Snug VestTM

Apply Deep Pressure Therapy and improve quality of life. Designed for individuals with autism, sensory processing disorder or anxiety.

In collaboration with

Lisa Fraser

Wearable Therapeutics (formerly known as Squeezease Therapy Inc.)

Release date


I was responsible for


Diary studies

Usability testing

Medical device design

Soft goods design


Understand the problem

What the numbers tell us

In the United States:

1 in 54

Children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Get more data

1 in 6

Children were diagnosed with a developmental disability during a study period of 2009-2017.

Get more data

6.1 million

Estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD according to 2016 survey.

Get more data

56.8 million

Number of physician visits where the primary diagnosis included mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Get more data

Benefits of Deep Pressure Therapy

Scientific studies show that deep pressure therapy can help regulate the sensory system when a person feels  overwhelmed by environmental input and sensory information.

People experience a calm and relaxing effect when pressure such as a firm hug, hold or swaddle is applied to the torso.

Review third-party scientific studies from:

Beta trial user research

The purpose of the beta trial was to assess Snug Vest for usability, efficacy and pressure performance.

Participant profiles

15 children with 8 caretakers participated in the study.

Disorders or syndromes

All were between 5-13 years old at the time of study with:


Autism Spectrum Disorder (11)


Sensory Processing Disorder (3)


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2)


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (1)


Tourette Syndrome (1)


Bipolar Disorder (1)


Down Syndrome (1)


Not specified (2)

    Child with parent
    Child with therapist
    Child with teacher


    Each participant received a beta kit to complete the 1 month study. The study involved interviews, weekly questionnaires, worksheets, and diary studies.

    Beta kit
    • Worksheet and exercise booklet
    • Beta manual
    • CD Instructions
    • Stationery kit
    • Snug Vest
    • Pump

    Usability results

    Caretakers rated the Snug Vest based on 15 features.

    Satisfaction level
    78 percent

    Inflation tube location


    Pump clipping mechanism

    1 percent

    Deflation tube location

    68 percent

    Deflation tube ease of use

    60 percent

    Height (shoulder) adjustment

    68 percent

    Side adjustment

    72 percent

    Use of hook and loop

    60 percent

    Height of collar

    68 percent

    Chin guard

    60 percent

    Top shoulder strap

    70 percent


    Dissatisfaction level
    46 percent

    Deflation tube whistle noise

    35 percent


    35 percent


    35 percent

    Hood drawstrings

    Improvements proposed based on responses

    On the commercialized 2013 version:

    • Replaced pump for faster inflation rate.
    • Eliminated hood drawstrings for safety purposes.

    For future iterations:

    • Consider alternative deflation tubes that are less noisy while retaining current fast deflation rates.
    • Consider detachable hood options.

    Efficacy results

    Average symptom occurrences throughout the week




    Tactile defensiveness

    Chart shows four weeks of progress. Anxiety, meltdowns, tantrums, and tactile defensiveness had reduced occurrences based on average.
    Child’s emotions prior to, during, and after inflation session

    Negative emotions


    Positive emotions

    Chart shows progress prior to, during, and after 20 minute inflation session. Negative and neutral emotions decreased while positive emotions increased.

    Pressure performance results

    Children who completed this exercise said the pressure was “just right” through the sides, stomach, chest, upper and lower back regions.

    Pressure was generally not enough on the shoulders.

    worksheet booklet where a child filled in where they felt pressure throughout their torso.

    Design based on user research


    Evolution of concepts

    Video compilation of prototypes made and tested until commercialization.

    2013 commercial product

    Back of inflated Snug Vest with hoodieFront view of Snug VestPumpSnug Vest and pump wrapped in a boxQuilt material inside of hoodie

    Feedback from users

    Before Snug Vest

    Shaky handwriting that reads: My name is Macy. I like the Snug Vest because it stops my hand from shaking and it makes my writing stronger.

    After Snug Vest

    Neat handwriting that reads: My name is Macy. I like the Snug Vest because it stops my hand from shaking and it makes my writing stronger.

    Quotes from caretakers


    My son with ASD and Down Syndrome used your vest during speech therapy, and his speech therapist said it helped him a lot. During and after he wore it, he was a lot calmer as he sat in his seat and didn’t rock back and forth anymore.

    — Mother


    We’ve had our Snug Vest now for several months, and our autistic son uses it regularly, mostly at school. His Educational Assistant says it’s made a big difference in his ability to concentrate, and focus on a task or on schoolwork, and she noticed the difference almost immediately.

    — Father


    The staff have been using [the client’s Snug Vest] quite a bit and have found it very effective. They also report that it is great that it is not too difficult to get on her, since if she is escalated, you don’t want to get too much into her space.

    — Residential coordinator