Saturday, December 8, 2012

Deep Pressure Vests: The New Fashion Trend?

Is it me or do these fashion photos scream DEEP PRESSURE VEST! Do these models have sensory issues? My worlds collided as I looked through the fashion magazines I had bought this month. I like when that happens.

December/January 2013 issue of Harpers Bazaar, p. 289

December 2012 issue of Marie Claire, p. 185
These two tops are both by Balenciaga. The first is a leather top and costs $2,150. The second is a cheaper version, a navy top for $1,535.  I guess with the way the world is going, we could all use a little pressure, good pressure, that is, to keep us together! But not for this much money!

Anyway, "deep pressure vest" is all that has been on my brain lately so I am sure that I am the only one that read "sensory needs" when I saw these photos. My little Dan has deep sensory issues which come with his autism. For some children with autism, feeling where their bodies are in their physical space, is difficult. Thus, a weighted or deep pressure vest helps kids like Dan feel grounded.

In particular, deep pressure vests deliver a hug sensation which helps calm hyper-active kids like mine. Studies claim that deep pressure releases naturally calming chemicals in the brain, along with endorphins which stimulate happiness. We could all use a hug, right?

Dan's ABA therapist used a deep pressure vest with him last year during her sessions and I saw that it really helped. Alas, no ABA therapists this year, and hence no sensory pressure vest unless I decide to make one. And make one I will because, like the Balenciaga tops, they are expensive, although not as expensive. 

I did find this affordable one that might work if I decide not to go the DIY route:

Available at Not so bad at $39.99-$69.99

Available at for  £245 (around US$380)
This one is super high tech with a zip and velcro fastenings and has air pockets. There is also an attached hand pump that allows the wearer to apply and regulate soothing pressure by pumping or releasing air to deliver a hug sensation.

Available at for  $199.00. This looks like something I can make. A band and straps, I think that could be pretty easy.

I consulted with Dan's OT and he told me it would be a good idea to make one if I wanted to. I made him a weighted vest 2 1/2 years ago with help from his Early Intervention OT and it yielded good results. I'll show a picture of it on another post. Anyway, it got too small for him and I was going to make him a bigger one but when I consulted with his current OT, he felt that what Dan was craving more was the pressure, not the weight.
There is one home made deep pressure vest that I found on the internet by

It looks very cool and possibly easy to make. She is also a mom of two kids with special needs. Check out her site, it has other great tutorials too.
Well, I 'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm not sure what Balenciaga had in mind with these tops but for a little while sensory issues and glamour went hand in hand and that's okay by me. Maybe photoshoots like these will make little girls feel comfortable and confident wearing their deep pressure vests when they need it. Especially since there are less girls on the spectrum and therefore, less role models for them. Now I need to find a nice photo of a male model wearing one for the sensory seeking boys out there! Wish me luck!

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