This Mother Took Her Husband’s Old Military Vest and Did Something Awesome for Her Autistic Son

This Mother Took Her Husband’s Old Military Vest and Did Something Awesome for Her Autistic Son

There has been a huge rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism, and innovation in the methods of helping those affected. Therapies and tools are expensive, so one innovative mom took matters into her own hands. Her method of “upcycling” her husband’s military vest has inspired others as well.

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Crystal Lyons and 3-year-old son, John, live in South Carolina. John, who’s on the autism spectrum, was loaned a weighted vest by John’s occupational therapist.

Weighted vests are thought by many in the field to increase focus and calm, and lower anxiety, by providing constant, light muscle stimulation — much like a hug.

The difference in John was noticeable right away. But, because Crystal couldn’t afford to buy a weighted vest, so she broke out her sewing kit and modified her husband’s old military vest – a sort of DIY weighted vest.

Inspired by the success, Crystal started Vests For Visionaries, a charity that gives weighted military vests to children with autism. And the positive response has been overwhelming.

So far, Crystal and Vests for Visionaries has made nearly 140 vests and has been getting requests from 25 different states.

Talking with Today about the vest’s effect on her son, Crystal said:

“He needs something to help him calm down; he needs to feel that pressure. They call it a portable hug. He is absolutely calmer. He is more focused, he’s able to concentrate.”

Parental involvement is a huge influence in any child’s life, and more so in children with developmental disabilities. With a mom like this, John is sure to thrive in spite of his autism diagnosis.

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