“We have a non-speaking second grader who hasn’t initiated much communication using our picture communication system. After one time in the Big Hug, he started requesting the Big Hug by going to the sensory room (we thought he was fleeing) to get the picture of it from his sensory strategies board. We obviously now have it as part of his “choice” board and he initiates regularly. (That and Skittles are about all we get from him!) 🙂 Anyway, the resource teacher caught me today and they had two days (Friday and Monday) with no aggressive behavior (kicking, hitting, biting). That hasn’t happened in the four years we’ve had him.”

Tiffany SyversonOccupational Therapist | Austin Public Schools | Austin, MN

“The Big Hug has become an essential piece of equipment in my classroom. As a teacher of moderate/severe special needs children with sensory disorders, it has been a positive aspect to developing the emotional safety of my students. I have two autistic students whom use the Big Hug on a daily basis. One child has a voice output device called a DynaVox, on which I have programmed a green caterpillar (the Big Hug). When he becomes agitated he gets his device and finds the page with the picture and pushes “I need the Big Hug.” After “resting” for thirty minutes he is much more calm and ready to continue on with his day.”

Mary Kay Van DeraaTeacher | West Allis, WI

“I recently brought the BIG HUG into one of my SPED classrooms. The students literally lined up to try it as I laid it onto the carpet. I had to set a 10-minute time limit so that everyone would have a chance to try it. One student, who has a visual impairment and flash-pot temperament, got into it. His body immediately relaxed, he had a huge smile on his face, and he said “I LOVE IT!” Until that date, we rarely heard anything positive from him. We finally found a strategy for him that works when he becomes upset—and will keep him from becoming upset as part of a sensory diet. I wish that we had a BIG HUG in every school.”

Deborah E. KratzOTD, OTR/L | Bowley ES, McNair ES, Fort Bragg, NC

” Oh, what a big success the Big Hug has become! The children are all eager to try it, and they often just lie there smiling. Our teacher took it to her classroom and had an all day line up. She experienced calming in many of the children and increased verbal skills, also.”

Rosemary DutterThe Dutter House | Beloit, WI

“Although we have several students using this tool, the Big Hug has had a significant impact on behavior and learning for one student in particular, who is on the autism spectrum. He has gone from having several meltdowns daily to being able to stay within the general education setting and participate in learning, provided he gets his regularly scheduled “Big Hug Breaks”. I asked him why he thought it has made such a difference for him, and his answer was “It relaxes me. When my body is relaxed, my mind can work.” This has become such an essential tool for him and made such a positive impact with our staff that we recently purchase an additional Big Hug for another elementary school. Thank you for this terrific tool! “

Tiffany SyversonOccupational Therapist | Austin Public Schools

“I love the acceptance and reaction of the kids to the Big Hug!”

Daphne PetersenSpecial Education Teacher | Plymouth High School, Plymouth, WI

“We just started using the Big Hug, a fun and effective addition to our self-regulation tool box. It provides just right sensory sanctuary from the demands of the environment. Surprisingly light-weight and portable.”

S. FinnOTR-L | Rhode Island Community Living and Supports, Cranston, RI

” The Big Hug is a nice, safe, sensory break without restraint.”

Tammy JohnsonOTR | James Madison School, Sheboygan, WI