I have many different products which help me cope each day with my various disabilities. Some of which are designed for that purpose, some which I use differently to the more commercial purpose they are sold for.
Some things I use daily, or at all times, some less regularly and a few in certain circumstances.
I want to do some blog posts about some of these things that I have and talk about how they help me, and do a sort of review.
Today I am going to write about a product called The Squease.
I actually accidentally came across The Squease as it came up as an advertised page on my facebook wall, I clicked as the small blurb I could see mentioned the words, ‘autism’, ‘ADHD’ and ‘anxiety’ so I was intrigued. I read about it on their Facebook page and immediately went onto their website and read all the info about them.
After reading the information I thought I would benefit from it and that it would help me. I know that deep pressure therapy works for me as I have a weighted blanket and weighted lap pad, but obviously they can’t be taken with me everywhere (my blanket weighs 5kg and is the size of a single duvet!) so for something to give a similar feeling but to be able to be taken with me seemed fantastic. However, I was a bit worried at spending such a large amount of money for something I wasn’t 100% sure it would work (at around the £210 range, which is excluding VAT as I get VAT taken off due to it being a disability product and I am disabled) it is a lot of money.
However, I then saw that they rent their products out to you. So for a few weeks I could spend £60 and try the product, knowing that if I knew it would work I could buy it and the £60 rental fee would be taken off the original price, or I could rent it for a few more weeks, or return it. So I rented the product and tested it out and overall it is an amazing product.
One of my first times using it during my time renting it was at the cinema. Now I struggle with the cinema for several reasons, I now limit the types of films I go to see at the cinema and only go if I am pretty sure it won’t be flashy and I am desperate to see the film (last film I saw at the cinema was the new Bridget Jones) I didn’t realise that all the various sensory inputs was the reason I left the cinema feeling so ill (physically and mentally)
Well myself and my partner went to see the film Florence Foster Jenkins where I tested the Squease out for the first time. The other thing you should know about me and the cinema is I used to always suppress my tics, as I was so anxious about others reactions and getting chucked out, so not only was I in pain and ill from sensory issues, but also in agony from suppressing my tics.
Well my partner and I settled down to watch Florence Foster Jenkins and I pumped my Squease up before even the adverts had started. After a few minutes my anxiety started to reduce and I felt calmer, the same sense of calm that I feel when under my weighted blanket started to spread over me. I suddenly wasn’t very anxious (I say very anxious as I am probably constantly anxious to some degree) and I wasn’t worried about others reactions so I ticced and I ticced my whole way through the film.
I know some have purchased the Squease for them self or their family member in the hope of it reducing their tics, but for me the relief at ticcing was so amazing (suppressing my tics is horrible)
So the fact my anxious brain allowed me to tic (even during sad very quiet moments where I was ticcing loudly) was an immense relief.
I think I knew after this cinema trip that the Squease was something I would be buying and not returning, but I tried it in other situations to make sure and yes it was for me, so I did indeed buy the Squease.
Another memorable experience for me with my Squease was when in a cafe/restaurant with a close friend, and a couple of friends of hers who I knew a bit, but not terribly well. My partner was away so wasn’t with us. I wasn’t well mentally at all, I had also been non-verbal for quite a few days after a meltdown. When non-verbal I use a text to speech app on my phone and those with me are used to that and fine with it, but I could still barely join in, because of how I felt. I remember becoming so anxious, I was rocking in my chair, I couldn’t keep up with what was going on as my Auditory Processing Disorder was worse than usual. Everything was loud and bright, I wanted to hide, I wanted to run away from all the people, everything was too much. This went on for some time and then I remembered my Squease in my bag and I put it on and pumped it up and within about 10 minutes I was a little better. Still not great, but I joined in the conversation a little and managed to eat a little food and didn’t want to run and hide anymore. I was on the cusp of another major meltdown, but the Squease managed to get me through. That bit of deep pressure therapy kept me just about going.
I don’t wear my Squease all the time, I am someone who is very affected by tactile sensory stuff and heat, so I think to wear it all the time could stress me out more. There are times I put it on, pump it up for the recommended about 20-30 minutes and then deflate it but keep it on if I need it again. But to keep it on always, even not pumped up would be too much for me. So I tend to keep it with me in a rucksack and put it on when needed, either in a situation which I know I will need it (so pre planned to wear it) or suddenly put it on when I am in a situation where things become difficult.
I think the only few downsides I would say are these:
- That the adult vests only go up to a large size, I am not a particularly big person, but needed to buy the extenders to go with the large size to give the adequate space required and comfort.
- That the extenders would hold a bit stronger, they velcro on and are ok, but when pumped up and with my motor tics (I can have some very big and violent ones) you can feel it coming off a bit with the movement.
- Maybe some sort of pocket on the actual vest for the pump to fit into, as it can get in the way and flap about and get caught up in things.
If you are someone who is helped by deep pressure therapy, then a Squease might be the product for you. I think one of the great things they offer is the rental period, as obviously it is a lot of money for it to not be suitable and I would recommend using the rental option so you can give it a try. You can extend the original rental period by a few more weeks, if you are still undecided to give you more time. Also I have had some email communication with them and they have always been helpful and responded quickly.
This is a product I don’t use daily, but do use quite regularly, but it has really helped me in a variety of situations and without it, I know that some of these situations could have become much worse than they were and that The Squease made them a little easier. It also helps me get through situations which I know in advance are going to be hard.
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