Esther and Nick (19)
‘Nick can handle transitions better and he eats better’
‘He experiences stimuli different than other people do’
(Personal coach Esther Barten) Nick is a young man of 19 years old. He has a severe learning disability and disorder within the autism spectrum. He doesn’t understand his body well because he experiences stimuli different than other people do. Nick needs clear/ strong stimuli and is actively seeking them out. Therefore, the stimuli Nick wants, have to be stronger and brighter to make him experience them. He gets restless and can’t become calm again by himself.
‘When we inflate the vest we usually see immediate change in him’
When we inflate the Squease vest we usually see an immediate change in Nick’s behaviour. Nick is calmer: he can handle transitions better and he eats better. Because of the deep pressure that the Squease vest gives Nick, he understands his body better. He isn’t seeking for stronger stimuli anymore. Because Nick is profoundly mentally limited, he is not able to inflate the vest himself or indicate when he needs it to be inflated. This is something his support workers should take care of. That’s why we always keep an eye on Nick. We also made some clear agreements with his occupational therapists about the use of the Squease vest.
‘We don’t need physical contact for the vest to work’
It’s so nice that Nick can continue doing that he normally does now that he has a Squease vest. That’s something that would be more difficult with a weighted vest or a weighted blanket. Nick doesn’t like physical contact. As he doesn’t have to take the vest off during the day, all we need to do is inflate the Squease vest when Nick is restless. My colleagues and I are huge fans of Squease!