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Hug Machine

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Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders


I developed the hug machine, also called the squeeze machine, to calm my anxiety when I was a teenager. I am a person with autism, and when I entered puberty, I was in a constant state of anxiety and panic attacks. When I visited my aunt’s ranch at the age of 15, I observed cattle being handled in a squeeze chute for their vaccination. A squeeze chute is a narrow metal stall that holds the cattle tightly between two metal side panels. Some of the cattle appeared to relax when pressure was applied by the squeeze sides. After I saw this, I tried the squeeze chute and the deep pressure calmed my anxiety. Then I built a squeeze chute-type device that I could get in (Grandin 2006; Grandin and Scariano 1986). It has padded sides that apply pressure on both sides of the body. I got in the squeeze machine on my hands and knees, and the sides applied pressure to the sides of my body. The effect was to have even, deep pressure over a large area of my body. Another feature of the...

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References and Reading

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Correspondence to Temple Grandin .

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Grandin, T. (2021). Hug Machine. In: Volkmar, F.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, Cham.

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