The Vayu vest is a new and innovative medical device designed to meet the stark need for children with ASD: it uses deep pressure to address the unique sensory needs of people with autism and related disorders.
“When you find something that really works, it’s so awesome. You might have a kid who is really spinning, and their arms and legs might be flailing around because they don’t have a sense of where their body is.
Deep pressure is a form of sensory input which is commonly used to help soothe, ground, and facilitate self-organization in people with autism, which can lead to improved function, behavior, and social-emotional outcomes.
You give them a sense of their core, and they walk straight, they sit down and they’re able to focus on something. It’s really wonderful.„
- Frieda Luftglas, Occupational Therapist, CREC
Vayu is a wearable, non-invasive, and non-pharmacological medical device which provides personalized deep pressure to anyone on the spectrum, anywhere, at any time. The Vayu vest was designed by integrating clinical research, engineering and professional evaluations in partnership with teachers, occupational therapists, and speech language therapists.
“He would hit himself or bang his head, and the pressure that was provided by the vest helped him to decrease those kinds of behaviors. The most profound thing I found so far is it’s helped the majority of children – no matter what the problem they came in with—regulate their emotions.„
- Tina Champagne, Program Director, Institute for Dynamic Living
Founded in 2008 by Brian Mullen while completing his Ph.D. in Engineering at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Therapeutic Systems’ first product is based on over 10 years of research and technology development. Collaborating with top occupational therapists, Mullen researched the safety and efficacy of deep pressure products as a treatment to help address the sensory processing issues that people with autism face.
“Many children and adults with autism have a need for deep touch pressure to assist in calming their nervous systems so that they may be fully present to learn and interact with others. In the past weighted vests or blankets have been found useful for this purpose„
Dr. Mullen co-invented the technology DeePAD, a unique method of applying and controlling the sensory based intervention of deep-touch pressure. DeePAD is utilized in the Vayu vest, allowing children and their caregivers to modify the pressure to the point that works for them.
Although enjoyed and helpful to some clients, they can often be hot or fatiguing. The beauty of the Vayu vest is that it is filled with air, and can be inflated to varying amounts of pressure easily and safely, creating a product that be changed to fit each client’s needs.„
- Jane Koomar, Ph.D, OTR/L, FAOTA, Board President, Spiral Foundation