The Snug Vest has been developed through continuous testing, research, and development.

Clinical Study on the effects of Snug Vest and Deep Pressure Therapy on people with Autism Whitepaper



Clinical Study on Deep Pressure Therapy

Researchers at the psychology department of the University of Victoria conducted an ABAB Withdrawl design research study on the effects of Snug Vest on anxiety and behaviour in 7 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The researchers found a significant interaction between treatment and time point for parents' subjective ratings of attention and for salivary cortisol levels, and a significant effect of the vest on naïve coders' ratings of problem behaviours. Click here to download the Clinical Study on Deep Pressure Therapy whitepaper.




Beta Trial Study

Beta Trial Study Whitepaper - The Effects of Snug Vest and Deep Pressure Therapy on people with autism

A further Beta Trial Study was conducted in which 15 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Sensory Processing Disorder used the Snug Vest in home, clinic or school-based settings for one month. The data collected showed an overall decrease in anxiety, tantrums, meltdowns and tactile defensiveness throughout the month as reported by the parents or caretakers, and an increase in positive emotions/ feelings directly after the vest was inflated, reported by the children. Click here to download the Beta Trial whitepaper.














Cris Rowan, Occupational Therapist and Snug Vest advisor

Cris Rowan

Snug Vest Health Advisor
Pediatric Occupational Therapist, BScOT, BScBi, SIPT

“Deep Pressure Therapy is a proven and effective sensory processing/integration therapy for many children with tactile processing disorders, especially those children who are on the autism spectrum or have ADHD.

Deep pressure to the tactile system has been proven in research studies to reduce cortisol and adrenalin through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in lowered anxiety and calming.

Deep Pressure Therapy over the long term can desensitize the hypersensitive tactile system, thus lowering hypervigalence and inducing a calming effect. Therefore, Deep Pressure Therapy results in not only enabling children to be more functional in home environments, but also increases their ability to pay attention and learn at school.”  Cris Rowan


Literature on Deep Pressure Therapy

Pressure applied to the body is known to have a calming effect, especially in individuals with attention disorders and sensory integration/processing disorders like autism. When the sensory system becomes overwhelmed by environmental input, some individuals’ sensory system can not regulate properly, thus creating anxiety. Pressure can regulate the sensory system to relieve anxiety and help to increase focus and attention. Also, individuals that are hypersensitive to touch may desensitize from pressure. Deep Pressure Therapy can also relieve behaviours caused from anxiety such as tantrums, “melt-downs”, “stimming” (repetitive body movement), or self-injury behaviours.

The Squeeze Machine (, an inflatable bed-like device that inflates to provide pressure was developed by Dr. Temple Grandin, an engineer with autism. Grandin developed the machine when she was a teenager to cope with her own anxiety. This device is proven to be effective, however it is very large, heavy, and inhibits mobility.

Deep Pressure Touch (also known as Deep Pressure Therapy), has been found to have beneficial effects in a variety of clinical settings (Barnard and Brazelton 1990, Gunzenhauser 1990). In anecdotal reports, deep touch pressure has been described to produce a calming effect in children with psychiatric disorders. Deep pressure stimulation, such as rolling up in a gym mat, has been used to calm children with autistic disorder and ADHD (Ayres 1979, King 1989). Lorna King (personal communication, 1990) reports that children with sleeping problems appear to sleep better inside of a mummy sleeping bag, which adapts to fit the body snuggly. It also has been used to reduce tactile defensiveness in children who cannot tolerate being touched.

According to the sensory integration theory (Ayres & Tickle, 1980), children with sensory processing and integration dysfunction have deficits in interpreting sensations, which relates to difficulties with academic or motor learning (Bundy et al., 2002), hyperactivity, irritability, attention difficulties, and other behavioural problems (Kratz, 2009). Pressure on the body is recommended because pressure is thought to facilitate an increase in parasympathetic or relaxed tone thus easing anxiety and allowing increased focus and attention (Farber, 1982; VandenBerg, 2001). This can aid in rest and sleep, reducing tantrums, self-injury behavior, and ‘stimi’ repetitive behavior, and can improve social interaction (Kratz, 2009).  Pressure can also improve proprioceptive body awareness in space and help improve balance (Hylton & Schoos, 2007).  Moreover, pressure can desensitize those that are hypersensitive/oversensitive to touch, and eventually, over time, the user can tolerate touch such as clothing against their skin or human touch (Grandin, 1996).  Because many individuals with autism also experience sensory processing and integration dysfunction (Dawson & Watling, 2000), deep pressure is a key sensation for this group of children. Deep pressure has been used with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Attention Deficit Disorders (VandenBerg, 2001).


Ayres, A. J., & Tickle, L. S. (1980). Hyper-Responsivity to touch and vestibular stimuli as a predictor of positive response to sensory integration procedures by autistic children. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 34(6), 375-81.

Ayres JA: Sensory Integration and the Child (1979). Los Angeles, western Psychological Services

Barnard KE, Brazelton TB: Touch. (1990). The Foundation of Experience. Madison (CT), International Universities Press

Bundy, A. C., Lane, S. J., & Murray, E. A. (2002). Sensory integration theory and practice (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Dawson, G., & Watling, R. (2000). Interventions to facilitate auditory, visual, and motor integration in autism: A review of the evidence. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(5), 415-21.

Edelson, S. M., Edelson, M. G., Kerr, D. C., & Grandin, T. (1999).
Behavioral and physiological effects of deep pressure on children with
autism: A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of grandin’s hug machine.
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. : Official Publication of
the American Occupational Therapy Association, 53(2), 145-52.

Feldman R, Eidelman AI, Sirota L, Weller A. (2002). Comparison of Skin-to-Skin (Kangaroo) and Traditional Care: Parenting Outcomes and Preterm Infant Development. Pediatrics: 110(1);16-26.

Field, T., Lasko, D., Mundy, P., Henteleff, T., Kabat, S., Talpins, S. & Dowling, M. (1997). Brief report: Autistic children’s attentiveness and responsivity improve after touch therapy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27(3), 333-338.

Grandin, T. (1996). My Experiences with Visual Thinking Sensory Problems and Communication Difficulties. Retrieved from

Gunzenhauzer N (ed): Advances in Touch: New Implications in Human Development.

Montagu, A. Touching: the Human Significance of the Skin 2nd Edition. New York: Harper and Row; 1972.

Parush, S., Sohmer, H., Steinberg, A. and Kaitz, M. Somatosensory function in boys with ADHD and tactile defensiveness. (2007). Physiology & Behavior 90; 553-558.

Skillman (NJ), Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Inc., 1990

Smith, S. A., Press, B., Koenig, K. P., & Kinnealey, M. (2005). Effects of
sensory integration intervention on self-stimulating and self-injurious
behaviors. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. : Official
Publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association, 59(4),

Hylton, N., & Schoos, K. (2007). Deep pressure sensory input. Compression Bracing, 8-12.

King L: Facilitating neurodevelopment.
Autism Society of America, Conference Proceedings, Seattle (Washington), July 1989, pp 117-120

Kratz, S. V. (2009). Sensory integration intervention: Historical concepts, treatment strategies and clinical experiences in three patients with succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) deficiency. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 32(3), 353-60.

VandenBerg, N. L. (2001). The use of a weighted vest to increase on-task behavior in children with attention difficulties. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55(6), 621-8.

Zissermann, L. (1992). The effects of deep pressure on self-stimulating
behaviors in a child with autism and other disabilities. The American
Journal of Occupational Therapy, 46(6), 547-551.