Mom Uses Old Military Uniforms to Change the Lives of Kids With Autism

vests for visionariesWhen Crystal Lyons' 3-year-old son stopped developing as expected, the family received their diagnosis: autism. Immediately, Lyons looked to purchase a weighted vest for her son, only to discover that they far exceeded the budget. That's when Lyons started collecting military vests, weighing them down with coins, and founding Vests for Visionaries.

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Until that point, Lyons' son, John, seemed to be developing on schedule. Then suddenly, one day, the progress stopped. He could no longer focus during his sign language classes, and no longer talked.

Like many parents of children with autism, Lyons looked to weighted support compression vests. These vests integrate sensory tools to give children a sense of comfort. But the vests that were available online were expensive and not reimbursed by insurance. So she decided to make her own -- with re-purposed military vests filled with pennies. Within a month of wearing his vest, John learned more than 50 new signs, and -- great news -- started talking again.

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Do the vests help? Absolutely. But Lyons' have a very special twist -- she's using old military vests.

It first started when Lyons used her husbands' old drill sergeant vest, but it has quickly delved into an entire operation. Now, she receives donations of military vests from around the country and queries from families looking for their own vests for kids. And best of all -- they're completely free of charge to the children!

Lyons is accepting vest donations and orders from families, on her website, VestsForVisionaries.org. Take a look at the project:

What do you think of Vests for Visionaries?

 

Image vai WLTX

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