The BioHug Vest™ has been field tested and deployed in Israel and the United States in a number of schools for special populations, group homes and private homes. The following is a collection of feedback from users, parents, therapists and caretakers.
We would like to hear from you too. Please write us about your experiences with the BioHug vest.
Teacher talking about a child with PMLD and extreme self-harm behaviour
"What I found most interesting was that before the vest went on, I was having to interact with her using singing and strong proprioceptive feedback (vibration) to keep her engaged. But once the vest was on and she began to calm I was able to start to use Intensive Interaction (using body language to communicate) more subtly and interact with vocalizations and actions in a more communicative way.
She has responded so well, she is seen as the priority for the vest but we have also tried it on two others who have initially both responded very positively. So fundraising will be a priority."
From the mother of a son on the autism spectrum
"The school has been asking me about the vest because they have seen that if he wears it first thing in the morning it keeps him calmer and he has less aggression throughout the day. It has helped him keep seated and focused during therapy."
From a vest user with autism:
"I got the bio hug jacket tonight and have just got back from a walk testing it out. I found it very securing, it greatly reduced my level of anxiety and took away a sensation that my body was aggressively trying to blow itself apart. Other major improvements included no urge to sway left or right in an open-environment, no feeling of needing to walk faster than others and little to no disorientation. Considering this was the first time I tried it, I haven't been able to walk outside with no increased vital signs or low anxiety in at least 2 or 3 years, and I'm also going to take it to Liverpool next week and school tomorrow."
From mother of teen with ADHD and anxiety disorder:
"My son has become extremely attached to his BioHug vest. He suffers from chronic anxiety. One of his worst triggers is the “end of grade” exam he has to take in school each year. In the past, these exams caused him so such stress and anxiety that he refused to go to school. This year, he was able to sit for the exams by wearing his BioHug vest. The vest kept him calm and relaxed so he could concentrate on the task at hand. He also used the vest at school anytime he felt an anxiety attack coming on. After using the vest for a few minutes, he was able to return to class. The vest has an almost instantaneous effect on him. He finds it extremely soothing and calming. He uses it anytime he feels his anxiety is getting out of control. He even wears it every night before bed to help him wind down."
From the mother of a child with autism:
"I LOVED the vest. It's the first thing we have ever found that actually calmed M. We have had sensory assessments before and even our OTs have not found any sensory equipment or activities that have helped in any way to calm M. So I was pretty amazed when it worked… His activity level reduced significantly within a couple of minutes. He was able to concentrate on tasks while wearing the vest, such as playing the computer or watching TV. The most noticeable impact was in reducing aggression. "
From a school based Occupational Therapist:
"H. responded very well to the BioHug Vest and is able to sit and participate in skills training better than he did in the past. His parents say that his behavior at home is better, but unfortunately did not give details… Can we keep the vests for next school year? We have more kids in mind we think might benefit."
From a school-based Physical Therapist:
"…a good addition to our toolbox"
From a school-based Occupational Therapist:
"I am happy to inform you that we have seen amazing results with one of our students. The vest seems to calm him down unlike anything else . While wearing the vest for two weeks he was calm and reasonably happy. The two week period when the child was without the vest was full of outbursts and tantrums. Nothing seemed to calm him. The staff has just finished with the second " two weeks on" period . Unfortunately he doesn't have the vest all the time. When he is without it he begins to cry and seems to be very agitated. Within minutes of wearing the vest he is calmed down and seems happy again."
At a school for young adults with both physical and mental disabilities:
"The Vest was worn by a 21 year old, non-verbal woman who walks only with assistance.
She was put on a treadmill, her least favorite physical therapy activity. Usually she refused to cooperate and just sits on the treadmill belt. While wearing the vest, she walked without objection on the treadmill, smiling at times.
After getting off the treadmill she began to laugh. The school principal and physical therapist claimed that this was the first time they had ever heard her laugh.
The physical therapist reported that while wearing the vest the woman supported more of her own body weight than usual."
"Vest worn by 19-year-old, non-verbal, wheel-chair bound man
The Occupational Therapist reported that the man often screams, for reasons no one has been able to determine, for hours at a time.
Therapist placed the vest on the man during one of his periods of screaming. She reported that the screaming stopped, did not resume while he was wearing the vest, and for a period after taking it off."
At a school for young adults with autism
"The Vest was worn by 20-year-old, profoundly autistic woman. Her face is covered with bruises from self-abusive behavior. She is attended by an aide 24 hours a day to keep her from hurting herself.
The Vest took about five minutes to start to have an effect, longer than usual. At this point, she began to sit more quietly, and stopped trying to hit herself. A few minutes later she took off her shoes, and curled up on her side.
An aide reported that she remained calm, without self-abusive behavior, for about two hours."