5 Startups That Are Helping Children With Autism

One in 68 kids is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Here are five companies that want to help kids overcome these challenges and reach their potential

The incidence of autism is on the rise, with one in 68 children in the United States now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. In fact, this rise has disproportionately affected the tech community, with rates of the disorder in high tech cities up to four times higher than elsewhere. Given this situation, what solutions are on the horizon to help ASD kids? Here are five promising startups and research projects that could help these kids reach their potential.

1. Snug Vest

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Photo Credit: Snug Vest

If you’ve ever swaddled a baby to calm them down, you understand what Deep Pressure Therapy is. Apply surface pressure to the body, thereby generating the feeling of a hug, is a proven, effective way to calm the sensory systems of children and adults with autism and sensory processing disorder.

For children with autism, the pressure can relieve tantrums, prevent self-injury and relieve stimming (repetitive self-stimulation) behaviors.

Lisa Frasier, an industrial designer who spent eight years working with special needs kids, launched the product Snug Vest in 2013. Her company, Wearable Therapeutics, was listed as a 2015 Emerging Rocket for life sciences startups in British Columbia, Canada with enormous growth potential.

The vest is stylish and unobtrusive. You can fill it with air to apply just the right amount of pressure. Be aware that smaller children will need help inflating it.

2. Independence Day Clothing

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Photo Credit: Independence Day Clothing

Children with autism are four times more likely to wander off than neuro typical kids. A parent can look away for a moment and suddenly their child is not there. Combined with a lower awareness of danger, such wanderings can end in tragedy.

Independence Day Clothing is a line of clothing for autistic children that is not only comfortable and easy to put on and take off, but each clothing item is equipped with a small GPS device. Parents can locate their kids with a smartphone before they wander too far.

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Farah Kincaid 5 years ago Member's comment

Great article Simona, wonderful to see these companies getting some very much needed coverage.

Alexis Renault 5 years ago Member's comment

So wonderful that these companies are offering such needed products and services. They truly could end up being life saving!