A new way to comfort people with autism

An Israeli father invents a stress-reducing vest for his autistic son

Can a hug hurt?

It can if you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from autism.

While scientifically proven to have a calming effect on most people, a comforting human touch can actually increase anxiety levels in people with autism.

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Raphael Rembrand, an Israeli engineer with an autistic son, understands the problem firsthand. Combining a father’s love and his problem-solving skills, Rembrand developed BioHug, a battery-operated cotton vest that applies variable, gentle pressure to the wearer’s body using compressed air, resulting in a soothing sensation. The test subject? His son, Yankele, who finds comfort in his BioHug and even wears it for fun, not just when he’s in an agitated state.

Initially funded by Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (how many countries even have a Chief Scientist?), the BioHug has attracted interest from institutions like MIT and Stanford, and is poised for large-scale production and distribution.

 

“…When my son puts a smile on his face and doesn’t want to take the vest off, it’s such a great feeling.”
BioHug inventor Raphael Rembrand
 

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