Compression Vest for Autism

The Need. One in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism and the Easter Seals of Central Ohio addresses their need. Many autistic children respond favorably to various sensory feedback during certain parts of the day. One of the original methods to achieve a calming effect is the weighted vest; another is the compression vest. This elasticized vest is wrapped around a child's torso, stretched, and fastened in place to provide a sensory pressure throughout the upper body. Each of these devices provides some form of calming but only for short durations until the child becomes accustomed to the feeling. There is a need to expand beyond the current capabilities to provide a more effective, and lasting solution.

The Solution. It is proposed to develop a cost-effective compression vest for autistic children that can provide an adaptable pressure on various parts of the torso. The pressure could be varied on different parts of the torso, giving more pressure say around the upper chest and less around the diaphragm. The pressure might also be variable over time (programmable) or changed based upon some type of sensory or external feedback signals. The target audience initially includes young children but may be applicable to others. Ideally, the garment will fit as undergarment to allow children to wear the device when among their peers without the stigma associated with the current devices which are often applied external to street clothing.

Commercial Proposition. The primary purpose of this product is to meet the needs of autistic children but it has large value beyond this population. Current statistics show that nearly one percent of children born are autistic creating a very large potential market for this device. It is planned to commercialize this product with the help of Easter Seals vast network of operations. It can be sold to organizations that meet the needs of children with autism and parents or caregivers. There is a potential to expand the concept to garments for other parts of the body for children with other activity disorders such as ADHD.