Beagle Scarf – medical fashion for Autism

Beagle-scarf-authismDuring discussions around wearable electronic a repeated topic is the usefulness or the lack thereof to integrate technical functions into clothing.

While usually the debate of function into ‘every-days clothing’ is controversial and full of opinions there is one area where most can connect easily, seeing the benefits and usefulness of textile electronics, the medical area.

Nobody likes to be in a situation where the life quality depends on medical devices to be carried, to be worn. Especially not if they look purely functional, shouting out to the world – here you see I am in need of medical aids.

Leo Chao, student at Vancouver’s Emily Charr Institute is one of the creative/innovative designer who observe carefully the needs of certain groups of people and combine it with the possibilities wearable technologies offer.

Leo’s concept: the Beagle Scarf, a garment co-created with autistic children and their parents. Beagle Scarf integrates sound, smell, and texture, making it a wearable and portable medical assistance device for Autistic children who suffer from a sensory disorder where they sometimes need to be blocked or stimulated from certain senses to feel relieved.

Speakers integrated into the hood provide a soothing sound wrap around the child’s ears. Customized aroma patches and textured inner pockets provide another layer of aid, giving autistic children relieve in stress situations.


The design of the Beagle Scarf is in from of a hooded scarf shaped like beagle ears. Worn either like a scarf wrapped around the neck or zipped up like a sleeves jacket, the scarf looks more like a cool fashion accessory than a medical aid.

The beauty on this concept is the ease of how such medical clothing accessory could be actually commercialized. There would be no need for lengthy FDA approval and the involved eTextile technology is available. Anyone out there to pick this up?

Related posts:
DIY – Emotional Scarf
Breathing as fashion statement
iCalm – Comfortable, Wearable, Wireless Bio-Sensing

Posted in Category: Concept Design, Student work | 25 Comments »

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[...] 26, 2010 from talk2myShirt>> Beagle Scarf, a garment co-created with autistic children and their [...]

I’m a teacher for children with autism and had this site passed along to me by a friend of mine. I just thought I would tell you that this is a really neat concept and I would love to hear about it if you ever get it to market. What a fantastic idea.


I’ve sent this to a good friend who is autistic – personally I cant imagine the embarassment caused by wearing this would do them any good at all..

i like the scarf.. where can i buy this?

Speaking as an autistic adult – why is it, by the way, that people seem to forget we exist too? – I think this is an awesome idea. I wish it were commercially available, but as it seems it’s not, I think I’ll just have to make it myself with the help of a friend of mine who knows how to sew!

Wow, this is actually very innovative; creative and very inspiring.

[...] Beagle Scarf ??? medical fashion for Autism – Leo Chao, Customized, eTextile, Speakers, Autistic, Vancouver???s, Institute, Especially – talk2myShirt [...]

[...] from writes, “While usually the debate of function into ‘every-days clothing’ is controversial [...]

[...] contender is a scarf with built-in speakers called The Beagle. Developed by Leo Chao, it was initially made for autistic children to provide them with a mixture [...]

this would also be a good thing for people with anxiety too…

This is a really great concept, and it could probably be beneficial to people who suffer from anxiety disorders too.

Where can I purchase this?

I would not be embarrassed to wear this at all, If this were available I would love to buy it.

I know that there are other ways to make a jacket/scarf to hide that it is for a medical condition. Kids and adults are wearing earbuds under their jackets all the time anyways! My son is questionable if he is autistic or not, but he and I both suffer with similar autistic conditions and feel we would both benefit from a hoodie or scarf. It would keep us from public embarrassment of doing things we have no control over. God bless.

I love this idea. This would help my son so very much. Is there a way to get on a mailing list to find out when if and when it will be available?

This is an awesome idea and I would love to buy something like this for my son. Maybe even a Christmas item under the tree :)

I LOVE this concept, however have a slight suggestion- what if you made it into an actual hooded sweatshirt? It could be light-weight, but would look ‘normal’/ even cool, so no one would have to know it is therapeutic besides the child/teen with a nice and calm sensory system:)

I keep seeing this pop-up in my feed on Facebook, and after searching on all of these different sites, I can’t seem to find anywhere that actually has it for sale. As the parent of an Autistic child, I would love to be able to get one of these for him. Where can someone actually buy one of these?

People keep saying it would be embarrassing or that it would be ‘uncool’, but one of the most recent trends are scarf-hoods that look just like it (or with added ears) so it really wouldn’t look that different. I have anxiety, panic and dissociative disorders and I would find one very therapeutic for those problems too.

[...] Beagle scarf for autistic children by Leo Chao [...]

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I personally think this could also help those with anxiety too, since I myself have it. If these were available, I’d probably get it since I’m almost never calm when I’m outside.

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