ACP Interviews: Keagan & Ben Sweeney of FidgetPockets
Clothes for Wiggly People
I’ve been becoming more and more conscious recently of how many people in the world equate non-speaking with non-thinking, and I wish more people could see the talent, the drive and the career potential that I see in the non-speaking neurodivergent community. To dispel this myth I have made it a point to find examples of successful autistic owned businesses, and bring them to the world’s attention. During my search I came across a wonderful pair of siblings in Prescott, Arizona who have invented a great new product that is both clever, and very needed.
FidgetPocket: The Hoodie That Hugs You Back!
Keagan and Ben Sweeney are a pair of autistic teenagers who needed a way to cope with the sensory needs that all ND individuals have; the need to fidget. They noticed that most of the fidget toys out there were highly visible and rather noisy, and thus very distracting to those around them. It was sister Keagan who came up with the idea of turning her favorite garment – her hoodie sweatshirt – into a fidget toy all of its own. By adding sensory fabrics to the lining of the front pocket, she now had a quiet , non-distracting, and always available way to release her ‘wiggles’. Her family thought, “well, everyone gets the wiggles from time to time…” so they decided to share Keagan’s idea with the world.
And so a company was born: FidgetPockets: Clothes for Wiggly People
Although started as autism-friendly clothing – and a resource for those with ADHD, autism, and anxiety – the Sweeney family firmly believes their products benefit everyone. They are highly customizable to include customer’s choice of colors, styles, materials and textures. The choose the softest materials and add sensory fabric, making each item a quiet fidget you can’t lose, which also reduces anxiety and even improves active listening. Keagan and her partner/brother Ben are non-speaking and both make use of AAC devices to communicate with others and to run the business.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the Sweeney family this past week and found them all to be delightful people. You can see that interview here: