Snug Vest founder Lisa Fraser saw the need for a better deep pressure solution after eight years of working with autistic children and was determined to design a product that could help calm them without the use of weights. Weighted vests are commonly used to provide deep pressure therapy, however many parents have expressed concerns about their children wearing weights and the inability to adjust the pressure. “I had a passion to design a tool that could help children with autism function better in their daily lives, promote inclusion, and help them live happy and healthy, to excel and thrive” said Fraser. From day one it was important to her that Snug Vest be both effective & attractive to be discrete and avoid stigma.
Fraser spent four years prototyping, testing and designing the vest along with input from therapists, researchers and engineers. She brought a variety of prototypes to individuals with autism to gather their input, and tested hundreds of vest designs. By engineering mannequins with sensors to measure pressure she was able to maximize the pressure distribution throughout the torso, while ensuring the highest level of safety.
During this research and development period Snug Vest was recognized by many prominent autism organizations and figures. This included being awarded the Autism Connects community award by Autism Speaks, the largest autism advocacy organization in the world. Temple Grandin, famous autism activist and inventor of the Hug Machine also commented “I wish I had this when I was young.” Grandin’s Hug machine inspired Fraser to make a wearable product using the same hugging concept that is affordable to individuals.
Snug Vest founder
A couple years later, in January 2013, Snug Vest became available worldwide. Parents, schools, and Occupational Therapists have consistently been impressed with the design of Snug Vest. “The vest itself is constructed well and is fashionable. Overall appearance and quality is fantastic!” said one Occupational Therapist upon receiving their Snug Vest. In the past year and a half, it has helped children, teens and adults from around the world, ages 3 to 65 improve their quality of living.
This design quality and proprietary technology has also been confirmed by numerous awards committees. The Snug Vest recently won the coveted 2014 International Red Dot Award for Product Design, and is a finalist for the Medical Design Excellence Award among many other innovation, design and healthcare awards. It is also the first ever recipient of the New Economist’s Most Innovative Company in Deep Pressure Therapy award.
Snug Vest has been rigorously tested for quality, ergonomics & efficacy with a research study that shows a reduction in cortisol, an indicator of stress.