Squease featured in Mirror Online: Hoodie gives you a reassuring hug when feeling stressed

It???s the hoodie which gives you a hug when you are feeling stressed.

The inflatable hoodie can be blown up to give wearers a comforting squeeze when they are feeling anxious such as at job interviews.

The revolutionary hoodie, which also comes as a vest, has a small hand pump which is pressed to inflate it.

As it blows up it gives wearers a squeeze like a big hug to calm them down.

The hoodie is being marketed at autism sufferers and is already proving popular with adults and children.

Experts say it could help thousands of sufferers of autism and related conditions without the need of medication.

A small British company has developed the SQUEASE jacket. They say it can give ???sensory reassurance??? to stop a full blown episode.

Autism now affects one in 100 adults in the UK – around 650,000 – and it is expected to increase. It is a lifelong condition.

The hoodie is a zip fronted jacket, a bit like a gilet, that contains a pattern of air tubes in the lining and has a small discreet air bulb on the side.

When the wearer feels an anxiety attack coming on they can use the bulb to inflate the jacket giving them the ???tight hug??? feeling, and calming them.

When the episode has passed the wearer can deflate the jacket simply by using an outlet valve on the same bulb used to inflate the garment.

Clinical trials in special schools and by careworkers and occupational therapists have shown the jackets work very well.

They are being manufactured by a company called ???Squease??? which is based at the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence at Rainham, Essex.

London mayor Boris Johnson tried on the jacket when he visited the Squease company recently.

A new product to help with an increasingly common diagnosis of autismVisit: Boris Johnson tests a jacket 

The garments come in three different sizes, for children aged 10, teenagers, and adults, and to stay abreast with fashion, they come with a ???hoodie??? option.

One of the most frequent symptoms of autism and related conditions like Asperger???s is the need to alleviate stress through deep body pressure.

Many specialists describe this as the ???need for a big hug??? which can relieve stress, have a calming effect and allow sufferers to focus.

Sensory Processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate responses.

Sensory Processing Disorder often leads autism sufferers being overwhelmed or under stimulated and the jacket can help them control their need for a hug and calm them down.

In the past thick blankets, weighted jackets or tight elastic clothing and even heavy rollers have been used to give ???hugs.???

The ??200 jacket has been marketed at therapy specialists, special needs schools and consultants but will be on display to the public at the London Autism show at Excel on June 15/16.

The jacket has already been selected for the London Design Exhibition which as part of the Queen???s Diamond Jubilee Tour.

More than 70% of those who have worn one say it has helped them.

Caroline Hattersley, Head of Information, Advice and Advocacy at The National Autistic Society (NAS) said: ???Many people with autism have sensory issues and sometimes these can be related to touch.

“While certain individuals struggle with any sort of physical contact others crave the sensation of having pressure applied to them and find it can relieve their anxiety and stress.

???Squease clothing may therefore provide relief to some people with autism, and we have heard from a number of individuals who say that wearing it has relaxed them in stressful situations such as job interviews.???

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