
The Snug Vest is reasonable, too. It costs $295.
It comes in three children’s sizes and three adult sizes.

If the Snug Vest does not help, you can get your money back.
If you are a parent and have a child with autism,
the B.C. government can buy the vest for you.

The Ministry of Child and Family Development
in the government can buy the vest with autism funding.


Different styles of Snug Vest
Photo by Hendrik Zurmussen


Trey wears a vest. Trey has autism.
Photo by Dawnmarie Tastor