About Leslie Brooks, founder of Hippo Hug Weighted Blankets in Calgary, Alberta Canada
I have always had a lot of room in my heart for helping and empathy, I have never had a job that wasn’t some form of service. During university in Calgary, Alberta, I worked in a nursing home in England as well as with a family with several physically disabled children here in Calgary while taking classes. I began my full-time career working with children with autism at the Society for Treatment (STA) of Autism in Calgary as an Early Intervention Therapist (EIT) after receiving a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Calgary.
Then in 2008, I had the joy of becoming a mother. I made the choice to stay home full-time in Calgary, Alberta with my son, Grady. After a few years I began to work part-time as a home therapist for high-functioning school-age children with Autism; again doing intensive behavioural intervention. And then as a behaviour consultant under the direction of a psychologist, here I was the one primarily responsible for writing the behaviour programs and ensuring consistent implementation by the therapist working with each client.
It was while creating a program to aid a family in Calgary, Alberta with their child’s behaviours surrounding sleep that I mixed my sewing skills with my deep Autism knowledge base. I created what could be called Hippo Hug’s first product – a specialized sleep sack designed to offer deep pressure during sleep as well as preventing the client from accessing their diaper.